Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Westminster Maryland
Hey Scott ! Fellow DIY'er. I'm curious about your nicname ?
I'm a Taildragger pilot myself, build and maintain Sport biplanes. Own a Pitts S1S bipe. I fabricate parts for many different types of projects in my own home machine shop also. I work with aluminum, lots of chrome molly steel, steel, some stainless, and also some fiberglass.
Now I like your DIY approach to your lowers. And have a few positive issues for you to add to your project if needed. The do look pretty good, my constructive comments:
Every place you removed the top coating on your aluminum parts, hack sawed, filed, sanded, drilled is now opened to raw aluminum, the stock parts are coated for corrosion protection. And you have to watch out for dissimilar metal caused corrosion, steel or galvanized screws going through raw aluminum will be a corrosion point. As you know aluminum don't really rust, it just turns white and starts coming apart if exposed to the elements. One solution would be to put a good clear coat of enamel paint on the aluminum parts, this would extend the life of the parts. And although I can't see the screws and hardware you used, I use Stainless steel cap screws allot, even though stainless does rust, contrary to belief, it's much slower than steal and if protected they will last a long time. As far as strength now, this is low strength general purpose aluminum, used for GP stuff in doors, windows and what have you, it's not structural like Aircraft aluminum would be. And you tension bolted/screwed it into your existing windshield aluminum brackets. Point here is the screw strength, in tension and also side loading in sheer. your total strength here is in your two mounting screws. I doubt if it would hurt anything if one of the screws breaks from the wind load on the shields. But it could surprise you if one lets go and starts banging around. I would be interested in how well they hold up to the wind loads, I'm just guessing at your bracket thickness, what 3/4 angle by 1/8 thick ? I use this stuff all the time also, but never in a critical stressed area. Btw, I'm using a set of Bucks lowers I got off of Ebay for 50 bucks. Now it's hardware is much larger and they are angled the same as the forks, where yours are straight up and down. Like I said I'm looking forward to seeing how these hold up for you. I realize we all learn from the various things we make, so good wishes to your low cost project. And welcome aboard. Stay safe.
07 Stratoliner S with MS Batwing, MS lowers, Buck lowers, custom large trunk rack, King tourpack trunk, air horn, See me Now tail light and headlight pulser mods. Led lighting all over. Night rider tail light setup on the trunk.