Must Have Power Tools-Especially Welders
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Must Have Power Tools-Especially Welders

This is a discussion on Must Have Power Tools-Especially Welders within the Technical forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; I'm looking at planning the build of a cafe racer project. It currently looks like it's going to be cb600 based as I've seen a ...

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  1. #1
    Junior Member gusrus's Avatar
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    Must Have Power Tools-Especially Welders

    I'm looking at planning the build of a cafe racer project. It currently looks like it's going to be cb600 based as I've seen a few builds that seem on the whole relatively straight forward. I'm going to be doing this on my driveway/in my apartment courtyard as I have no garage and I'm looking at doing as much of the work myself from a fabrication point. LAser cutting I could maybe get done at my work of any components, paint and powder coating I can get done relatively locally and there is a motorcycle garage workshop a mile up the road from me who could probably help with any small problems I am having. I have hand tools such as spanners and socket sets and screw drivers and allen keys and saws. I'm wondering about what power tools I may need to purchase, I need to cut the rear portion of the frame a little bit so a reciprocating saw may be a handy purchase along with a hand angle grinder. I'm more concerned about any welding I have to do, I know some people say avoid flux core welders but I've been looking at videos and people seem to be getting decent welds out of them with maybe a bit more manual cleaning afterwards to clean them up. What are people experiences and would something like a 100amp unit be enough to weld in subframe parts or other bits.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    jcw
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    Senior Member jcw's Avatar
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    You NEED this tool. A must have for any newbie trying to cafe (verb) a Hinda.

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    Last edited by jcw; 02-08-2019 at 09:44 PM.

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    Senior Member Mike 40M's Avatar
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    You didn't mention if you have a drill, which is the first electric tool you'll need. A 125mm (5") angle grinder, definitely not bigger is second. With that and an ordinary hacksaw you can do all cutting needed. Next on my list would be an air compressor with a straight grinder.
    I can't give you any welder advice, after decades of gas welding, stick, MIG/MAG and TIG, I still think I'm an amateur.
    The thing you must have is a good, not too small, vice, rigidly mounted.
    But the main thing is to have the ordinary hand tools needed.
    And of course Workshop Manual for the bike.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Cyorg's Avatar
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    If you are going to be learning how to weld with flux core on a motorcycle frame, you are going to need one of these.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ACGSzBXKONo
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  6. #5
    Junior Member gusrus's Avatar
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    I have a drill and drill bits, angle grinder and hacksaw will be getting purchased in due course as I’ll need these for other things. Welders I’m still needing a hand with. I’ve been inspired by the Assae Honda hornet and the XTR Hornets and know that I’m going to at least need to do a little welding. I’m going to try and contact those two builders and see what their experiences were

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    Senior Member Cyorg's Avatar
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    As far as MIG goes, it depends on where in the world you are and what your budget is. Personally, I stick with major name brands like Lincoln or Miller, so if something goes wrong, I can get it fixed locally. Go watch a bunch of YouTube videos and figure out what features you want. Get the gas setup with it, so you don't have to rely on flux core all the time. Turning yourself lose on a frame with a welder is not a good place to start, even if it is just. a "hoop".
    I use a Lincoln 135, which I believe has now morphed into a 140. I have never used flux core with it and when welding outside, I use stick. Take a course at the local community college, they might even let you drag your frame into class and then the instructor can help keep you from getting in over your head.
    I like the Lincoln and have no regrets.
    Last edited by Cyorg; 02-09-2019 at 12:21 PM.
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    Senior Member XB33BSA's Avatar
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    those shitty china welders with flux core wire are for fools
    you would be 10 times better off with stick welding
    to be a beginner band learn pushing flux core is stupid because for one thing the technique is quite diff with flux core than any other
    second you cannot nsee the puddle worth shit
    the only way to go about learning welding is with oxy ace
    ffs you gotta have a torch set anyway and learning oxy ace weld is not difficult

  9. #8
    Senior Member Cyorg's Avatar
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    I would vote yes for oxy acetylene, but the tanks are a bit of a PITA . Rental fees, certification, transporting acetylene etc. Having them large enough to be worthwhile would make schlepping them up and down from his apartment annoying, not to mention it might raise an eyebrow or two. Brazing is a worthwhile art form and you can do it with oxy propane, so a smaller bottle of O2 (you can tell them it's for when uncle Harold visits) and the tank from the barbecue might not get the landlords knickers in a twist. I recently bought an Oxy propane setup which is strictly for heating , annealing, bending. No good for welding, but brazing is fine.

