Saturday, May 23, 2015

2015 Club meet and swap

2015 AMCA Pictures part 1

First series of bikes at the meet.
 Flat Head 45 Servi no box.
 Servi's have left hand throttle so parking enforcement could hold chalk stick in right hand.

One of my brothers soaking in the fumes and nice weather we had.

Knuckle carbs right side
 Police bike. Carb on left side.
Wishbone frames always my favorite.   

More pictures coming....

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Club Meet Field of Bikes.

Teaser Picture from Club Meet

Stay tuned to this bike channel for more to come after this break.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Antique Motorcycle Swap Meet and Show

Everyone is invited to the Antique motorcycle club of America's annual show and swap meet in Denton North Carolina 05/15/15. Vintage motorcycles of all makes welcome, vendors may have that vintage part you've been searching for. Bring the wife, bring the kids, it's all good.

Jockey Shift Knob

Jockey Shift Knob
Working for Ten years in the aircraft parts manufacturing business and day dreaming of making our own parts we just couldn't wait any longer. I've done many things over the years but getting out in my own shop, designing, taking our vision and ideas, making the models and prototypes has to be the most enjoyable thing of this nature I've done. Nothing like taking an idea, putting it on paper then to machine to produce something solid from nothing is so satisfying. Weird as it may sound but sometimes I have an idea but not solid in my mind. I can chuck in a piece of metal and like wood to a wood carver, the metal speaks to me and shows me where to go with it. Times I have been toying with a new concept part and I see something in the way the cutter or form tool is working, the way the chips are coming off and as the piece turns something magical begins to appear and I go with it. Not everything goes as penciled out on the drafting sketch, and that my friends is when the magic appears.  

These are threaded for 3/8" - 24 shafts, although we can thread them for any jockey shift custom shaft thread size you need in standard or metric.

A cool art deco look to complement any build new or old. Rounded corners for a smooth comfortable feel and a protective polished finish.

Approximately 1 3/4" long by 1 1/2" Diameter. Made from 6061 T6 extruded and turned aluminum and near 5 oz of weight. Coghill Model : JSK0502151034   Get your hand around one and hold on.

Stay tuned for more from out little humble shop. We make parts for motorcycle and automotive from one off designs, ideas and sketches and sometimes just pure durned luck. It all depends sometimes on where Pop and Fred lead us to go.

IronHead Exhaust Baffle

Ironhead Exhaust Baffle

I have had drag pipes on my bikes for years, and this was cool then but not as much to me now. You realize at four thirty A.M just how loud they are. If you get along with most your neighbors this is a problem, if you don't like your neighbors it's not a problem at all. The other problem has always been a tuning problem. After getting carb set, things get out of whack and you have to retune the carburetor again and again. The idle gets sporadic and needs constant adjusting depending on the temperature outside. Adjust carburetor for low end around town it's fine, hit the highway and it wants to spit, sputter and hesitate when you need to throttle up the most. Simple cruising interstate is okay until you stab the gas to pass, then it stubbles, you let off it clears, you ease back into it as the engine winds up to that sweet spot RPM range and then hold on, the power curve/power band kicks in and your off like a shot. Then when slowing or going down hills you get the pop, pop, blue flames, pop, popping. Stop and readjust; It's all good for awhile but then it just gets plain old ...well old. You just want to ride without annoying anyone and enjoy the ride. I still want to be seen and heard but not at the extreme level of the Drag Pipes, because yes, even the Police hear you coming and see you and even if your not speeding it can sure sound like it and get you pulled. In the 70's and 80's they'd stop you and put a night stick in the pipe, no baffle and you got an illegal exhaust ticket.
Who needs the hassle anymore? Not me, I'm getting to be an old fart. My bike, with the open Drag Pipes, has this really mean aggressive growl sound when getting into it, even moderately hard, that's hard to explain and I love it. It seems only old Ironheads have this sound and it's like no other Harley or brand on the road. Even had other riders remark about the meanness of the sound it makes.
But, I also don't want a super quiet bike either like some out there. The ones that almost have no sound at all with huge mufflers that look like they weigh in at two hundred pounds of extra mileage robbing weight. They hold a lot of heat too, which ironically is good for fuel consumption range. But Drag pipes are only good for high RPM ranges in reality and hurt mileage in the long run. Plus, as stated, are a real sore spot for engine tuning and you have to run a bit rich to get a sort of compromise around town and highway. Drag pipes are really for racing and not the street. At the Drags you get the revs up at the line then nail the crap out of it in the upper RPM range because that is where your engine runs best with these. Get the gas in, get the exhaust out faster for a new charge and then off. But again, on the street, it ain't so sweet.

