Lock the welder

On my Grind in CA

I have been on the lookout for a new lathe and mill since I could not bring mine from CT to CA. After quite a bit of research I decided on a re-manned and heavily upgraded Bridgeport mill. Since it has been years since Ive researched new machined tools, I had no idea what I wanted. I did decide that manual machines are still the way to go for my needs. Despite all the cool cmc equipment everyone is pushing on me, the need for a basic tool that serves basic needs without elaborate setup or programming outweighs any cool tricks a robot can do, at least for me. I obviously still need CNC capabilities for certain jobs, but I can continue to sub those jobs out to more computer savvy machine shops. The main problem with my old "J-head" bridgeport mill was all the slop. I bought it used (extremely used), and everything was sloppy. In fact without the bed clamps cranked down the thing would jump and break mills right and left. It was also a "step pulley" type of variable speed, sim liar to a drill press. It worked fine, but was a nuisance to constantly put my hands in it. The new Bridgeport is essentially the same machine, but a bit newer, with power feeds, a dial operated variable speed, and no slop in anything.

Before buying this one, I scoured the internet looking for alternative brands of mill. I assumed that there was a manual machine that is superior to Bridgeport. What I found was that almost every manual mill available is based off off Bridgeport designs. About 80 percent of the mills I found were made in china, a few from other southeast asian countries, and Lagun from Spain. The Lagun was the runner up, but I couldn't find one that was as tricked out as the Bridgeport.

 

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The lathe is another story. My old lathe was a Chinese piece of junk, but I managed to make a lot of cool stuff on it over the years. Almost any lathe I buy will be an upgrade from that, but I have narrowed it down to Moriseki or Okuma, both from Japan. The american machines seem to be overly expensive, even if they are completely destroyed. They seem to be desirable no matter what the condition, and the prices are insane. There are dozens of Chinese machines, some better than others, but the Japanese machines seem like the best based on a variety of criteria. I found a great Moriseki at a local machine tool shop, but the air headed shop owner doesn't seem to want to sell it to me. Maybe its the east coast accent, but nobody in this state seems to be in any hurry to sell anything! Its like you have to force them to take your check. Cali culture shock....

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Other than machine tool shopping, I have been riding the shit out of the "Iron Triangle" and "Interceptor". I finally had to suck it up and get a new rear tire and sprocket for the Interceptor. I had an aluminum sprocket on there, bought as part of a chain conversion kit from Zippers. I was hesitant to use aluminum over steel, and it turns out I had reason to be worried. It only lasted around 5000 miles before it was worn down to little nubs. The steel chain just ate the aluminum sprocket alive. I would not recomend these for street use (maybe that was obvious?). A little burnout simultaneously ended what was left of the sprocket and tire...

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The Iron Triangle has also been put through a rigorous testing phase out here. The most obvious problem was that is simply wasn't making enough power at low rpms, which makes sense given my cam choice. I selected a new cam that will raise my cylinder pressure a bit, and hopefully not hurt me too much on the top end. Since I was going in anyway, I decided to pop the heads off and have a look inside. I am using a copper 0 ring head gasket, which is an unusual arrangement for a street bike (usually more of a dragster setup), and there were signs of slight weepage. Not so much as to really effect performance, but just enough to allow a little bit of oil to escape after a long ride. I am going to tweak the head a bit to get a better seal, and perhaps try a slightly larger o ring. I also wanted to do a bit more headwork to improve flow, so Steg (psycho cycles) and I put our heads together and came up with a plan. Nothing revolutionary, just some common sense flow related upgrades. Getting rid of the stock valves in favor of some with slightly better shape, and also sinking them into the seats a bit further. In addition, I am going from the conventional double valve springs to Fueling "beehive" springs to lighten up the valve train upstairs. I am also shrinking the combustion chamber volume a bit, from 79cc to around 77cc, to get my compression where the new cam wants it.

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Keep in mind my twin cam has a 3.5" by 4.25" bore and stroke, so nothing is a no-brainer bolt on as it would be with an 88 or 95 twin cam. One thing I can say with confidence though, is this bore and stroke combo sounds WAY better then the 3.75" by 4" of a twin cam 88. I see more small bore/long stroke motors in my future!

