Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Manly DIY on a ladies bike (pt 5)

Before thinking about painting, the Hopper frame and mudguards needed a bit of work doing to them. The rear mudguard had a big split in it and was massively out of shape whilst the front one just needed reshaping to the 406 wheels. The frame needed the kickstand plate welding back on as the original welds had rusted through and it had snapped off when I tried to remove the kickstand. This same plate also holds the mudguard on.

I’ve never welded a single thing in my life and it’s about time I had a go. So my brother came over with his  MIG welder and we set about getting things ready.

This is where the plate snapped off.

Cutting the rusted bolt off the broken plate.
Old welds ground down.

Ready for welding

Some spot welds to hold it in place.

Feel free to laugh all you want my horrific piece of welding but bear in mind this is the first time I’ve even held a welding torch. Doesn't help that I couldn't see a thing through the welding mask.

An ugly weld looks the same as a neat weld when you’ve ground it down.

The mudguard was a different beast. The metal is very thin, so I didn’t risk doing this bit myself.   Here is what the split looked like after grinding off the paint.

During welding.

Ground down. Not perfect so we plopped a bit more weld on it and ground it down some more.

Both mudguards also needed widening to accommodate the fatter tyres on the 406 wheels. This was just done gently with pliers down the edges and a bit of hammering.

Now that the mudguards were wider the rear needed chamfering so that it would fit between the chainstays to bolt on to the newly welded kickstand plate.

Still all a work in progress. But here’s the rear wheel.

And the front wheel.

Welding is a very satisfying, as is all that grinding and cutting. I might have to find more excuses to do it in the future.

I wrote this post a few weeks ago and in the meantime I've aquired a couple of Triumph Stowaways (rebranded Raleigh Twenty) and I can see this bike getting neglected in favour of those, but they will all be sorted eventually.

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