There are lots of ways to layout the design of your project bike. But this is one of the quickest, especially if you’ll be metalshaping the parts.
Of course, you can sketch out the design of your bike, either on paper or digitally. You can carve foam or clay. But you can also layout shapes very quickly with welding wire to make a shaping buck.
In this video, I show you a technique I learnt from Christian Sosa (@sosametalworks on Instagram). Sketching out the profiles on card, then using them to create the rough profile, then filling out a 3-dimensional shape is quick and easy, and simple to change if you don’t like it.
To do this at home, you’ll need a welding machine (MIG is quick and easy, if you have one), some welding wire (I used 2.4mm ER70S-6 from my TIG set up), and not a whole lot else.
Some pieces of steel tube (or anything cylindrical, for that matter, even aerosol cans) come in handy to help form smooth curved shapes in the welding wire.
The other big benefit Christian explained, is the inside of the buck is visible (from underneath or the other side) and you can see how far your metal part is from matching the buck. A wooden shaping buck is a perfectly acceptable alternative however it is difficult to see the back side of your metal panel as the view is obstructed by the buck.
If you want to shape some metal parts for your bike, this is a great way to quickly form the buck so you spend more time shaping, and less time preparing.
Of course, this technique is applicable to any custom motorcycle – chopper, bobber or cafe racer, or any metalshaping project for that matter.
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Other videos and articles in the “Welding and Fabrication” series:
- Essential tools for metal fabrication: https://krankengineering.com/tech/essential-tools-metal-fabrication
- Introduction to welding: https://krankengineering.com/tech/introduction-to-welding/
- Ultra basic overview – Arc welding: https://youtu.be/nr1z1VBToyM
- Ultra basic overview – MIG welding: https://youtu.be/9l50t-XsBt4
- Ultra basic overview – TIG welding: https://youtu.be/OXr05f3Dwsg
- Your first TIG welding lesson: https://krankengineering.com/tech/first-tig-welding-lesson/
- How to weld repair cast iron: https://youtu.be/xbLZQCOV9jg
- Getting started with metalshaping – beater bags & mallets: https://youtu.be/_FTH9dsxoZw
- Getting started with metalshaping – tucking forks: https://youtu.be/_FTH9dsxoZw
- Getting started with metalshaping – making a shrinking bowl – part 1: https://youtu.be/-MqEKY0gBYg
- Getting started with metalshaping – making a shrinking bowl – part 2: https://youtu.be/gg1fU-eqUjA
- Getting started with metalshaping – hammer and dollies: https://youtu.be/zYuqNybZ8IE
- Getting started with metalshaping – slapping hammer: https://youtu.be/sf81yqLUrwg