Archive for April, 2011


I got paint!!!

We did this little orange scallop to match the lines of the custom knee dents.

This is the clear. It’s got a bit of pearl and gold flake to give it the same character as the frame. I was worried at first this may come out looking like a bass boat, but it turned out quite nice. No camera can truly catch it.. You pretty much have to see it in person. But this will get you an idea.

And here it is all thrown together.

Pretty excited yo…

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Thursday, April 21st, 2011 BMW Cafe Racer No Comments

Rings and Dings

So I started getting all the bits and pieces hooked up in anticipation of the tank. I also managed to get the jugs back on. Still have pretty much the dirtiest garage ever… because of the move…

Getting the jugs on was originally a difficult task, as I couldn’t get all the rings in… The solution? Popsicle sticks. And yes… Sometimes I work barefoot in the garage….

Hooked up the wiring, throttle, and choke cables.

Unfortunately I had to do a little grinding on my pretty new powder for grounding purposes. This hurts me a lot more than it hurts you.

So that’s that. Almost have a painted tank and seat and we will be firing this sucker up.

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Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 BMW Cafe Racer No Comments

Cafe Racer Seat – Part Deux

It’s really like.. part 8.. or something.. isn’t it?

Anyway, after all has dried and sat up for a bit, I pulled it off and started the trimming.

I pretty much just sat the nasty seat on the frame and drew where I needed to trim with a marker. Then I took a Dremel to it. If you do this, definitely go with the nicer trimming wheel instead of those tiny ones that explode after a minute or two. Also.. wear eye protection and a respirator. So much nasty stuff is about to be flying that you just don’t want in you.

Here’s the seat all trimmed up.

The guy doing my tank fab dropped the tank by so I could see it all together.

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Tuesday, April 5th, 2011 BMW Cafe Racer No Comments

Making A Cafe Racer Seat

I fiddled with the tailpiece in the past, but in the end, it just didn’t fit right, so I went ahead and made one from scratch. This is not a super complicated process, just time consuming. Also it’s dirty. And not the fun kind.

I started off by cutting out some cardboard to fill in the gap of the subframe. This should add some support for when we lay the glass down the road.

Next I laid up a bunch of floral foam blocks where the tail piece would be. I glued these together with spray adhesive… which only barely works as this stuff is too dusty. I Also made a cardboard stencil of the shape of the tailpiece.

Then you can just start carving the shape with a knife. The floral foam is really easy to slice.

Once I get it down to the right shape, I go back with a razor and smooth the thing down real nice and sexy. This was actually Kate’s idea.

When you’re done, you should have a nice looking tail shape. Don’t pay any attention to the junk all over the place. We just moved into this house and the garage became the place everything got dumped until we find it’s new home (which will most likely be the trash can).

So now that you’ve inhaled a few pounds of green dust particles it’s time to bring out the big guns and get to the toxic fumes.

Take some of that aluminum duct tape and cover the area to be fiberglassed. That means the subframe from side to side (across the gap that you cardboarded over) and the newly fashioned bum stop. You’re going to want to use smaller strips for the round part of the tail so it will lay flatter. Once it all looks like a baked potato, use car wax to slick up the surface. This will act as a releasing agent (sorta).

This next part is best done with two people. Skyler was kind enough to give me a hand. Pre-cut your fiberglass into strips. You don’t want to lay giant pieces down as it won’t lay completely flat. Prepare a cup of acetone and your fiberglass resin. Using a paintbrush, apply the resin to the aluminum tape in one area and then lay a strip of fiberglass on top. Then use the paintbrush to push it down flat and soak more resin in.

Once you’ve covered the whole thing, you can use fiberglass cloth (it’s more smooth and delicious than the chop stuff) as a final layer to smooth it all out. Alternatively, you could probably just build the whole thing out of this, but I haven’t tried that.

After this I leave it to dry, and usually don’t touch it for at least 24 hours.

As you can see, it has some imperfections. But these will be sanded/bondo’d/cursed out.

So that’s where I’m at RIGHT NOW. I’ll update this post when I get in there and trim it, etc…

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Sunday, April 3rd, 2011 BMW Cafe Racer No Comments

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