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I didn’t see my crooked clamp until I looked at that last photo.

This is the top view of my bracket.

I don’t know how this is gonna sound yet because the silicone isn’t dry. I’ll honk it in the morning.

I need a sort of chummy bar or short sissy bar that wraps around the back of the seat. It needs to be aluminum but it also needs to be sturdy, but it can’t be too thick. I want it to be slender. But it needs to be strong, and it can’t kink when I bend it, so what to do?

This steel rod is 5/16” diameter and threaded both ends. The aluminum tube is about 3/8” OD and 0.305” ID so the rod would not fit inside it until I sanded it down about 0.008”.

The steel rod used to be the handle of a fireplace brush, and the aluminum tube came from the torsion spring assembly of a roller shade.

Here it is nested together and polished up a bit, with chrome nuts on each end.


Now I have to bend it and attach it to the seat. The bending will probably just involve brute strength and some sort of a small rubber wheel to form it over.

The bracketry might involve some aluminum billet and lots of shaping. It’s not well thought out in my mind yet, and it’s nearly midnight.

Good night you ratrods.
It appears that my horn is a failure because the sealant did not set.

I have to take it apart and reseal everything.

I did get some argon, and now I can fix the welding on my seat.
All the welding is done on my seat, and I got some of the grinding done. It still needs to be finished and painted. I also got my custom upholstery back and it looks pretty cool.

But I’m afraid that my horn is not going to work like this. I think air is leaking around the valve. But it could be that the long tube is just screwing with the pressure wave because it’s too skinny.

Anyhow I will have to do something about it, Eventually, but for now I’ve gotta get this seat finished and make the bike rideable.
I got the grinding done on the seat, and re-shaped it to make it symmetrical and take out all the waviness.

That, plus belt sanding & wire brushing the burnt paint took a few hours. So far I have at least 6 hours in it, including set up time and rework due to nasty welding.

Here it is drying in a hot box in the garage.


It got a minimal amount of paint, and it was a one shot deal. There was no time to make this glossy and no reason. I warmed up the paint in the cardboard box with a heat gun while I heated the pan on my stove.

When I shot it, I got a pretty good wrinkle, and any areas that didn’t, I just hit with the heat gun again. It has a gentle wrinkle finish, and it should be dry enough to upholster by tomorrow.
It appears that my horn is a failure because the sealant did not set.

I have to take it apart and reseal everything.

I did get some argon, and now I can fix the welding on my seat.
View attachment 221712

I would love to get some welding gear again, I did so much back in the day with my arc welder and brazing attachment. The trouble is that there is so much choice in makes and welding types these days that it is hard to make a choice.

Here in this picture you have signs of a welder, decent vice, pillar drill, bench top belt sander and angle grinder...

dribble dribble

There’s also tap & die sets in metric and SAE sitting there, plus the blue bag which is my Volkswagen tool bag. Duplicates of many other tools I already own, that I carry for ballast in a very unreliable car.

There’s one important tool missing, and that is a hydraulic shop press. I’ve never owned one.

Also my drill press is too small to operate my tubing notcher, so I haven’t been able to build any frames.
Because I didn’t have a big enough needle, I broke the thread about six times.

But it’s on there and it’s solid and no one will see my stitching underneath the seat.

Now to install it.

The seat is too plain. I think I’m gonna put two buttons on it.

The snail embroidery turned a little too big and so I made him offset, so he’s climbing the seat, rather than falling off of it.

The rain stopped this morning, and I got a few photos outside before it started again.


I think the front of the seat sits a little too high.



This is the first ride since I reversed the neck. You can see this bike is barely big enough for me to ride.





Needs more air in the tire!
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I put a couple of these fake military buttons thru the seat. I hope they’re fake. For all I know that could be the emblem of the Turkish Navy.

They came from one of my wife’s old coats, and I polished them up.


Strange photographic distortions

The seat has been lowered in front.

So the bike is rideable, and fully assembled except for this bar. I’m trying to bend a nice even “U”.

Also, it could use a kickstand. I bought an alloy kickstand, but it is a mile too short.
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I didn’t photograph all the welding. I had to cap these little tubes and then drill them 5/16”. The 3/8 aluminum is stopped in these by the caps .

It’s too wet to use the welding table. These are clamps to a folding chair that’s leaning into the door of my welding shed so I can be dry.

Look at that porous weld. I’ll have to grind this out and do it over. Anyhow this is where the little tubes are welded to the strut and it doesn’t look like much. Kind of an afterthought I’m afraid.


Anyhow it all went together and it fit. But next time I will know better than trying to weld on electromechanical tubing. I had to get this way too hot to cook off the zinc.

I didn’t get all the scars out of the aluminum yet, or rather I should say I put some more in.



Well, the curve is less than perfect, but then for a bike this age is a perfect curve likely?

I like it, and when the bike is being ridden who will ever realy notice.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have any extra metal to re-form that U. *sigh* Like so many things in life, it was “a one-shot deal”.

There’s nothing much on this bike that is perfect. Even some brand new parts that I bought were not perfect.

Without close-up photos, nobody else will notice, and really, nobody else will care.

Unless, of course, the bike actually falls apart as someone is riding it. That could be a problem!
Ulu, I really like this Alu-Mini, um; especially since you kept adding and tweaking parts and design elements right to the end. And the 'grandpa wheelie' shot put it over the top! RaT oN~!
I think the answer may depend on how many bikes you actually need and have the room for. In theory I have enough space for several hundred bikes, possibly several thousand, but I have no intention of having more than five bikes. Two bikes in the city and three in the countryside.

OK, I do have another two that I intend selling in the spring, and one of my bikes currently has a seat, tank and saddle that make it too small to ride, but it should be back to spec come the spring. Anything else is a temporary use of one of my four and a half spare frames. Every build renovates part of my stock and improves my skills, a win-win.

So the good bits will go on another build, and the um.... bits get reused/refreshed/dumped eventually.

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