Where can I get my s*** made?!?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by aftCG, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. aftCG

    aftCG Long timer

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    Over a year ago I did some prototype parts to improve my Moto Guzzi Stelvio. I've done precision sheet metal design and CNC programming for a living (early career) and had my first parts cut by a place that sells raw materials and offers waterjet cutting services.

    The prices for getting parts cut that way is reasonable, and the accuracy pretty good for my purpose. I did my own deburr, countersinking, etc but I do not have the capacity (skills or equipment) to do brake form operations or weld.
    IMG_20180612_164122.jpg
    My first part required only that two flanges be bent to 45 degrees and that they look symmetrical when done. The waterjet place suggested a shop that does architectural and gutters. To be honest they did a good job and did it for cheap. That part is not my problem.

    This one is:
    IMG_20170712_162244.jpg
    For this one I needed more bends done and obviously some weld bead. Again I had the flat patterns waterjet cut. I located a shop in Tacoma where I had them formed and welded. They came out well - especially considering they are prototypes - but they cost me an a** of money I had no hope of recovering. I'm writing it off to R&D obviously.

    One of these bash plates went to Australia and the other one has gone on a journey to Canada, Texas, Ohio and I forget where else it is. It works, and I'm especially proud of the way it comes off/on very easily for doing oil changes (the SW Motech on my Triumph is a bit of a whore to install by comparison).

    I'm ready to produce more of both parts. I've attempted to engage a few local shops to see if they want to take on the fabrication for me, or at least the brake and weld part. I was no-bid by two places and another was going to get back to me (that was December). One of the places that no-bid me was the place I learned all this to begin with (it's the same in name only now).
    Design Study 7 Prototype 1a.JPG
    Most likely my order quantities are too small. They made 7000 Stelvios. If I could get 5% market share that's 350 parts. I think that's a lofty goal, and I'm certainly not prepared to commit to that many being produced on my wallet. Obviously if I had any brains I would be making BMW or Harley parts. But I ride a Guzzi which means I don't have brains or any interest in BMW or Harleys.

    Yesterday I looked on Craigslist and found a local mom&pop place. I rode the bike to him this morning. He said the welding would be no problem but was a bit put back by the bending on the bash plate. He's going to get back to me. Of course he is.

    I would like to order batches of 10-25. That way I could take some pre-orders and reduce the risk that I'm going to have boxes of unsold inventory.

    Surely someone out there works in a fab shop that could whack these out. The parts are all 0.125" 5052-H32 aluminum which bends and welds very nicely. Ultimately I would have them brushed and anodized but let's not get too crazy yet.

    I'm willing to continue to have the parts waterjet cut if necessary (the guy this morning would require that). There is really only one critical dimension on the bash plate (the internal width).

    Can anyone out there help a guy who can't see his way to buying a normal bike?
    #1
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  2. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    I used a place that was local to me at the time.in Amarillo,TX

    They cut, bent, and welded...and we're reasonable for the small order we did

    Midwest Machine
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  3. shovelstrokeed

    shovelstrokeed Long timer

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    A well equipped fab shop could run that off with no problem. Probably doing the laser cutting or water jet cutting, beveling and welding to include deburring it all. However, in the quantities you are thinking about, you are gonna get charged setup and possibly fixture charges for each batch. They hate that shit.
    Even you total anticipated need would be considered a small run for most shops.
    Buy a TIG welder and a small to medium sized box break and do all the work yourself.
    #3
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  4. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    I've made bends like that with a hydraulic press and blocks of wood...
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  5. Reddog*

    Reddog* Meh...

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    A suggestion,

    Have the the water jet cut the bends, leaving small connector tabs.
    Then you can build a fixture to bend to shape by hand.
    Down side all bends are welded over.
    Upside weld shop doesn't need to source a brake.
    #5
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  6. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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    Not criticizing your design, but allowing a small gap at the bottom of the assembly would release the pressure of exact bending to accomodate the width of the frontal plate and would simplify the bending process.
    Perhaps that would save some material and would increase the number of parts, which may be more attractive to a shop.
    #6
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  7. digger2

    digger2 A Cad & A Bounder

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    There is an inmate on here, rick who goes by the name of Killdala. He is up in the boonies of alaska and does this stuff. Whether he will want to make them for you i do not know, but may be worth a shot
    #7
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  8. RVDan

    RVDan Long timer

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    If I wasn't so far away from you I would build a box brake and do it for you.

    I suspect these shops are just so busy with their normal work they can't be bothered with small quantities.
    #8
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  9. mb289

    mb289 Been here awhile

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    You might check to see if there is an inmate close by that can bend and weld. I know there are quite a few welders on this forum. I'd help, but unfortunately I'm on the opposite coast.
    #9
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  10. aftCG

    aftCG Long timer

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    Criticize all you want, I used a lot of input from people in my Defecting to Italy thread to arrive where it is.
    The width limitation isn't to fit the front piece, it's so that it fits the width of the engine and mounting system.
    I considered doing that for the first ones and it's a good idea
    #10
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