Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Speedway arms are ugly!

For my Model A I'm running cowl steering. To clear the tall-skinny front tire when I turn left I have to run a longer input steering arm on the spindle. I was going to make one from scratch, but Speedway sells one with the right dimensions. It's ugly as all get out, but with a little effort and elbow grease, that can be changed.

In the picture below you'll see the steering arm in it's gold-colored raw form, which is how it will show up on your doorstep. Here's how I took care of that eye sore...

1) I started with a good thick grinding wheel on my angle grinder and knocked down all the flame cut scars and got the general shape.
2) Next I moved on to an 80 grit sanding wheel on an angle grinder (multiple grinders setup makes this go a little faster). By then it was roughed out to the general shape.
3) I moved on to a 120 grit wheel to smooth it out a bit and used a drum sander and an air grinder to get in the interior radius at the mounting end.
4) Now the fun part... FILING! I spent another good 45 minutes or more with this just carefully shaping it, smoothing out all the corners. I used a standard bastard file with a flat profile on one side and a round profile on the other as well as a fairly course round file.
5) Then I cleaned up with a fine cut files of with similar profiles.
6) From there I used red and then blue/green 3M Scrotch Brite discs on an air grinder to help get any remaining file marks out.

I'm pleased with the results. About 2 or 3 hours of messy work, but well worth it! Still need to address a couple small stubborn spots, but it's pretty much done. The thing that helps the most when doing something with a lot shape, like this arm, is to have good lighting. You can use the light along the edges of the pieces to tell where you need to take down the material and how much.

If nothing else, it will make a great sling shot!


1 comment:

scrapmetalart said...

Very nice. worth the effort!