Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Luck of the Pluck!

One objective of this Overland project has been to try and avoid it becoming a checkbook build.  The desire is to use, if you will, found bits and pieces rather than be too concerned about what is proper motorcycle bits, methodology and combinations.  As a result most of the parts and raw materials I have gathered up so far have some sort of story attached to them. 

With the arrival of the girder fork I now have the last big bit needed to start thinking of a frame to hang all these found bits from.  Of course this requires time, thought and a certain bit of luck, coincidence and some karma.  I haven’t run across the perfect old frame, nor did I ever plan to exclusively look for a frame I could modify.  I have considered several.  I also thought that building a frame from scratch would probably work better considering some of my ides for geometry and wheelbase.

No matter which way it would go some proper tubes would be required no matter what.  That is also why I have been working off and on to get some skill with various welding processes.  To help with the learning process I need some material to work with.  So why not go see and old friend that uses tube for restoring vintage aircraft.  Everybody has off-cuts and tubes that went wrong on bending, cutting or what have you.  So cheap or free tubing to learn with was the objective of a visit to his hanger.  The other objective was to also catch up because he also mucks about with motorcycles.

My friend has decided to retire from restoring vintage aircraft for other people and is now working hard on his own restoration projects.  The most recent completed and FAA certified and in the air is a 1943 Interstate.  And if his record photo looks great you should see it in person.  Most Excellent!!!

As a result of the retirement my friend is trying to clear out all the remains of tube stock he has accumulated over the years.  Good fortune for me.  In the process of rummaging looking for tube to work with I was also thinking of the tubes for the Overland frame.  My friend mentioned that he had, some years ago, bent up a tube of large diameter heavy walled tube for a friend’s semi-SonicWeld frame project.

Using a SonicWeld like back/spar configuration had occurred to me; however the thought of trying to bend up or source the fabrication of the tube pretty much turned me off of that idea. 

But a pre-bent tube was of interest.  So I got a name and phone number for the guy and a casual conversation turned into a lead for a main spar frame tube of unknown specifications but of 4130 chromalloy.

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