In last article we decorated rear fender and forks in bronze/copper leaf. It is not done yet, because black outline will be added and then it can be clear coated. Meanwhile, it was time to start with the gas tank. This is the basic idea how it should look like and it will be positioned under the upper frame, not on top of it, as usual.
This mold was made of wood, because it was the easiest solution. Cut and sand it until you are satisfied with its shape. It will take long time, but this is crucial in order to make the gas tank right. Make sure that all sides are even and it fits well on the bike frame. This is what we got after few hours of work.
Once when the mold is done, aluminum panels are shaped with a rubber hammer, because ordinary steel hammer will damage aluminum panels. Also, special metal shears are needed to cut it on specific places (you need to bend panels over curves). The mold has to be fixed, you do not want it to move when you are welding panels. Slowly, each aluminum panel is getting its shape and it is welded on few places to keep it together. When everything is done, simply remove the wooden mold and weld all gapes. Make sure it is done right and you do not have any empty spots left. This part should be done by a professional welder. Hard work was done and it looks really good!
It is time to come back to our rear fender and forks. After precise measuring, black outlines are applied (airbrush technique) and everything is clear coated to protect our work. Several layers of high gloss clear coat will do the job. Do not forget to wear a respirator mask, safety first! The job is done; it looks vintage and unique at the same time. Slowly, the bike is getting its shape and it is looking better and better. To be continued…