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View Full Version : How thick should brass handlebars be?



BeastMode
02-17-2016, 10:46 AM
I need s straight piece of tubing for handlebars and I was thinking about using brass. How thick should it be?

cggorman
02-17-2016, 12:42 PM
Personally, I wouldn't want to go less than about .125" wall, but I have no bike experience to back that up. I do work in a factory that machines a LOT of brass and copper. I deal with copper tubing daily, but never brass. All our brass is machined from stock and small enough that I don't have a good baseline for the strength of a tubular section 12"-16" long.

It would also depend largely on the temper of the tube. Hard copper tube 7/8" OD x .045" is really hard to bend by hand but the same tube in a soft temper can be wrapped around your leg. Brass is the same type situation. If I was gonna do a 7/8" handlebar from copper it would be at least .100" wall.

cggorman
02-17-2016, 12:43 PM
If you can swing it financially or time-wise, I'd buy a couple sections at various walls and fix them to a something very heavy and give them a stress test. You don't want them to bend if you have to pick up a dropped bike.

farmall
02-17-2016, 3:35 PM
If the bars will be straight they might as well be brass rod. I'd be more concerned about tubing cracking after prolonged use perhaps due to an unseen stress raiser.

BeastMode
02-17-2016, 3:44 PM
If the bars will be straight they might as well be brass rod. I'd be more concerned about tubing cracking after prolonged use perhaps due to an unseen stress raiser.

I deleted my post when I tried to edit it..

What do you mean brass rod? Do you mean solid bar? I thought about using a solid piece of 7/8 brass but I would have to hold it in my hands to see if its too heavy. I was gonna order it from a website.

CTNewman
02-17-2016, 4:35 PM
I need s straight piece of tubing for handlebars and I was thinking about using brass. How thick should it be?

What type of bars? What OD? From other replies it seems like 7/8. Are you going to bend it?

From some very cursory investigation brass tube is available in two grades: 260 and 330. 260 is unrated for yield, but 330 comes in around 60ksi, which is about double that of mild steel, so for a lower stress bar you'd probably be able to get away with .125 wall. At that wall thickness I wouldn't sweat any high cycle fatigue, so long as they aren't apes or something.

The bad news is that it's about 30 bucks a foot.

If you choose to go solid rod, you're likely to find 360 brass and 464 brass, both have a yield of 1/2 to 1/3 of mild steel. A solid rod will be about 25% stronger than a hollow tube, so it'd be close to a wash compared to mild steel. I'd lean toward the 464 myself, as it won't tarnish as quickly. It will weigh about 2lbs/foot

BeastMode
02-17-2016, 5:50 PM
I decided to go with 1" solid round bar. Its C360 brass. Its gonna be $78 shipped for a 3ft piece which isn't bad. Thanks for all the help and input guys, I appreciate it.

cggorman
02-17-2016, 6:29 PM
I decided to go with 1" solid round bar. Its C360 brass. Its gonna be $78 shipped for a 3ft piece which isn't bad. Thanks for all the help and input guys, I appreciate it.

We use 360 at work. It will tarnish pretty fast but takes a nice polish. If you rub it out occasionally it will stay bright. Heavy as hell. Should make a nice damped bar.

BeastMode
02-17-2016, 8:36 PM
We use 360 at work. It will tarnish pretty fast but takes a nice polish. If you rub it out occasionally it will stay bright. Heavy as hell. Should make a nice damped bar.

Its gonna be a rat bike and I was actually wondering how long it would take to tarnish and maybe speed up the process but I will just leave it outside. I might have both ends bored out 6"-10" deep to lighten them and have nice a stash spot.

cggorman
02-17-2016, 8:43 PM
Its gonna be a rat bike and I was actually wondering how long it would take to tarnish and maybe speed up the process but I will just leave it outside. I might have both ends bored out 6"-10" deep to lighten them and have nice a stash spot.

Sweet. Degrease it and scrub it with some scotch brite. It will brown up in due time.

47str8leg
02-18-2016, 11:29 AM
I had some brass pipe on my knucklehead for a few years. I made two sets of drags from a 6'pc. of pipe from a pool supply house or electrical supply house. We used to use them for the pool light to deck box underneath the diving boards (they use pvc now). it was slightly over 1" in diameter so they had to be turned down slightly on a lathe for anything 1" mounting to the bars (risers, brake/clutch handle etc.) .They held up fine and I still have both sets (not for sale though ). I just wanted to change the look on my bike so I made stainless. Don't speed up the tarnishing process, let it age out naturally,it doesn't take too long and it will look better in the long run.

http://i439.photobucket.com/albums/qq114/47str8leg/familypicturesss051.jpg

http://i439.photobucket.com/albums/qq114/47str8leg/morefamilypicsmarch09018.jpg

http://i439.photobucket.com/albums/qq114/47str8leg/morefamilypicsmarch09017.jpg

UtahBootyTodd
02-18-2016, 12:05 PM
mix of peroxide and vinegar works on steel. Brush it on.67287 I had to touch these up.

Whoremonger
02-20-2016, 7:41 PM
I had some brass pipe on my knucklehead for a few years. I made two sets of drags from a 6'pc. of pipe from a pool supply house or electrical supply house. We used to use them for the pool light to deck box underneath the diving boards (they use pvc now). it was slightly over 1" in diameter so they had to be turned down slightly on a lathe for anything 1" mounting to the bars (risers, brake/clutch handle etc.) .They held up fine and I still have both sets (not for sale though ). I just wanted to change the look on my bike so I made stainless. Don't speed up the tarnishing process, let it age out naturally,it doesn't take too long and it will look better in the long run.

http://i439.photobucket.com/albums/qq114/47str8leg/familypicturesss051.jpg

http://i439.photobucket.com/albums/qq114/47str8leg/morefamilypicsmarch09018.jpg

http://i439.photobucket.com/albums/qq114/47str8leg/morefamilypicsmarch09017.jpg

Sweet knuck! Is the shifter bronze? How hard was it to bend? Did you use heat to bend it?

47str8leg
02-20-2016, 8:59 PM
Sweet knuck! Is the shifter bronze? How hard was it to bend? Did you use heat to bend it?

Shifter was a copper buss bar from an electrical service. I used heat to bend it in a vise . I copied a v-twin jockey shift handle design and added the holes because it was too heavy.

47str8leg
02-20-2016, 9:10 PM
Sweet knuck! Is the shifter bronze? How hard was it to bend? Did you use heat to bend it?

Another shot of the jockey shift and bars..

http://i439.photobucket.com/albums/qq114/47str8leg/DSCN1813_zpsymqgwjqr.jpg

http://i439.photobucket.com/albums/qq114/47str8leg/DSCN1957_zpstypsou14.jpg

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