I finally got my vehicle situation back in order, so on with the show.
Here are pics of some lightweight projects I recently completed...
My Boy's CRF80 that we bought used was missing the chainguard. I took a piece of the 1/8" 3003 aluminum scrap I had left from making my KLR bashplate and went to work.
I cut the overall length and height with the plasma. Then I made the bend in my home made brake. Then I made a cut with the bandsaw down the bend about 3" from the front. Then I bent that piece inward to match the taper of the swingarm. I then used the spoolgun with .035 4043 wire and pure argon and migged the inner and outer of the cut and ground everything smooth with a 80 grit flap disc. The rear radius at the sprocket was cut with the plasma by tracing around a metal coffee can that I had full of bolts. The very end was freehanded with the plasma. I used a hand file and a grinder to finesse the final shape. The entire project took half an hour.
When my little buddy got off the school bus, he noticed it right away! That's my boy!
My right bag was getting exhaust soot all over it, so I decided to extend the tip. I had already gutted some of the can many miles ago, and I had installed an aluminum end cap with screws. I took off the cap, and then I used a piece of 2" E.M.T. (electrical conduit) to attach to the can. I found a scrap piece with a 30 degree bend in it in a bonepile at work. I didn't have stainless filler wire or tri-mix gas for my MIG, so I had to use my TIG. Using pure argon, a .040, 2% ceriated tungsten, and 1/16", 308L stainless filler wire, I was able to weld the mild steel conduit to the stainless steel can.
I really have no idea of what I am doing when it comes to TIG, but I was able to manipulate the puddle and the heat to get good fusion without blowing through. I also TIGged the holes shut from the endcap I had installed. I originally tried a 1/16" tungsten, but it was too much heat. That's when I dropped down to .040 and set the machine at 30 amps.
No stack of dimes here. I need practice for that. The grinder once again makes it look like I know what I'm doing. A trip to AutoZone for a rattlecan of high heat ceramic paint, and we're back in business. You can see where I masked off the new work. It will look as grungy as the rest of the can in time.
Now I can officially say that I have used my TIG. The advantage of the TIG is being able to use straight argon on pretty much all metals whereas the MIG needs 3 different gases for mild steel, aluminum, or stainless.
My idea for a wheel vise for my home made lift includes this trailer jack that I had in my building. I was hoping to use it as-is, but it's too long and bulky for that. I will have to dissect it to make it do what I want it to do. That may have to wait. The simple little chock I have on the lift currently is actually working well, plus it allows me to turn the handlebars, which you have to do sometimes to get to different fasteners. A clamp won't allow that to happen.
I'm still saving my pennies for the JD Squared model 32. In time, grasshopper.
People rag on us KLRistas, but having that bike allows all these other things to happen. I do miss my V-Strom, but if I get good enough with fabrication, maybe I can pick up a nice, used one down the road. Only time will tell.