View Full Version : My new aluminum tripple clamps for the inverts (Bottom clamp is almost done)

Billy Golightly
05-12-2006, 07:48 PM
Bought a whole bunch of 6061 3/8 aluminum plate on ebay a while back and I just got in my order of 3in round bar a couple days ago. I milled out one piece of the plate yesterday but it ended up being wrong. I've made 3 new pieces today. My mill skills still arent the best but they are improving I think. These will be constructed exactly like the steel ones I made before. BUT, I will be adding to the wall thickness and keeping everything at 3/8 including the round stock that actually clamps the forks. I hope to get 2-3 sets done by TF. My one welder took a dump though, to the tune of a $600 control board that might not even fix it. So I'm left with the 1970's vintage Miller Dialarc that does good on aluminum when it wants to and can ruin a piece otherwise. Its just weird like that.

One of the downfalls on the old steel ones were that where the handlebar anti-vibe bar mounts went in was not tapered correctly. This made a poor fitment and allowed alot of movement in there that I didn't particularly care for. I talked to Ronnie and he made me a couple weld in inserts that had the exact taper required made out of 6061 Aluminum that will work great.

I've got to order a few more pieces of stock, and then get cracking on turning out the round stock that'll actually clamp the forks. I think these will be very cool when I get done and they will definetly be tough. I plan on beveling all the weld surfaces where I can really stack the weld up and make sure everything is hooked together well. I also am figuring on making a "test" top and bottom plate and put them in our hydraulic press for a break test. See just exactly how many lbs of force it takes and where they fail at.

05-12-2006, 08:16 PM
Nice looking Tri Z.

05-13-2006, 12:18 AM
Very cool Billy, can't wait to see your work.

Billy Golightly
05-13-2006, 11:41 PM
Just an update, I got part of the round stock cut and turned this afternoon that holds the forks. I'm gonna finish that up in the morning and then work on some more of the plate and constructing my new jig. I have more round stock coming in this tuesday. With any luck I should be very close to doing some welding this week.

Billy Golightly
05-15-2006, 04:53 PM
Alright I got the pieces turned that will actually hold the forks. The only thing is I screwed up on the ID size and they are a little to big :mad: So...I might have to let these be the ones used on my "break test" and make some more. :(

More pictures as I progress.

Red Rider
05-17-2006, 05:19 PM
Looking good so far Billy. Be sure to keep us updated on the progress.

Billy Golightly
05-25-2006, 09:20 PM
So I welded up an unfinished test plate yesterday and put it in the press for a break test. This only had the round stock for the forks to go through and the middle plate. I did not have the inch and a half by 1/4 round tubing to go on the front like I have my steel ones. That will be going on the aluminum ones, I just wanted to test these in their weakest form.

I had orginally though they broke at a measly 3,000 PSI but after looking at the gauge a little more carefully it looks like I read it wrong and was instead at about 8 ton (16,000lbs) when I decided to quit with the one side. I did get a crack in the weld at that point, but there was also a tear in the 3/8 6061 plate from the corner of the ram pressing down on it. Theres one picture with a bench of red/dark brown looking rough spots on it. Dont worry, thats not from the weld. Its from laying down on the press and having little bits and pieces of rust particals smashed into its surface :lol:

You can see the indention in the last two picture. On the other side from that indention theres a small rip in the actual plate (not the weld). I know the weld broke first and thats bad but the way I had it held put the absolutely maximum amount of pressure on that joint as possible. Way more then would ever be possible with it finished and on a trike. I had the outside bushing setting on my jig and I set the ram as close to the weld joint as I could. The plate the bushing is welded to had no support under it (Until it bent down to the bottom) and all the force was being applied to that joint and also the fork bushing where it went over/around the jig. If you look close you can see how it actually egged out the fork holder from all the pressure. I think they'll end up being pretty tough.

Edit: By the way I had about 6 hours or so in that between machine and weld time.

05-25-2006, 10:20 PM
I think they'll end up being pretty tough.

No, REALLY???? :rolleyes: ;) All that abuse and they are SILL where ya welded them? Crap, they will be FINE!!!!! Weld on! :w00t:

Billy Golightly
05-25-2006, 10:24 PM
Think I'm ready for an ultralight aluminum drag frame for the 500R? :naughty:

Billy Golightly
05-28-2006, 09:23 PM
Well I ended up getting a band saw from my uncle and cousin that has not been used in probably 15 or more years. My dad and I got most of the cobwebs burnt off of it, everything freed back up and got a new blade in for it on Friday. I cut about 6 plates with it and then the blade rollers on it took a dump. Haven't been able to find anything to fix that yet but I got what i needed to do with it done.

The 3/8 plate was then drilled with a 2 and 7/8 hole saw to make the correct radius for the round fork holders. I beveled the plate (Should have done it a little more for that but I will on the top on) where all the welds were going since I dont have enough amperage to weld all the way through in one pass, heh. After that was done I set everything up in my freshly made jig since the other one was bent in the break test. I welded the fork holders to the plate and did a little bit of clean up where the round pipe for the front would sit. I had earlier yesterday even tried notching out the round pipe for the front in the vertical band saw but it just didn't work out, and with the guide roller problems now I couldn't use it. So I ended up cutting the pipe (inch and a half OD by 1/4 wall 6061) the correct length and took it to the rotary table on the milling machine. I then put in my 2 7/8 hole saw and with a little trial and error I had it figured where I needed to make my cuts and have it fit the contour correctly. It ended up being a little bit shorter then I would have liked. It left a little bit of a gap but I figured its not gonna make any difference theres gonna be weld there anyways. I took it and my so far welded plate back over to the shop and setup in my jig. I centered the tube in the plate with a couple shims (flat washers stacked up :lol:) and a big long bolt laying under it to keep it posistioned. I then cranked the amperage up and struck an arc. Good lord does that thing take some amperage, I had it set on about 150 or so and I had the pedal maxed out and it still took a good 5-10 minutes before the thing was heated up enough that I was confident it was getting good penetration. On and off after about 4 hours I had it welded up. I had to wait for it to cool before I flipped it and done the other side. I also dipped the tungsten a few times and had to stop and change them so that ate up some time. Overall I think my welds came out pretty damn good, not bad for self taught and using 30 year old equipment.

Billy Golightly
05-28-2006, 09:26 PM
And heres a picture of some guy in the shop drinking a diet pepsi my camera found this evening.


Louis Mielke
05-28-2006, 11:21 PM
So when are you takin orders? lol

Billy Golightly
05-29-2006, 09:33 AM
I wanted to have a couple of sets done to bring with me to Haspin but its not gonna work out that way.