Another approach to making tadpole steering tubes

Nov 17, 2023
NW Florida
Maybe this has been done before, but some might find it interesting.
I signed on here, as I'm attempting to build a Street Fox trike - "Attempting" is the operative word here.
Since I'm doing it in a very confined space, I have to do some things differently from the way the plan describes -
For one, I can't use Brad's method of setting the trike up, and walking around, "eyeballing" the angles - There's just no room.
And I can't take it outside, to do it, as there's no flat, level spot. So, I have to pre-calculate things, like the steering tube center point.

Also, I'm using a TIG welder, and that doesn't translate well, to the fill-welding that Brad does with his stick welder.
But, since I do have some machine tools, this is what I came up with:
I made the axle mounts (Brad calls them "tabs"), from 1 3/8" steel bar, with just a clean up pass in the lathe, and turned a short spigot on one end, for a tight slip fit in the tubes.

Then, on my mill, I set them up, using angle blocks in the vise, to 12º (the measured center point angle, from drawing it out full size), and cut the outer faces.
Next, flipped them over, set the outer face on parallels, and took a level cut to make the inner faces, and then drilled them.
No rocket science here, as I'm not much of a machinist, but it was very tedious.

I then just inserted them, and welded around the perimeter.
Sadly, my welds came out even uglier than I usually do, as I guess there was some contamination in the tubes, and I had to go back over some places.
The photo explains it better than I just did, as it shows some "extras" I made - You always need to make extras.:rolleyes:
Now, If I can figure out how to do the rest of this project..........

May 31, 2013
South Benfleet, Essex, England, UK
Nice job! Very elegant.
Yup MIG is very much "spray it on" to whatever depth thickness you wish.
Though I use TIG currently I bought a very cheap Inverter MIG just because I can. :)
It is yet to be fired up though. ;)