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  1. #1
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    Default Retry of the rebuild thread for the New Phoenix (aka Brown Sugar)

    I've been pretty low key since the accident and have worked on the bike in fits and starts but no real drive to get it done. On top of that I have been unlucky with two upholsterers that I wanted to do the seat. ( I have contacted our own Hard Luck Design and hope to give them a shot at this. More on that to come...)

    So I worked out the base coat a while ago. It is a little different then anything I have done before but I like it.
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    This base will then have a reddish-brown highlight color and then some design work. But before I can get there I need to mold the frame I got from Jesse.

    As the frame is a really close reproduction of a '56 straight leg frame I wanted to give any future owner the ability to easily convert this bike back to stock. As such I have left all the original brackets on there and the only welds to the frame are the new seat mounts and a small tab for the rear fender. One really nice thing is the manufacturer's welds are so clean I have had to do almost no grinding on them before molding them in.
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    I took my trusty cordless drill and wire wheel and cleaned everything up, then a REALLY GOOD wash with lacquer thinner and the molding could start. First thing I did was cut out a set of inserts to hold the fiberglass in place.
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    Last edited by DoomBuggy; 09-01-2021 at 9:55 AM.

  2. #2
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    If I didn't care about the frame I would tack weld these in place, but instead I used long strand fiberglass to "glue" the pieces in place.
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    Once that had cured I used an orbital sander and 80 grit paper to knock down any high spots. Then I put light coats of the long strand fiberglass on there. By wrapping the molding all the way around, plus the "plates" in there it will not move or crack. When using this length of glass I try to get the strand laying in one direction. In this case left to right. This helps to strengthen the finished product.
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    You can see I installed the key lock assembly and are being careful to make it look like it belongs there. I tossed the tank on there just as a sanity check to make sure I am only working on areas that will show ! ! !
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    I did pull a rookie mistake and mixed one batch of fiberglass too cold, ie not enough of the activator. The only thing you can do at that point is grab a wire wheel and pull all the raw glass off of there. Getting the right mix can be a pain in the ass as weather really seems to play havoc with the setup time.
    Last edited by DoomBuggy; 09-07-2021 at 1:52 PM.

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    And then it is on to the seat post area. Again the main thing was to not screw up this frame. This time I started with some heavy card stock to get the shape I wanted.
    Attachment 105065

    Next I cut out the form. I think this was a grate for a heating vent, Home Depot to the rescue.
    Attachment 105066

    Then comes the long strand, top and bottom.
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    Last edited by DoomBuggy; 09-01-2021 at 10:03 AM.

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    Then it is the process, sand, re-apply, sand, re-apply...
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    ANd we can't forget all the leg joints.
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    That's it for the moment. I hope to start shooting primer in the next couple of weeks, but only the Good Lord knows when I will actually get there!
    Last edited by DoomBuggy; 09-01-2021 at 9:53 AM.

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    Harry, that's looking good. I wish i'd moulded my frame.

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    Made some more headway, here is the final coat of the fiberglass sanded down and ready for the next step.
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    And here I've started to apply thin coats of Bondo just to work out the rough areas and smooth out the transitions. The fiberglass gives a good solid foundation and acts as a guide for the overall shape.
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    On a slightly different note, I have picked up a set of coil over shocks for the seats, but the spring rate is WAY TO HARD. Has anyone else used these and if so what did you do about the springs? I really think there must be a set of valve springs, maybe from an old Chevy, that would work, but before I start hunting I figured I'd see if anyone here has done this.
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    Last edited by DoomBuggy; 09-07-2021 at 10:16 AM.

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    Frame is down to a few small bits and pieces, but mostly done. Next I need to work out the front edge of the new gas tanks. I think I will try to get the two sides to at least have a uniform gap.

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    I need to make a quick drive out to Denver to pick up my daughters oldest dog. Poor thing had doggy ACL surgery and needs a couple of months away from the young pup so we are going to watch him. I love that dog almost as much as my daughter does, lol.

    More to come when I return

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    Frame is ready to shoot, and I have begun the tanks, first had to clean off the welding crap left by manufacturing. A little sanding with the orbital & 80 grit paper, and a little work with some wire brushes on the cordless drill gave me the one on the left. I have about an 1 1/2 hours into them so far.

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    I've put a first coat of short strand fiberglass on the leading edge of the tank. It will be the only seam that clearly visible so it is the only one getting the treatment.

    Then I figured since I was working with fiberglass anyhow I would make the pan for the P-Pad. First I wrapped the fender with tin foil, this allows me to pop the finished pan off without issue.

