Jay Roche from Special79 is no stranger around these parts. His fab skills are legendary among garage builders around the globe. In an era where mentors are hard to come by and metal-working isn't as common as it used to be, it's a bonus that Jay takes the time to make some tidy, short and sweet how-to videos for the aspiring home builder.
For this ChopCult Six Pack we've assembled a half-dozen of Jay's best instructional clips, along with a few extra comments from the man himself. School is in session.
1. In this step it's pretty important to take your time and cut the bottom out as close to the bottom pinch weld as possible, especially if you're looking to keep it close to stock height. The center split and shell narrowing cuts should also be precise, it'll make tacking/welding the new halves together a ton easier
2. These steps are pretty self-explanatory. Just remember that welding thinner threaded gas cap bungs with too much heat can screw with the threads or even throw the bung out of round
3. If you don't have time or resources to build a tunnel bender, you can get a piece of pipe a bit bigger than your frame backbone, weld some pieces of angle iron to each end, clamp on top of the sheet metal for the tunnel, and hand bend it
4. Hammer forming the tank bottom adds strength to the bottom as well as making welding cleaner and easier. If you prefer, you can always make the tank with a flat bottom
5. You can buy extended "Frisco style" petcock bungs if you want to save yourself some fab time
6. This is mostly a cosmetic detail, but it will make it easier to weld for MIG and inexperienced TIG welders. Make sure the bottom tunnel seam if tacked well before attempting
Jay is constantly building tanks, bars, hard tails, and cool, artsy lamps and furniture. Complete bike builds for customers isn't out of the question either. Hit him up if you are looking for some handmade goodness.