So I went and obtained me a set of baffles from Three Stooges Cycle out in the county. He had a dust covered brand new set he produced from somewhere in the back of the store room and gave me a deal on them.
Last year I spent days cleaning up this old Ironhead to make it all Purdy, after a few caught in the rain rides I remembered I like riding more than cleaning. That's not dirt and road grime on there though, that's patina and you only get that with riding not showing. But notice the no baffled pipes.  
here is how the baffle looks at the exit side of things. Luck would have it that the pipes were already drilled from manufacturer for installing these. One less step I had to do. 

Here is the entry end with those little tangs in there to aid in quieting noise levels and give a bit of back pressure and street bike needs. Helps with engine pulses also which give better all around engine throttle response.

Here is the pipe with baffles installed.  During my ride I noticed the extreme noise level was lessor by far although the aggressive growl was not there as it was before. The throttle response was much smoother and through a larger range with lower revs. Bottom end take off power is better and the engine pulls easier along a much broader length. Small twists of the throttle produces far more pulling power than it did before and is almost spot on when I need it. I have not noticed any loud snap popping when slowing down or going down hills and oddly to me it feels like the buzzing in the foot pegs is much lessor than before. She feels more like a wolf in sheeps clothing now although still moderately loud but nothing compared to the before extreme loud. Cruising the national parks and parkway is going to be way nicer for me, the animals and others who want to enjoy the serene areas without my monster Ironhead shaking the ground and airwaves.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Shift Knobs for motorcycle Jockey shift + cars and trucks

US Machine and Cycle

Yep, that's us. Pretty soon we will be full time making parts and accessories for motorcycles, cars and trucks. A new site will be made soon.
Since my fathers passing, and most recently one of my uncles, I have done a lot of thinking. A lot of thinking. I remember my father telling the story of how his retiring boss had him come over to his home in 1961 and explained to my father how and why he should go into business for himself. He was doing all the work and long hours to only bring home a small fraction of what he was earning for the company. His old boss even acted as a mentor in the early years of my fathers business and soon it flourished and he became the go to guy by even his previous employer.
I am encouraged by Hugh's Handbuilt after watching him go from nothing to hiring employees and becoming well known in the motorcycle world. Splawn belting in Burlington North Carolina began much as my father did. NYC CNC is another of whom I've been keeping an eye on, this guy literally began in his apartment learning himself how to make things on a lathe and mill only a few years ago. Now NYC CNC has backing by Tormach and others.
I'm inspired by my own wife who, with my encouragement when the going was rough in the beginning, has successfully been running her own business for nineteen years of our twenty three year marriage. With her, part of my venture is already easier because of her business knowledge of the boring yet tough part of record keeping, licensing and operations. I have her backing, encouragement and blessing to do this.

Then there too is the knowledge that already during just a two week period I, as my father did, have made the company I currently work for in excess of $61874.87 which is two years worth of my salary including over time. I make a lot of high end parts for the company so you do the math as I alone with the machines I run bring them in over a million a year.
I have a small engine degree, have rebuilt/restored engines and motorcycles, have a working knowledge of parts plus many years of other business related experiences in both trucking and warehousing, sales and scheduling plus operations etc. Crazy at my age to begin anew but being a company man several times over and never getting where I should be by now, watching others move up because they needed me more where I was. I've had privy to read documents and letters my father had in files, information that says as his old boss Mr. Wrenn told him, "You work long hard hours and they make plenty off of you. Why not work hard and put that money in your pocket ?" It won't all be easy but it won't be all hard either so I got me a plan and it's moving along rather quickly. I can hear my father now "You can do it boy, all you ever needed to do was get on with it. As long as your breathing it's never to late. Keep your nose to the grind stone, stay on track, know where your headed  be good to others on the way up and never ever lose sight of who you are."     

