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Motorcycle #2

Looking fast and rat rod sleek
The back half of the frame and engine
Attaching the engine
Attaching the engine from the other side
Attaching the front part of the frame
Yep! It’s a motorcycle

Welded metal art – 2019-25 Project #42. It’s been a while since my last post, but I made it back. Keeping busy for sure – what can I say, life keeps throwing and I keep swinging! In any case, back to the story of this project. The time had come in my welded metal art process to shift to what I would find as my most challenging, but most cool project (at least in my own mind – hey, it’s my blog and I have no idea what is on your mind). Between watching episodes of Forged in Fire, I had been observing some more elaborate motorcycles from online sources and found them very intriguing. So I threw my hat in the ring and decided it was time to give it a try. I assembled the parts for the the motorcycle and started working. With every piece I formed and welded together the project became more and more identifiable and really came together in such a cool way. Mental note: welding things with inner seals (like air fittings, for example?) can result in a small fire out of the openings … and the wonderful smell of burnt rubber. Did I mention the importance of shop ventilation? Yeah, after a little air out, I finished the engine assembly and I must say the fittings did provide a very cool look for the engine cylinders. The project gave me a very true realization to taking your time to mentally develop a plan, and taking time to deliberately implement the plan (doesn’t sound like me, huh? I’m learning). Patience and research did prove to be an advantage for this project, even though other projects did their best to divert my full attention at times.

The rear frame was the first thing to assemble. I used long cap screws to form the frame pieces around a 4 cycle engine crankshaft bearing – or the rear wheel. Besides the TIG welding, there was a lot of torch heating and bending of the screws to form them around the wheel. The engine cylinders were made from 2 metal air line fittings along with some nuts and screws to form the carburetors, oil tank and drive train. More cap screws were welded on to form the front frame risers and front forks of the motorcycle. Another bearing was welded on for the front wheel. I added two flat washer looking things for brake discs (yep, it looked fast so I added brakes). The handlebars were made from a long allen wrench bent to shape and welded on – kinda cool. I added mufflers made from rod stock and cut at an angle for extra coolness. The headlight was made from a rounded spacer and round head bolt – cooler yet. And then the final piece – the seat and tank which was formed from a shovel handle half. The handle half worked out perfectly without much forming on the tank end. The seat end was another story – lots of cutting and forming to give the look of a motorcycle … uhh, seat. I will say that welding the tank and seat on was quite the challenge without melting a hole in the metal. But I made it – whew! The final topper was a small screw welded in the perfectly located handle hole that served as the gas cap – the ultimate in coolness!

So this motorcycle was one of my proudest productions to that point in my welding career (yep, I had accepted it as a career). It really took time to pull it together and took several days to assemble. It came out in true rat rod form as an original art product. If you are not familiar (I think I may have mentioned it a few times), rat rod art is my MO (aka mode of operations). This project makes me smile every time I think about it (it’s moved on to a new home) and gave me some much needed momentum to move on to the next welding project. I feel compelled here to say that there times when life challenges have a tendency to drain joy and happiness out of things. More correctly, you allow challenges to rob you of our joy and happiness. To that I say, don’t let anything control your ability to enjoy life. Take control of the thing you have control of – YOU – and drive it like you stole it, dance like nobody’s looking, eat like there’s no calories (OK, stretching it there) … but you get the point. Grab life by the horns (I’m on a roll) and live, create, melt, burn, bend … sip, slurp, burp (save that for the shop) … WWG1WGA … and Weld On!