View Full Version : Z clamps getting closer to completion (Updated 10-23-05)

Billy Golightly
10-18-2005, 08:56 PM
So ever since I got those KTM forks my dad and I have been working on making some tripple clamps. I've been modeling them after the Laegers clamps that came with my CR500 conversion stuff. I originally wanted to make them out of aluminum but my dad wanted to do the first set in steel since its cheaper and we had all the stuff already laying around here except a few pieces of 1/4in flat iron which I got for about $8.

Let me be the first to say, trying to keep everything to the exacting tolerences it needs to be has been a royal pain in the ass thus far. My dad has been doing all the machining on our 1930's era southbend lathe that is not known to be exactly in spec and his eye sight isn't what it use to be, so its made things interesting :lol: We were going to originally wait to buy a 2 5/16's hole saw to cut the circles in the plate for the pieces that clamp the forks so it could fit in exactly. Well my dad got kind of a wild hair and decided to drill it out with a 2in drill bit in our old ass drill press that makes the lathe look like something new and shiny. Anyways, after he did that it turns out the one side had crawled a little bit out of alignment, so he bored it the rest of the way with the mill and kind of moved it over a little to compensate it. It worked out pretty good all things considering. He finished up the little holding blanks for the jig this afternoon and I welded it up.

Heres what I go so far, it will be the top clamp. We have to make and weld in the middle bushing for the stem to fit...and also make the setup for the handle bar clamps which has turned out to be a little bit more difficult then I figured. Also have to split the fork holders, and weld on the pieces that the 8mm bolts will be going through. I'm gonna be gone from the house tomorrow but my dad said he would cut out the piece of pipe that goes in the front of the clamp to complete the weld surface to the actual piece that holds the forks. More pictures of the welds and the Laegers clamp I'm using as a reference in the post below this one...

Billy Golightly
10-18-2005, 09:03 PM
Ok heres the rest of the weld pictures, and also a picture of the Laegers Clamps that I got with the 500R conversion parts that I'm using as a baseline while designing and building these. Its been a little bit tricky and confusing at times because half of the measurements are off of the laegers clamps and the other half off of the stock Z clamps. Hopefully in a week or two I'll have them completely done. Get them powder coated or something then.

10-18-2005, 09:23 PM
Looking great, It must be difficult. Thats something no other Z will have.:w00t:

10-18-2005, 09:38 PM
Until he starts mass producing them and making a fortune! Everyone that owns a Z will go crazy and buy one for themselves and their mothers. Well, maybe they wont become that famous but anyway.... lookin good!

Billy Golightly
10-23-2005, 07:43 PM
Some more progress over the weekend. After hearing r00sty's advice on Friday about not breathing the tungsten when your grinding it "Yeah thats not good for you...it'll make your sperm have two tails where its swimming against itself and all kinds of weird ****" I decided to be a little more cautious :lol:.

Anyways, I'm getting pretty close to completion on these, and it seems like its been taking forever. I also got 2 of the tubes that the clamping bolts will go through completely welded on, and another tacked. These are really, really, really tricky to weld with the size of tungsten I'm using now. I'm gonna probably switch over to another TIG torch that uses smaller tungsten and see if I can get those bolt tubes welded on there without distorting them all to ****. The one I ended up blowing a hole in :cry: That one and probably the rest will have to be re-drilled for a bolt to go through it easily. There was also a screw up some how in the place where the groove was cut in the fork holder, and where the bolt tubes needed to be welding on. Its very noticeable and I'm really not liking how the 3 I've got done so far have came out. Its not out of the question for me to whack the tubes I've got welded on one side off with the grinder and weld up that groove, and make a new one in line with the other side. Just kind of a lot of extra work. We'll see.

I've also had a little bit of a problem with burn in to the actual clamp part that holds the forks from the excess heat they've had to endure. The right end of the top clamp is damn near impossible to get off the jig now. Gonna have to run a bar hone through it or something to get it smoothed back out. I'm gonna also have to re-cut the groove through them to make it a little bit wider, and also to go through the bolt tubes.

Still need to make and weld in the handlebar holders, and the center bushing for the steering stem on both pieces...That'll happen this week hopefully. Some other misc things include headlight mounting holes, fender mounting holes, and something else thats minor but I can't think of it right now. Not major whatever it was.

Picture #1: Trying to shoot a picture under a lightbulb that puts off the normal orange/red glow. Hard to keep a natural color. I used the flash but it was kind of to bright. Far Left: Laegers CR500 conversion top tripple clamp, Middle: My custom bottom tripple, Right: My custom top tripple.

Picture #2: Top: My custom bottom tripple tree. Middle: Laegers CR500 conversion top tripple clamp. Bottom: My custom top tripple tree. You can see the screw up on the groove placement on the fork holders in this picture pretty easily. I dunno how that happened. Live and learn I guess.

Picture #3: More camera flash and lighting problems. Remind me to try taking some pictures out in the sunlight sometime instead of inside the house when its dark. Left: Laegers clamp, Middle: New bottom clamp, Right: New top clamp. On the top clamp, you can see the burn in from the heat on the portion that actually holds the fork from welding those bolt tubes on there.

Picture #4: Top and bottom trees, Pictures kind of explain themselves.

Picture #5: Bottom tree, tipped up on an angle trying to capture the weld bead without the light screwing it up but it didn't turn out to good.

Picture #6: TIG weld beads on the top tripple clamp. I'm still not happy with the quality of my steel welding but its getting a little bit better. I think I did a lot better on the bottom one then I did on the top. They burned in alot better and look more uniform, almost arc weld like.

More pictures in a post below.

Billy Golightly
10-23-2005, 07:48 PM
Last pictures. One is a side by side on edge comparison of one of mine and the Laegers clamps. The other is the Laegers clamp by itself. Whoever welded the Laegers clamps, I dont know if it was Mark Laeger himself or not but they did an AWESOME job on it. The weld beads are TINY in width and it got great penetration. No distoration or nothing. Maybe after I make a few more sets mine can be close to looking like that.

10-23-2005, 09:20 PM
Looking good Billy. Those welds look pretty strong.