Rat Rod Bikes Bicycle Forum

Help Support Rat Rod Bikes Bicycle Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Get back!

Come on baby, light my fire!

Crap! It’s pouring rain and there’s gonna be no fire lighting tonight guys. ;(
There are still a few more things I’d like to do to this bike before the end of the contest. I had intended to reinforce the seat, reshape and reupholster it.

First I need to find a nice piece of copper for a back up clamp when I weld the seat. The last time took too long and too much wire, because I closed up the holes freehand without a back up bar.

I got back the first samples for my custom upholstery. The embroidery came out too large and I think it’s going to look awkward. I may try to use it, or wait until she can do it over.

The seat comes off.

Here I’m reshaping the seat slightly before I do the TIG welding.

Unfortunately they punch these things too close to the edge and it makes the pan weak, so I will weld up those holes.
No welding yet, but I did get to the bike shop today; and I scored a bulb horn, and an alloy kickstand, and some shiny new chain, (and tires for another project.)

The good part was that the horn is steel, and not plastic, and I have plans to customize it.
Well I pooped out and no welding got done yesterday either. In fact the only things that I have welded in two months were a kickstand and a small latch for my boat yard gate.

I did get all the paint off of the seat pan where I have to weld, and I have re-shaped it neatly as possible before welding.

I bought a polished aluminum alloy clamp for my custom horn business but it’s a little undersized and I’ve been honing it so it will fit on the fork tube.

I had to dig through my collection of computer screws until I found these two tiny ones to mount my badge.

Of course I don’t have any miniature metric taps in my collection, but fortunately I only have to thread these into aluminum, so I will make them both self-tapping with the aid of a tiny grinder.
I made myself a nice back up bar & clamp for working on the seat welds, but I didn’t actually get any welding done today. I developed a headache and decided it would be a bad deal.

I did get a few other things done. I made some more dungeons and dragons dice caps.


I put the head badge on, but those screws were very soft stainless, and while trying to tap the aluminum I snapped them both off. I just riveted the stems over with a little punch and hammer.

Here’s the little switch on my tail lamp. It’s supposed to have a rubber cover glued over it, but while I was trimming it, the little rubber dingus shot out of my hands and bounced across the garage to infinity and beyond.

I’ll probably never see it until spring cleaning.

I can get another one 1 mile down the road but I have to spend six dollars for the lamp it comes on. It sounds a lot easier than tearing apart my garage.
Well I got my seat partially welded and started making a mess of it. It took me a little while to realize I was out of argon.

I thought I was just having backup problems. I’ve never used an aluminum block before, and I didn’t have any copper.

Then I thought I was having grounding problems. (Well, It doesn’t take much ground when you’re only running 24 A.)

But you gotta have Argon if you don’t wanna make a pile of slag, which is what I gotta grind out now.

Since today is Sunday my choices are to wait until tomorrow and hope I can afford to buy argon at the new prices, Or weld with the Acetylene torch.

Maybe I just needed a day of rest and this is my way of finding out about it. The problem is it’s not raining and I wanna go ride my bike now. That means it will start raining again before I can even get on the road.
Unfortunate news. The local welding store is out of argon 125s. No more until Wednesday.

And I have a half-welded seat so my choices are to finish it with the acetylene torch or use a different seat.
Unfortunately we are having the storm of the year right now and I’m not gonna go so far. I was gonna brave it down to the welding store before it got really bad but they are only 3 miles from my house.

I have an identical seat that’s already welded. But it doesn’t have the custom upholstery. Just the same fake black vinyl stuff you see above. I’ll ignore the fact that I’ve already welded it if you will.

I don’t even know if I’m going to be able to get the right upholstery in time now so it’s a moot point.

I still have other rainy day stuff to do in the garage, so this is my chance.
Rainy day project number two, the Remote Bulb Horn. The bulb is mounted on the handlebars using a high-pressure air hose.

This is the bracket that I had to hone, plus an attachment bracket to catch the hose.

Since there’s no way that I’m going to run a disc brake on the front of this bike I decided this would be a good place to put the horn.


Now I just have to get some air to it. I have a plan but it may not be a good one. It depends on whether the tubing I need still exists.
I love all the bits and pieces that you are adding, it is just so different to what I have available. Dice block valve caps - unimaginable in my village :)

I mean, we are talking about a place where almost everyone is somehow related to everyone else.
Don't know if it will help, but our HomeDepot sell tank, I go on Sunday if I runout............Curt
I love all the bits and pieces that you are adding, it is just so different to what I have available. Dice block valve caps - unimaginable in my village :)

I mean, we are talking about a place where almost everyone is somehow related to everyone else.

That means when you steal the dice on Monopoly night, and they show up on your bicycle, everyone in the village will know!
That red hose is a 300 psi hose that came from my harbor freight tire inflator. The tire inflator itself blew up (!) and so in death it has donated its hose to this bicycle, plus one of its fittings is under the headlamp.

I went out to the boat yard last night in the pouring rain, and opened up my dad’s old footlocker from Vietnam. It’s made out of US Air Force plywood, Painted with US Air Force aluminum paint, flown to Vietnam and then flown back in the form of a footlocker. Is probably soaked full of agent orange, and frankly it has been delaminating a bit, being about 60 years old.

Inside it’s just a bunch of old car parts and junk that my father saved, which I have been picking through for over 20 years. There was the copper tubing from the fuel line of a Korean era arctic Jeep engine heater. This burned gasoline in a forced air combustion chamber, pushing hot air under the oil pan of the engine so it would start in the Alaskan winter.

Anyhow, the copper tubing was not in great shape having been kicked around Since the 1960s, but it was good enough. Once I finish getting it all together I will really only have a seat to finish unless I manage to make new aluminum struts.

Time is growing short.
A drill motor, some duct tape, sanding screen, and scotch bright. Stripping the horn:

This horn has a huge amount of powder paint baked on it. I think it will sound a lot louder, stripped to bare metal with some anticorrosion treatment. Also I wanna get rid of as much black paint as possible.
I wanted the bulb as Rattfink high as possible.


That thing that looks like a brake line splice is actually a piece of lamp hardware, so the whole joint depends on silicone sealant. The red thing is a 5mm air hose.

It’s a long way to the top if ya wanna rock ‘n’ roll . . .

(Cue the pipes . . .)

Latest posts