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View Full Version : Gladiator - Giving it a go.



HiSmith
02-26-2013, 07:07 AM
I started to build a Gladiator trike today and thought it might be nice to post the progress.

Started off the day going to a junk yard to get some inspiration and possibly rims and bike parts.
No rims, bike parts or inspiration. Not a good start.
Next I visited a salvage wheel shop. Found a pair of rims for $40. Probably could have talked him down more or found them cheaper somewhere else, but I was just excited I found the rims and was ready to get to work on them. I did show the guy a picture of the Gladiator from the AZ website and he wanted to show it to all the other guys at the shop. He said he would give me a great deal on the tires when i was ready for them, for whatever that is worth.
At first i used a cut-off wheel. I didn't think it was removing enough weld so I switched to a grinder wheel. After much of the material was removed I switched back to the cut-off wheel.

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I was banging the heck out of the area near the weld with no movement what so ever. Turns out I didn't remove enough of the weld as is evident with the left over weld on the rim.
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Even though there was weld left on the rim it doesn't mean i didn't cut to deep into the rim in a whole bunch of places. My buddy gave me a quick lesson in MIG welding and there you have it....my first bead.
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My buddy suggested I use bondo to fill the hole since i was going to paint it anyway. But I figured I might as well get some practice with welding. Then I used a sanding disc to grind down the weld. Followed by a polishing wheel. Then I washed the rims with soap and water.
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Not sure if I'll paint them anymore. Kinda like the chrome.

Ticktock
02-26-2013, 07:28 AM
Hi from China,
Great to see you have made start, and got somewelding practice.
If you rims were chrome, you will need to get them redone later, as they will rust pretty quick without some protection.
If you go with chrome, you can' t use body filler . And I would not get wheels chromed at the start of a build. I know it means extra practice at wheel building, but if I was going to chrome (or even paint wheels like tha)t, I would do a quick build on the wheels, just to build the bike, then take them all to bits, paint or chrome, and reassemble the shiney new bits with no scratches or weld burns etc.
Steve G,
Beijing

Radical Brad
02-26-2013, 09:38 AM
Greets!

One of the most labor intensive steps is now behind you, thanks for the post.

Brad

Tradetek
02-26-2013, 12:41 PM
Wow! Really was not expecting those final pictures of nice shiny rims based on the first photo!

Nice job on that cleanup.

Bill

SirJoey
02-26-2013, 09:45 PM
Wow! REALLY nice work on the rims! :punk:



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HiSmith
02-27-2013, 08:00 AM
And I would not get wheels chromed at the start of a build.
Yes, I plan on building the bike first. Then I will paint or chrome or pin strip or whatever...

HiSmith
02-27-2013, 08:23 AM
Today I only got a little bit down but man was it a pain.
Pulled up the 28 hole hub template on the computer and printed it out to see how big it really was. Its big. Then I opened the file in photoshop and doubled it on one page to have extras in case i mess up, and printed it without changing the size. Printed perfectly. I guess photoshop will almost always print actual size. Unlike the image veiwer that will print it how ever it wants.
So I cut out a template and spray mount it to the 2" washer. Takes a few tries to line it up perfectly.
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Then I use a center punch and hit every dot. After I stack two washers and sandwich them between two smaller washers and a piece of scrap wood with a bolt and nut.
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After I transfer to the drill press and drill out ever hole. Don't try stacking more then two of the hub washers. I first tried with all four and failed miserably. Broke 4 drill bits and had to go back to home depot and buy more washers. The washer are only $0.40 but i wasted a bunch of time and few too many drill bits and a bit of pride.
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Then mounted each hub washer to the piece of wood with some screws and used the 3/8 drill bit on a screw gun to bevel the holes. I think it is much easier to control and much faster then the drill press for this part. Just a second or two on each hole. And BLAMO! Hubs for my trike.
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This has been my least favorite part so far. Very mind numbing, but I am happy with the result.

Radical Brad
02-27-2013, 10:06 AM
Just be glad you don't work in a bicycle hub flange factory!
Nice work on the flanges!

Brad

Ticktock
02-27-2013, 11:17 AM
It is easier to drill one flange at a time--but you got good results here, just as you did on those rims.
Bit of oil will help heep the rust off until you get round to paint or chrome.
Make sure you drill the rims with the holes at the right angles for the spokes, and use a drill just a bit larger than the body of the nipple, and you won't get bent spokes near the rims.
Steve G
Beijing

SirJoey
02-27-2013, 01:00 PM
Wow, this takes me back to some of the wheels I've built.
Been down this road several times myself. Nice work there!

I always wanted to build this one. Bought the plans several years ago, but never got around to it.
Unfortunately, since losing my home, I'd no longer have a place to store it, so no point in
building something just to let it sit out in the weather & ruin. :(

But hey, I can still live the adventure vicarously through YOU, right? :D



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HiSmith
02-28-2013, 12:25 AM
Good tips. Thanks.

HiSmith
02-28-2013, 12:35 AM
Gonna take a few days off to work out the frame in my mind. Also, I tried my local bike shop and they wanted $3 per spoke. The next place I went to only wanted $1.50. Way too much for me. So I bought them from eBay for about 47 each including nipples. I'll have to wait for the delivery to continue on the wheels but at least I am not spending $300 for just the spokes.

Chopper King
02-28-2013, 04:08 AM
Gonna take a few days off to work out the frame in my mind. Also, I tried my local bike shop and they wanted $3 per spoke. The next place I went to only wanted $1.50. Way too much for me. So I bought them from eBay for about 47 each including nipples. I'll have to wait for the delivery to continue on the wheels but at least I am not spending $300 for just the spokes.


hey HiSmith
I too went to my local bike shop and they asked $1.20 for stainless steel spokes (nipples included) and 50 cents for steel spokes (nipples included and chromed to whatever colour i like) cant beat that deal