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    Next I cut six pieces of fiberglass cloth a little bigger then the final size I want. Perhaps 15% extra on each side. I know from experience that for six pieces this size I will need about 14 oz of resin. I mixed that up in one of my paint measuring cups. Once that was ready I put down three layers of cloth, saturating each one and working out the contours of the fender.

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  10. #10
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    If you noticed the two dark spots in the previous photo those are the mounting holes in the fender. I purposely poked the tin foil so I could located them. To fasten the seat I grabbed a couple of old Pontiac fender nuts from the parts drawer.

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    I first let the new mat "cook" for about 10 minutes, just to firm it up a little, then I press these onto the existing mat right where the holes are showing through.

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    And finally I lay on the last three pieces of matting., making sure there are no ( or at least very small ) bubbles between the layers.

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    Once this totally drys I will mark roughly where I think I want the edges to be. Then I can pop off the new pad blank, trim it down to the rough shape, and put it on the side. Once the bike is back together I will put a layer of felt on the bottom so I can set it on bike to get the final shape before it goes off to the upholsterer.

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    That's^^^^^^ some damn nice looking work....^^^^^^ Hell I never thought about how much resin to use with mat I just cut the mat I needed mixed the resin and soaked the mat and placed it most of the time I needed more resin.......

    Very nice looking work Doom...........

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    Thanks Tat,

    Between my '74 Corvette and our old boat I've done a fair share of glass repairs and it just stuck. I was taught to waste not, want not, Polish immigrant grandparents you know.

    To that end unless I am doing big sheets of mat or a vertical surface, I prefer the brush method. Using a 1 1/2" chip brush I pour a little on and using the brush work it into the mat. To me this gives me better control of the form of the mat into the shape I am doing.
    Last edited by DoomBuggy; 1 Week Ago at 6:07 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoomBuggy View Post
    Thanks Tat,

    To that end unless I am doing big sheets of mat or a vertical surface, I prefer the brush method. Using a 1 1/2" chip brush I pour a little on and using the brush work it into the mat. To me this gives me better control of the form of the mat into the shape I am doing.
    When I was glassing up the seams on Vettes I always dipped the glass in the resin. I guess that's why I never really measured it. It was usually used up by the time I was about done.

    Have a good one,

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    Onward and forward, I used a light hammer to tap a plastic automotive spatula between the fender and the tin foil. Two taps and the whole unit popped right off the fender. Next I chased the threads and bolted the blank onto the fender. 15 minutes with some 80 grit on the ol' orbital and I had a nice looking blank

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    I know that I want the back to end right at the sissy bar, but not sure how long to make the front yet. In any case I drew a couple of lines front and back that should be plenty long enough. Figured out how wide I thought I would want it. Using a cloth tape measure I went around the opening and measured 2 1/2" from the lip. Once I had both sides marked I used a couple of pieces of pinstrip tape to layout the curve.

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    A few minutes with a Dremal cut off wheel and I had my blank. Dad moment, if you do this, PLEASE wear a respirator. Fiberglass dust, while not as bad as asbestos, is still very bad for you if you get it in your lungs.

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    And now it will sit in the parts drawer until the bike is back together at which point I will cut it down to the final size I want.

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    Dang Kool Work with glass ....

    Years back I worked at manufacturing boat trailers, the owner wanted to start building Bass Boats ...
    We built the molds and used a "Chopper Gun" to get the glass and resin in the mold, then rollers to press down the glass..

    All was done in reverse from normal painting ...

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    I've always wondered on the bass boats, do the shoot gel coat, then the flake, then the glass, or do they lay the glass and then shoot the flake after it comes out of the mold?

    One day I would love to have me a bass boat and a little a place on the lake, sigh.... come on Lotto!

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    It's all in reverse .... Gel coat, flake then glass ... Then all the wooden supports gets glassed in ...

    Then it's pulled from the mold ... The mold gets a really good wax job so it will not be so hard to break loose ....
    Last edited by Dragstews; 13 Hours Ago at 4:58 PM.

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    Front edge of the tank is almost there, here I tried it out and while I still have a little work to do, it looks pretty close.

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    I need to finish those up, a couple of brackets need some love, and then it's time to clean the garage and put up some plastic over everything. So damn close, lol.

    While I am doing the bike I am also painting a dart board case that my Dad made me and that I am passing along to my Grandson.

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    Good day today, got the fuel fittings aligned and ready to rock and roll. Handy little tool, only Harley would think to make an alignment tool for this, but it does work!

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    Then it was time to sling some paint Got the first two coats of primer on there, tomorrow I will dust it with a contrasting color and do a light sand to make sure I got all the divots out. Getting close I can almost taste it, then again maybe that is the curry going in the kitchen .

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  20. #20
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    That's looking real good. A lot more work goes into that stuff than most people realize.

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