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    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gusrus View Post
    I'm looking at planning the build of a cafe racer project. It currently looks like it's going to be cb600 based as I've seen a few builds that seem on the whole relatively straight forward.
    Can you post some of these? Often what newbies think of as cool or straightforward often end up being hacked together death traps built almost solely to pose with on Instagram and not actually ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by gusrus View Post
    I'm going to be doing this on my driveway/in my apartment courtyard as I have no garage and I'm looking at doing as much of the work myself from a fabrication point.
    Well it sounds like the first thing you will need is a garage. If you are doing any kind of project that requires fabrication, and I mean real fabrication like welding and working with composites you need a place where you can just leave things for a few days and not have it contaminated by the elements. I'm not knocking driveway built bikes, but the ones that I have seen that have been successful were basically bolt on jobs, not heavy projects that require the bike to be half blown apart for months on end. I have seen englishmen do some fantastic restorations on their back patios, and even some amazing customs built, but those were done by experienced individuals who started with bolting on parts to a running bike and then progressed in their skills development over time, one project at a time on a running bike, till their were highly skilled. For a noob, the error rate and learning curve is just too high to have a successful experience working 100% out doors.

    To that end, I suggest you look for a different bike, one with a real aftermarket. Something like a CB750 SOHC you could do as a completely bolt on bike and it would work and you could ride it as you go, plus it leaves room for small fabrication projects later on if that is what you want to learn (maybe put that lazer cutter to real use and make your own rearset brackets).


    Quote Originally Posted by gusrus View Post
    LAser cutting I could maybe get done at my work of any components, paint and powder coating I can get done relatively locally and there is a motorcycle garage workshop a mile up the road from me who could probably help with any small problems I am having. I have hand tools such as spanners and socket sets and screw drivers and allen keys and saws. I'm wondering about what power tools I may need to purchase, I need to cut the rear portion of the frame a little bit so a reciprocating saw may be a handy purchase along with a hand angle grinder. I'm more concerned about any welding I have to do, I know some people say avoid flux core welders but I've been looking at videos and people seem to be getting decent welds out of them with maybe a bit more manual cleaning afterwards to clean them up. What are people experiences and would something like a 100amp unit be enough to weld in subframe parts or other bits.

    Cheers
    If you are going to work on a japanese bike, I suggest a set of JIS screwdrivers and an impact driver (not an impact gun). An honest to god drill press (not just a hand drill and a bunch of bits) is probably the most useful power tool for any motorcyclist looking to work on their own bike. I've rarely if ever used an angle grinder or sawsall, and honestly it's mostly a tool for hacks who just think it's cool to make sparks and rarely used properly. I know the interwebs are filled with vids of "custom bike builders" hacking and slashing away with abandon but that kind of makes my point, not contradicts it - it makes for good TV content, and mediocre custom bikes.
    540nova likes this.
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  11. #10
    Senior Member 540nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geeto67 View Post
    Can you post some of these? Often what newbies think of as cool or straightforward often end up being hacked together death traps built almost solely to pose with on Instagram and not actually ride.



    Well it sounds like the first thing you will need is a garage. If you are doing any kind of project that requires fabrication, and I mean real fabrication like welding and working with composites you need a place where you can just leave things for a few days and not have it contaminated by the elements. I'm not knocking driveway built bikes, but the ones that I have seen that have been successful were basically bolt on jobs, not heavy projects that require the bike to be half blown apart for months on end. I have seen englishmen do some fantastic restorations on their back patios, and even some amazing customs built, but those were done by experienced individuals who started with bolting on parts to a running bike and then progressed in their skills development over time, one project at a time on a running bike, till their were highly skilled. For a noob, the error rate and learning curve is just too high to have a successful experience working 100% out doors.

    To that end, I suggest you look for a different bike, one with a real aftermarket. Something like a CB750 SOHC you could do as a completely bolt on bike and it would work and you could ride it as you go, plus it leaves room for small fabrication projects later on if that is what you want to learn (maybe put that lazer cutter to real use and make your own rearset brackets).




    If you are going to work on a japanese bike, I suggest a set of JIS screwdrivers and an impact driver (not an impact gun). An honest to god drill press (not just a hand drill and a bunch of bits) is probably the most useful power tool for any motorcyclist looking to work on their own bike. I've rarely if ever used an angle grinder or sawsall, and honestly it's mostly a tool for hacks who just think it's cool to make sparks and rarely used properly. I know the interwebs are filled with vids of "custom bike builders" hacking and slashing away with abandon but that kind of makes my point, not contradicts it - it makes for good TV content, and mediocre custom bikes.
    Geeto, I agree with you 99.9% of the time, but an angle grinder is one of my most used tools.
    It came in handy when I built this CB350

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    jcw likes this.

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