Below are just a nutshell of items being produced while many others are on paper just waiting.

Need to dress up that column shifter on your Nova, Ventura, Omega, Impala, Camaro? We have it right here.
Made from 6061T-6 aluminum. If it's good enough for aircraft, it should good enough for your car, truck or motorcycle.

This one is installed on a 1974 Nova.

A compression tube is used to insure a good snug fit.

Both of these styles (above and below) are available for Jockey Shift Motorcycles as well.
 Here is the Coghill line of knobs model for Ford trucks.
Shifter knobs for Ford Ranger, F100 and F150. This design has an index finger groove in the center and three stepped finger tapers below that. Allows for faster more positive controlled shifts. You also get a better feeling of transmission instead of the deadened feel of a plastic knob. Get your fingers around one and hold on.
Coghill model installed in a 1999 Ford F150

We produce frame bungs of various sizes and thread counts from 17-4 stainless steel, 4130 or 4140 steels. The ones pictured are arte 3/4 D" X 1 L" 5/16-18 threads. We also make spacers from steel or aluminum. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Collet Chuck For Smithy 1220 XL

Collet Chuck For Smithy Lathe

Sure, boring for you but exciting stuff for my shop. This new 5C collet chuck for my Smithy Lathe is just the ticket for precise making of parts.

I cleaned it up from the packing grease with Charcoal Lighter fluid. Lighter fluid is great at removing grease, sure, those big companies don't want you to know that. 
 Here is a three quarter collet installed for me to play around a little bit.
Turned this test piece, forward, back, tapered, faced and grooved to see how well this collet setup would work. It worked perfectly. I have a collet stop as well to aid in quicker load and finish time when making motorcycle parts now.  
Picture of parts packaging for small parts. I noticed the misspelling only now as I look at it. Gotta fix that 'eh.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

E-Cig Holder

E-Cig Holder

Made this model in the shop today.

It's an E-Cig holder, they are supposed to be stored upright when not in use.

Would look fine on an executives desk or yours so it won't tip over and great to use when recharging it too.
I know, it's not a motorcycle part but my wife wanted one and gave me a drawing to work from she did. I took designers license and changed a few things and this is the result. When I use to work a lot with wood, the wood at some point would dictate the final outcome of the piece as you worked it. Same with metal it seems, as I was working it, the metal turning process will materialize and my mind would go "Hey, you should do this and that.." and a picture of the finished product would enter my brain. Kinda cool how the metal works with you like that. Maybe it's because I'm happy and relaxed when I get in my shop to create something from a mundane piece of material, it's even better when it works out the first go-a-round.   

Saturday, February 07, 2015

My Smithy 1220 Lathe

At work I run a Haas ST 10 and further below an SL 20 Haas, sometimes I have to use an old Hardinge manual lathe. Both of the Haas lathes are CNC of course and are very tuff and reliable machines. It seems that in my memory the SL 20 has only had to have a tech work on it perhaps, maybe six times in almost ten years. The chip auger has always been a pain in the ass though as it clogs up all the time; the bar feeder attachment wants to mis-feed by either feeding out to much or mostly not enough resulting in dead parts unless I stand right there when using the bar feeder mode. Other than that it's pretty reliable still.
The ST 10 is pretty sweet, also pretty new, it has a chip conveyor so no clogging and the bar feeder on it is spot on every time. Other than keeping an eye on the tool wear it will run consistently all day long. I may have to get one for my shop.

Enough about those, let's take a look at my little Smithy lathe.

