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Old 12-07-2015, 07:47 AM
sandmanred sandmanred is offline
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Default Motorcycle tank

I'm in over my head right now. This is the shape I want to make. How would one divide this up for shaping? I have a stump and hammers and an english wheel. I can probably cobble together any other hand tools necessary. Any and all advice welcome.

IMG_0634.jpg

IMG_0631(1).jpg

IMG_0633.jpg
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:03 AM
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Default Gas Tank

Looks cool! I'm not a pro at this but I guess I'd make the top one piece then each side separately and weld them on. Of course, this from a complete novice but it is a start.

I too am in the process of making a tank but mine is still in my head. On mine, I was actually thinking of making the inside first. Having that part fit the bike then work out. I guess I'm doing mine backwards because my bike has a lot of items on the frame that need to be avoided.
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Old 12-07-2015, 12:28 PM
AllyBill AllyBill is offline
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I'd make that in three. A top and two sides. Keep the top nice and wide so it has shape down the outer edges. That means you have less shape to put into the sides and where your welds go will have lots of shape too so it won't distort as much.
Alternatively you could make it in four with a spine down the centre and each half made of two pieces, that way you could get each side into the wheel to wash out the shape after welding then only have the central weld to sort by hand. You'd also not have as much to scrap if one piece got away from you.
Either way will work and neither way is the 'right way' so crack on and good luck!

Will
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Old 12-07-2015, 12:55 PM
sandmanred sandmanred is offline
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Originally Posted by AllyBill View Post
Alternatively you could make it in four with a spine down the centre and each half made of two pieces, that way you could get each side into the wheel to wash out the shape after welding then only have the central weld to sort by hand. You'd also not have as much to scrap if one piece got away from you.
Either way will work and neither way is the 'right way' so crack on and good luck!

Will
Thanks. I was headed down the path of 4 pieces. But I already have two bottom 1/4's in the scrap bin and was starting to have doubts. I think I don't have the skills yet to use the wheel for more than just flattening things out a bit. Going to give hammer and stump a try for the next attempt.
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Old 12-07-2015, 02:03 PM
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Hi Jeff
I am in the process of making a larger tank for my Norton in steel. I did post a thread a few months back in the motorcycle projects area. I too am fairly new to this. I started with the sides, which have the most shape. I used a stump to get the rough shape, then the wheel to get the walnuts out.
The part taking most time is the underneath as it is a complex shape to clear parts on the frame.
Picture below shows the top section.
Tank top3.jpg

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Dave
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Old 12-07-2015, 02:38 PM
AllyBill AllyBill is offline
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Originally Posted by sandmanred View Post
Thanks. I was headed down the path of 4 pieces. But I already have two bottom 1/4's in the scrap bin and was starting to have doubts. I think I don't have the skills yet to use the wheel for more than just flattening things out a bit. Going to give hammer and stump a try for the next attempt.
That's fine. if your wheeling skills are in the early stages don't worry about it, you just need a slightly different approach. Try getting the shape as close as you can with your hammers then use the wheel with very gentle pressure to wash-out the wrinkles. Don't try to make the shape with the wheel and don't be in a hurry to wash out the part either. It will come good with a little patience. And don't have doubts either. If you don't give in you can't fail and even if you make it in twenty parts it doesn't matter. Keep all the good bits that work and stick them all together.
You'll likely look back on it as not your finest piece of work once you get better but you'll be very pleased with it this time around.

Will
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Old 12-07-2015, 04:20 PM
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Jeff are you working with steel or aluminum?

If you are working with aluminum it must be thicker than with steel.

If this is your first go at shaping then break your tank down into smaller sections and concentrate on producing that portion. Once you can produce that shape again exactly add the adjacent section. It's easy to get overwhelmed by trying to get too much movement in a single piece all at once.

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Old 12-07-2015, 05:41 PM
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I dont know if you have access to it or not, but Ron Covell has a great video on how to make tanks, both in Aluminum and also steel. I agree, do whats easiest for you and be patience. Every screw up is one more way to get the next one right as I see it. But Doing it in 3 parts seems like it would be a good way to start like stated above.
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Old 12-07-2015, 05:45 PM
sandmanred sandmanred is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jere View Post
Jeff are you working with steel or aluminum?

If you are working with aluminum it must be thicker than with steel.

If this is your first go at shaping then break your tank down into smaller sections and concentrate on producing that portion. Once you can produce that shape again exactly add the adjacent section. It's easy to get overwhelmed by trying to get too much movement in a single piece all at once.

Jere
Trying aluminum, 16 gage on the shaped parts and 14 gage on the tunnel. What's your recommendation for gage and material?
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Old 12-07-2015, 06:47 PM
AllyBill AllyBill is offline
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Trying aluminum, 16 gage on the shaped parts and 14 gage on the tunnel. What's your recommendation for gage and material?
Hi Jeff,

If you're a beginner working in aluminium (I well remember being one of those) I would go thick and soft. 2mm thick and 1000 grade material. It'll be easy to push around and thick enough to sand into a smooth finish later with no welding issues and easy to anneal if it goes a bit stiff on you. That ought to do it.

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