Tag Archives: slip roll

  • How to build a Custom Motorcycle Seat

    The custom motorcycle hobby is HUGE, it isn't just Harley Davidsons that are being modified these days. Enthusiasts are building custom motorcycles out of anything they can get their hands on. One thing that everyone seems to have an opinion on is what their seat should look AND feel like. Some are ok with buying a seat out of a catalog, slapping it on and calling it a day, but if you're anything like me, the satisfaction comes from the process of building something custom myself.

    I recently shared the story about my adventure to get myself my first motorcycle project; a 1952 DKW RT125 and hinted at my plans for the bike. The other week I finally got some time between my other projects to do something about the "beach cruiser" seat on the DKW. After staring at the bike for a while, I decided that the seat that came on the bike was far too large for the bike and sat too high. I think the German designers may have had a rider in mind that had one-too-many servings of schnitzel and needed an extra large seat to hold them. Aesthetically speaking I think it really looked out of place. I plan to keep the majority of my modifications on the bike reversible, so I opted to remove the stock seat and make my own from scratch (using Eastwood Tools of course!). I liked the general shape of the stock seat, but not the size, so I decided to use the original seat as a pattern when making the seat frame up.

    I know some take a piece of sheet metal and bend it over their knee, drill some holes, attach some springs, and call it day when they make seat pans, but I wanted something a little more like the original. The old seat used round steel bar stock and some small diameter tubing to make up the frame. I started by stripping off the rubber seat cover and taking some measurements. I decided that the seat mainly needed some width taken out of the rear portion to make it the same width as the tank to look more proportional. I drew up a pattern for the seat pan and began the project.

    I used some 1/8" round bar to make the frame of the seat. I first tried to make the entire frame out of one piece, but it was extremely difficult to get the bends to all line up the same. So instead I opted to make each bend separate and TIG weld them all together to make the frame. I started by making the front "nose" of the seat first. I decided to use the bar grooves in the Eastwood Slip Roll to make the bends I needed for the seat frame.

    After a few passes through the slip roll I had my first piece matching the nose of the original seat. I repeated that process as I started working my way back on the seat. I like to bend with a piece of bar stock that's longer than what I need so I can cut the excess off to make the bends land in the same spot. As I made my pieces I laid them out on the pattern to make sure I was keeping the correct shape.

    Once I got all of the pieces made up to form the frame I taped them in place. I then worked around the frame and fusion welded each joint together with the Eastwood TIG 200. Once I had the frame welded into the shape I needed, I found I needed to put a slight curve into the center of the seat to get the overall curve shape I wanted. I ended up using a torch to heat the center and bend it a little to get the gentle curve needed.

    Next I cut out the pan for the seat using my manilla folder as a pattern. I purposely cut the 18 gauge metal a little larger than the pattern so I had some room for error. I then centered the pan over the frame and clamped it in place using a set of Eastwood Mini Weld Clamps. Once the pan was clamped I used the TIG 200 to lay a number of small welds to connect the frame and pan together.

    With the pan welded to the seat frame it finally started to look like what I had envisioned. I removed the excess metal off of the seat pan so that it was flush with the frame with a flap disc and an angle grinder. I then welded mounting tabs with studs on the bottom of the seat and attached the seat to the original seat bracket. With the seat mounted up, I decided to move the seat back. I used the front hole on the seat bracket and mated it to the rear hole in the frame. I then dropped the back of the seat bracket down to get the seat position a little lower. After mounting it all up I have made a custom seat that sits lower and looks more proportional without modifying the bike in a way that it would be difficult to return it back to stock.

    With the seat mounted up I checked my seating position and it feels a lot less like a bicycle and more like a motorcycle. I definitely will need to make a bobbed rear fender that will keep my rear end from getting caught in the tire, so that's one of the next projects. I plan to make a new set of bars with the help of the Eastwood Tubing Bender next. The new seat and the bars I plan to build should get the riding position more how I want. Slowly this old bike is taking shape. Watch this space for future updates.

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  • A Visit from Rolling History- The Keystone Cops Model T Car Club Visits Eastwood

    Like the saying "birds of the same feather flock together", automotive enthusiasts with similar tastes and interests normally cruise and meet together. This is especially true with fans of Ford Model T's. Recently we got a call from the local Ford Model T car club who wanted to stop in for a visit at the Eastwood headquarters; we happily agreed. The Keystone Cops Model T Car Club is a group of enthusiasts that enjoy all aspects of Model T's in "original" form. You won't see chopped, channeled, or modified caricatures of the original here, these enthusiasts are out enjoying their cars as they were built originally.

    This past Thursday the group set out on their annual 3-day cruise through local rural scenic roads. They made their first stop at the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles and then continued on a few short miles to visit us here at Eastwood. As the cars rolled in and parked, we were taken back to a time when cars were mechanical works of art rather than digitized, rolling toasters we see on the road today. The brass, the wood, and the simplicity stops almost anyone in their tracks, and we can definitely admit that many of us disappeared from our desks while they were here!

    After everyone parked, snapped some pictures, and said hello, we gave the first of 2 excited groups a tour of the inner workings of Eastwood, and gave them a bit of history. After the tours we rounded the building to give them a short tech demo on our new Eastwood Metal Brake and Slip Roll, and closed the tour with "goodie" bags for the visitors.

    All in all the visit was great for everyone involved and we were delighted to see so much automotive history in one place! Click the pictures in our gallery below to view the larger versions. Thanks for reading!

    -Matt/EW

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  • Stretching the truck bed of PileHouse

    When we last mentioned how we were lengthening the bed of PileHouse we had just cut the bed apart and braced it to fabricate the new panels. This was not an easy task, but it was made much easier after the project had spawned some new prototype products.

    Many of our new product ideas here at Eastwood come from working on our own projects and chatting with customers about theirs. Once I split the bed on Project PileHouse I was at a bit of a loss on how exactly I was going to make the bed extensions to match the original embossing. Even though we have a professional grade metal brake in the shop, it still couldn't do the bends as close together as needed to create the shape we wanted, and making a buck to hand form the embossing would be extremely difficult and time consuming. This prompted R&D guru and product designer Mark R. to mock up a new vice-mounted (or bench mount) metal brake that has a removable fence that can allow you to make bends as close as 1/2" apart (exactly what I needed for the embossing on the bed sides!). Within a day's work with the Eastwood MIG 175, TIG 200, and a pile of fresh steel, Mark had a working prototype made from scratch and we were ready to test it out on the bedside patch panels.

    This and a new slip roll Mark designed helped make the bed stretch project go pretty smoothly and our replacement panels were dead matches to the existing bedsides. Check out the video as we go into full detail about the process and keep your eyes on Eastwood.com
    in late August when these new metal working tools hit our site!

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  • Bed Stretching Made Easy- Using Eastwood Metal Brake and Slip Roll

    One of the big (and controversial) jobs that we have been planning on the truck is the stretch of the bed to match the dimensions of the other half of the truck. During this process we developed and tested 2 new products. With the help of a new metal brake and slip roll, the job of recreating the original embossing in the bedsides couldn't have been easier. We shot a ton of photos and video along the way to show the process and hope to get some of it out there for you to view here soon!

    For now here is a shot of how the truck sits with the stretch. There is still a lot to do to the bed to bring it back into service, but this was a huge step in the project! Stay tuned as we dig in further!

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