Monday, October 10, 2011

What I built this weekend

Ever since we did a rebuild of my bikes on a new frame in 2005, the meter console had never been quite right - We'd replaced the original wiring and console of the Lightning with the Thunderbirds.

The chromed plastic bowls had been quite scratched and the mounting stubs broke, and so we ended up taping the meters together with duct tape. In time I replaced the tape with a strip made out of two red bull cans. Skillfully disguised, but still tacky...

So this week I had Thursday and Friday off, so I decided to build a new console - I started with this :

A 87mm inner dia copper pipe (funny that my bikes piston is exactly this size! )

I'd looked for aluminum or brass, but no one was selling me a piece shorter than 12 foot. Steel and SS is just too painful to work by hand.

First sawed it with a hacksaw, filed and deburred the edges, made a three inch piece for each meter

The pipe pieces were slit lengthwise to allow the meters to fit in.

Another segment cut and drilled to join the two together - Phew! Sawing this 3 mm pipe by hand is a real bitch.

Bolted together with some SS fasteners salvaged from an old motherboard.

Added two more bolts, threaded into the copper - The screws are tough enough to cut their own thread. A slot was cut in both sides and the bolts washer slots into it.

A spacer is bolted across the two pieces and the thick SS bolt holds the entire thing stable. It's well below the bottom of the meter innards.
An L shaped bracket made from some scrap I had lying and a aluminum thingamajig to fit the ignition key switch.I had to drill that hole with a Stanley power bore bit, it managed quite well in aluminum. Not the most sturdy thing, but it will do.
Spray painted the whole thing matte black.

Found a part of the old console and cut the piece of it, drilled holes for LEDs and wired them up, replacing the old bulb based indicators.

It took me three days to build this, I used a hacksaw, files, a drill machine, and a Dremel moto tool. It's not the most perfect thing with sub millimeter accuracy, but it works and looks good!!

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