If it aint broke!

Ok, so someone please explain to me why I saw a bee the other day in London… there I was walking along and it landed on the pavement in front of me… its only the beginning of Febuary… However the plus side is that I can finish spraying the blasted items, including frame, mudguard hanger, coil mount and so on. Here is a picture of the items on their way to the blasters.off_to_the_blaster_sc.jpg
I fixed the swingarm this last week. I bought a welder from a great tool shop, after prcrastinating for some time over prices and power and not finding the MIG I wanted for the price I wanted I decided to check locally. I went to see the chaps at Hunter tools: Here is their site just paste it into your browser and have a quick look: http://www.hunter-tools.co.uk/
Now I dont usually mention businesses and associated services in articles but I thought that these guys were definitely worth a mention. They have a full range of recoil kits and a number of hard to find tools as well as a range of nuts and bolts including nyloc. Very polite and traditional service too. WELL DONE and thanks very much for the new welder, at the time it was the best price I could find on the internet!
Ok adverts aside lets see whats happened, where was I, oh yes so I have bought the MIG after much humming and haaring (well how do you spell it then!) and as the pictures show we have a slight problem with the swingarm…
swing_before_blast_sc.jpg It doesnt look so bad after it has been blasted,
though it did still need welding up if I wanted to make sure that the back wheel didnt overtake me as I was rumbling over some rough terrain! Its been a while since I have done any welding (I used to do mostly MIG) I was tought how to use a MIG welder many years ago by an ex girlfriends father who re-built a Volkswagen beetle by cutting every patch of rust out of the bodywork (which he had suspended from the ceiling in his garage) and welding new metal in its place… talk about patience! anyway he showed me a trick or too when it comes to MIG welding and I will share these with you. Usual disclaimers apply here with emphasis on safety please… ALWAYS wear a suitable welding mask. I prefer a full face with the darkest possible glass as I tend to lean into the work for a closer look! ok I am by no means expert but this will give you enough info to give it a go:
Basic concept: (this may or may not help you troubleshoot a couple of issues with your welding it is certainly NOT a comprehensive guide to the safe use and configuration of a MIG welder)
MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas welding, the concept is that as the metal arcs to the target a molten pool of metal is formed, wire is fed into the molten pool by the welding machine at a pre-determined speed (more about that in a minute) to prevent the molten pool of metal oxidising i.e. reacting with the oxygen in the air an inert gas shield is created around the molten pool, again provided by the welding machine and fed by a replaceable gas bottle. The key to a good weld is smoothly wiggling (technical term) the molten pool of metal into the gap between the two pieces ot metal or along the seam between a join of two pieces of metal. There are a number of things that can ruin this:
A genetic inability to weld (well I told you I wasnt an expert!)
wire speed: too fast and the weld torch will push back in your hand as the wire cant melt quickly enough and is pushing against the work.
Too slow and the wire will have a tendency to melt onto the tip of the torch and stop coming out. (insanely annoying until someone tells you what the problem is)
amps or current: This is essentially the welding power, the thicker the metal the higher the current that is required to achieve a decent penetration (the molten pool of metal is not just the wire as it is fed onto the work it is also the work itself.. hence the strength) The higher the power the more likely it is to burn through the work completely, if your power setting is too low then you will see the weld looking like a line of toothpaste on top of the work rather than a nice D shape.
How do you know its going ok?swing_post_repair_sc.jpg
Well: The work still looks like the swingarm off a Honda TL125 (this may not be the case if you are trying this at home on something other than a swingarm from a Honda TL125. If however it is the case and you did not origimally start with a swingarm off a Honda TL125 then you are deffinitely doing something wrong and should stop immediately and seek assistance)
There are no holes in your clothing from spitting weld and nothing around you is on fire.. sounds silly I know but there is so much heat generated when welding it can cause nasty side effects, be aware of your surroundings… no petrol cans etc. and DEFINITELY NO WELDING OF PETROL TANKS PLEASE just cos its empty certainly does NOT make it safe!!

The sound of a good weld.. sounds strange doesnt it but my wise teacher aptly described it as a sizzling bacon sound, it shouldnt pop or spit but just run nicely across the subject, continuously…. (it was an analogy made all the more appropriate, because as I recall I had a steaming hangover at the time, having taken his daughter out to the pub the night before!)
TOP TIP: make sure that the piece you are welding is ABSOLUTELY CLEAN any rust will cause the welder to spit and it will disturb your nice flowing weld. I prepare the piece with a grinder and or wire brush. Remember also that you can dress your welds afterwards with an angle grinder though do remember that you are actually taking away metal and therefore strength.. so dont go too mad!

Ok so back to the project. I have included a number of photos this week to catch updg_sc.jpg from last weeks rather abrupt article. (I also included a picture of my main helper and trusty sidekick Marbs… always there if you have a biscuit in your hand…

Here are some piccies of the finished frame and sidestand, I have since added the head race and trial fitted the forks(yes end on a high note… ) though I will add these details in the next article. I am rather hoping to get the engine fully cleaned and back into the frame this weekend… I will let you know. frame1_sc.jpgframe3_sc.jpgframe2_sc.jpg

more coming soon… its a lovely weekend and the sun is out … perfect

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