Thats all for now...

Reminds me of my Youth

I lived and breathed mountain bikes for the first half of my life. I experimented with everything from cross country, downhill, trials, dirt jumping, etc. I was decent at all but not great at any. What is cool to see, now, is that there is a lot of blending between disciplines. These guys here are blurring the lines between freestyle BMX street riding and trials. As fun as it was, I don't miss all the bloody shins and crushed nuts! Thanks to Diamond Dave for the vid. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4HYvK3X4qcU]

Anyone?

Looking for someone from the New England area who is driving out to Born Free who would transport one of bikes out there. I'll pay ya... I'm in Branford CT

JDAM attack

JDAM stands for Joint Direct Attack Munition. They are "guidance systems" equipped with an inertial guidance system with a GPS as well. They can be attached to conventional "dumb" bombs, enabling them to be controllable once dropped. Here is a video of some troops watching one hit a target- amazing and terrifying. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=rNVd4mLQJt0]

Fucking Awsome

This is absolutely unbelievable to me! do people not see this??!!  

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xqMVg5ixhd0]

 

Simple

I searched for years for hubs that were simple and tasteful. It seems that every hub out there is either 1. high tech looking

2. has huge flanges

3. chromed/imported

4. vintage (not safe enough)

I made a few so far. I have done front and rear. They have small and wide flanges, are raw aluminum, and have late model bearings. This one is on the front of a clients bike I'm building...

I guess I should comment: American Chopper build off

Yes i watched the new build off. I was not expecting much, and it unfolded exactly as planned. In case you didn't watch, it's a 3 way buildoff  against the OCC dad, the son and Jesse James- apparently the 3 "best builders in the world"! In my opinion Jesse James is a fantastic builder, has a great sense of style, and deserves all the credit he can get. He has a true love of motorcycles and it shows. The OCC boys are obviously morons that have never ridden more that a mile, don't love motorcycles, and sue members of their own family. I hate their guts because they stand as pop culture icons representing everything I hate about human beings. Greed, bad taste, no self-respect, and inflated egos.

The show was voted on by the public, and unfortunately when you get the general public involved with anything that is meant to be a counter-culture, it goes horribly wrong. This was the case, and the stay at home moms and x box players of the world voted this man the "best builder"....

I know it is shooting fish in a barrel here, but for those who don't know motorcycles and may be reading this, let me tell you what I see. That is Paul jr there sitting on a bike that he "made". Well he didn't make the frame, the wheels, the engine, the fork, or the swingarm. His "team" built the tank, but it is just a cover that looks like a tank. The real tank is a box under the trans that holds less than 1 gallon. It has a metal seat that is flat as a piece of plywood, and to top it all off- it is horribly, horribly ugly. I don't care what you are into. You would look like a complete douchbag riding this thing in the best case scenario. I would rather ride one of those can-am scooter things than this.

Here is what I perceive to be the big picture. TV producers want ratings. A show about craftsmanship will never entertain enough people to get these ratings. They need the d word, drama. These OCC guys have provided that in abundance, and now they are where they are, "the best".

I hope that in my lifetime I can see the American people turn back to pride and craftsmanship; what made America great in the first place. Yesterday will remind me of how far we have fallen and how much work it will take to get back. It may be too late, but I (and all craftsmen) will spend the rest of our lives doing our best to undo this.

PS: If anyone ever, ever, mentions OCC as a comparison to my shop (or any of my friends shops) you will be very sorry.

Random

Hey my yahoo email is messed up. I have some kind of virus. I am working on fixing it but in the mean time dont open anything from LOCKBAKER@YAHOO>COM

Amazing pic

This picture kicks ass. I found it on a friends facebook page, don't know where it came from. People always baby their street bikes these days...back then no one worried about it! It looks like an Indian Chief, minus fenders.

Pneumatic 4 bar seat setup

Icarus seat suspension system. Uses an all stainless 4 bar system with ball bearings to allow the seat to move perfectly up and down, not in an arc. It is also 100% rigid in every direction OTHER than vertical, unlike a typical nose pivot system which is prone to side ways and twisting flex. Also uses air bags so the travel and stiffness are adjustable.