The Smithy 1220 lathe/mill combo below does have a powered carriage for the Z axis but everything else has to be moved by hand. Looking on the net there just doesn't seem to be much out there on these lathes. Not even more than four or five videos on you tube either and they are hard to find for sale. People either love them or hate them, me, I really like mine and while it could have a little more grunt for taking off heavier cuts I deal with it - a more powerful motor should be an easy upgrade for more power - plus you have to take more time to make good parts. The whole thing is just getting use to the machine and sneaking up on your final finish dimensions. A quick change tool post would speed up the process of tool changes and eliminate shimming tools plus give a wider range of tooling options. This one comes with a three jaw chuck although I'm ordering a 5C collet chuck for it as it will grip the bar stock firmly and parts when I need to flip them to finish the other side as well as not mark up parts as the three jaw chuck will do. As it is, when I have to chuck in the finished side of a part it's good practice to use masking or painters tape to avoid marking up the parts. This is true of any manual lathe with the three or four jaw setup. Another future item is another type of collet chuck that will fit in the tailstock end for greater range of tooling usage on that side of things.
To be honest, I had been looking at Atlas, Hardinge and Sears Craftsman lathes for my shop (note: Atlas made all the older craftsman lathes) as they can be found affordably. Purchase of the lathe is only the first cost, the tooling is almost always not there with it or is minimal. If you get into home machining you will soon find you have a ton more money invested in the tooling than the lathe ever cost you. A Plus for a Smithy is they have good customer support, plenty of accessories to enhance your modeling or parts experience and so far has been for me a pretty good little unit. Sure, some things may need adjustment to get the backlash to a minimum and the working range has it's short comings you need to allow for. Minuses are finding used tooling for it, power could be more and the tool post could be much better to allow for greater range of tooling types to be used. Shars tools has a host of tooling that are both good quality and affordable, Micromark also has some good items that can be used on the Smithy. If you've never used a lathe before always remember that every diameter measurement has to be half of what you want to take off the material. So if say, you have a one and a half rod you want to take half an inch off of you need to set your dials up to take off only a quarter inch. A piece of rod has two sides and if you set your dial to take off a whole half inch guess what, you'll take off an inch. Not at all like running my CNC lathes which will automatically adjust this for you. Remember with a hobby lathe, even with the Smithy lathe, you can get really good results with plain old practice. You yourself are what tells the machine what amount to take off the material your turning. I think many think the machine is the problem when actually it is the lack of the beginners experience that is the culprit. I don't see many of these machines for sale which leads me to think people actually like them and hang onto them but are afraid to admit it. Otherwise wouldn't you think they would be found for sale all over the place. It's like back in my day in high school, nobody admitted they liked the band KISS or country music but sometimes from under the seat would slide out a KISS tape or Hank Williams. Johnny Cash though, even we rockers liked Cash.         

I acquired my machine used from a friends family who's father we knew passed away ten years ago. He had worked at General Electric til he retired. He purchased this unit and used it from time to time at his own shop on his property. His shop had a host of different machines he used for making artificial limbs and other prototypes for the likes of Duke University and others, his hobby though was repairing old watches for one. The shop sat idle all these years and his Grandsons had no interest in any of the equipment, they all agreed that their Grandfather, Fred, would like me to have it so it would get some good use. They offered it to me and I asked how much and they told me they wanted me to have it for free if I could use it. Their mother, our good friend, would not take a dime for it even after I told her what it was probably worth. So I got this machine and around two or three thousand dollars worth of tooling and vices, drills, V Blocks, measuring tools (Starrett and Brown & Sharpe), end mills, reamers dead centers, live centers, half centers, chucks etc. etc.  
I'm pretty pleased with it and the more I use it the better the motorcycle parts, tools and more seem to come out.      

Below is the other HAAS CNC like the one I run. Big difference between this and a Smithy, the programming on the CNC will do all the tool changes and calculations mostly for you, on any manual lathe you are the operating program and system.  

So look for more motorcycle stuff coming off my little Smithy on here, I also guess I'll be the only one on the whole net showing the usage of a 1220 Smithy Lathe.