Sunday, February 19, 2012

We Need Those Stinkin' Badges, Part 2 (+ some brazing)

Bending the Badge

If you haven't read it yet, here's We Need Those Stinkin' Badges, Part 1.

I made one more badge at a slightly smaller size a few days ago.  Today I decided to get it finished and ready to attach to the bike.  I started by trimming the excess off carefully with the band saw and this giant sanding disk.  Then I lightly sanded the raised bits with a fine grit sand paper.  That really set off a nice contrast between the higher and lower sections.

The next step was to curve the metal to fit the front of the head tube.  One of the guys at Techshop was nice enough to cut a half-cylinder out of a piece of wood for me with the same radius as the tube (I haven't gotten checked out on the wood shop machines yet).  I initially tried hammering the plate directly into the wood form with a mallet... but I couldn't get the angles right with the mallet I had.  For my second attempt, I sandwiched the sheet between the form and a scrap piece of head tube and then squeezed them all in a vice.  It worked... and also cracked the form down the middle.

For the final piece, I held the form together from side to side with a clamp, and then used a combination of the mallet, a second clamp, and the vice to get everything straight and squished together.  I used a sheet of paper towel to help the metal slide over the wood without leaving little scrapes near the edges as it was pressed inwards.

When released from the form, the plate sprang back a bit, making the sides pull away from the tube.  Some work with the mallet, first squishing the whole thing a bit, then spreading it back open over the tube, solved that.  Because the mallet was plastic, and much softer than the metal, it didn't mess with the etch.

I encased the badge in a layer of rubber that someone happened to be messing with, to prevent corosion until I could clear-coat it... and then immediately found out that there was clearcoat up for grabs.  So, I cut it out and used that.

Here it is finished!

More Brazing 

I also did a test-braze today.  It turned out messy.  As usual, I had issues flowing filler over the top of the lug, but I got most of it underneath.  When I cut the joint open, it looked like it was pretty well filled with one small gap.  I think it could have been used on a frame without much danger, which is reassuring.


  1. So far I've gotten a lot of good feedback on this badge. It looks even nicer in person. I don't think I'm going to bother inking the etched parts.

  2. Villas from NorwayApril 6, 2012 at 3:58 AM

    Extremely good work, here! Nice blog! :D


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