AMF CHERRY BOMBER



Aug 26, 2016
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This is my second entry in the build off. I'm nearly finished my other bike (CCM CHALLENGER), and I think I have time to squeeze this one in over the holidays and the month long lockdown we're in up here in Ontario Canada.

Most of the build off I was waiting patiently for my frames to come back from powder coat. Luckily I got both back just before Christmas.

My second build starts with a westpoint badged AMF wedge frame. I picked up a cool set of AMF half wheel bars on ebay a while back that I think are pretty unique. I decided that this would be the bike that suits the set of NOS red grasshopper tires.
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My first build went in a completely different direction than I initially planned, so it will be interesting to see where this ends up. With little time remaining I'll have to finish this up with parts and pieces I have on hand. Speaking of parts on hand, I just got a shipment from Texas with a bunch of goodies in it that I may be able to use for this build.

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The name RED RIDER is just a place holder at this point, but you never know...... it might grow on me.
 

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Aug 26, 2016
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Awesome! Can't wait to see this one!

And now I know how to advertise that AMF sprocket protector I have! It's for a Wedge!
Is it in good shape?? LOL . Mine isn't too bad. I've been knocking it back into shape for the last hour.
 
Aug 26, 2016
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I got a lot done over the Christmas holidays. When I finished my first build I got right into the next one.

Again, I should have had some of the clean-up on small parts completed while I was waiting for paint, but I guess I was busy with other stuff. The pie plate guard on this was a little banged up, so I spent some time hammering out the bends before I gave it a bath in the evapo-rust. By the end of this post, you can see that I'm contemplating even using it at all. I was pretty set with what seat I was going to use for this build, so not a lot testing with that part. I was however struggling with what wheelset I would use, and after careful deliberation I decided to part out this near mint girls off brand banana seat bike. I've had it for years, paid $80 for it and it just has too many good parts to sell. And...... I was keeping it for my daughter, but since I got it, I've acquired many other cool bikes that she can have. There, now I don't feel so bad about taking apart a clean original bike.

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Aug 26, 2016
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I kinda took a quick detour after I had the seat and sissy bar chosen. Part of the reason I chose the sissy bar was because it had the perfect shape arc at the top for this NOS MacGregor sissy bar pad I had. The sparkle red is a really good match with the seat. This is the first time I've put a sissy bar pad on a build. I'm pretty fussy about how they match with the bar and the seat. I had to quickly make a new bracket to attach it because the one that came on it wasn't quite wide enough.

After that, it was back to some decision making with the chain guard. I mocked up the rescued pie plate, but I just wasn't feeling it on the bike. I'm also not a fan of how it hides the chain ring which has a nice design to it. So I forged on with how I was going to attach my other guard to the frame. Luckily I was able to find some random brackets in my parts pile that would work. Chain clearance was A-OK. I did end up coming back later and re-doing the down tube bracket because I needed to push the chain guard out a little further away from the chain ring. You'll see that detail in later pics.

You'll also notice that I had to modify the length of the chain guard slightly. I just snipped off the back end and left enough material to fold over the edge. This was easy to do in my bench vice. I drilled one new hole in the back and the guard was good to go.

Another thing I tried briefly was a really long stem for the handle bars. I thought it was good at first, but I left it on there for a day and it just didn't look right after that. I went back to the original stem, which was pretty much mandatory at that point, since it was the only stem I could find in the shop that would fit the head tube.

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Aug 26, 2016
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I usually leave the decals until the very end of a build, but as soon as I got the chain guard installed I was pumped to design what would go on it. I had a long list of possible names for the bike. Everything from Red Rider, Red Devil, Red Raider, Cherry Blaster, Red Baron, Crimson Clipper and so on. I decided I really liked Cherry Bomber because it can be associated with firecrackers and little kids getting up to no good on their bicycles. I also played around with the 60's machine gun accessory in the last post which I might use to fit the name in a different way. The bike could kind of be like a fighter jet with machine guns. Who knows? What little kid doesn't like a machine gun on their bike?

So I went to my go-to website for fonts and searched cherry. Sure enough there was a cherry bomb font, but I wasn't feeling it. I scrolled through a few more pages and found one I liked called Black Rocker. It has a sort of brushed on look to it which I likes, but it needed lots of editing in Illustrator. The best way to visualize how your decal will look is to scan it in to your computer and draw right on top of it. This also helps with sizing because a scanner will scan the guard in at actual size. Of course, I had to do this in two steps to capture the whole guard. As you can see from the pics, I ended up re-doing to decal in white on red instead of the original red. It just made it pop a little bit more.

When I got the guard done, my focus wandered to the shifter cabinet and I picked a shimano friction shifter that would fit the dual top tubes. Unfortunately I did not have any frame clamps, but this was easily rectified with the 3d printer. After taking a few measurements and drawing up a quick model, the clamps came off the printer in 20 minutes.

To go along with the red colour scheme of the bike, I also started to think of replacing the original shifter knob. I cast up a sample in a mold I had made up previously but, I'm not quite sure it fits the look I'm going for at this point. More experimentation later...

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I usually leave the decals until the very end of a build, but as soon as I got the chain guard installed I was pumped to design what would go on it. I had a long list of possible names for the bike. Everything from Red Rider, Red Devil, Red Raider, Cherry Blaster, Red Baron, Crimson Clipper and so on. I decided I really liked Cherry Bomber because it can be associated with firecrackers and little kids getting up to no good on their bicycles. I also played around with the 60's machine gun accessory in the last post which I might use to fit the name in a different way. The bike could kind of be like a fighter jet with machine guns. Who knows? What little kid doesn't like a machine gun on their bike?

So I went to my go-to website for fonts and searched cherry. Sure enough there was a cherry bomb font, but I wasn't feeling it. I scrolled through a few more pages and found one I liked called Black Rocker. It has a sort of brushed on look to it which I likes, but it needed lots of editing in Illustrator. The best way to visualize how your decal will look is to scan it in to your computer and draw right on top of it. This also helps with sizing because a scanner will scan the guard in at actual size. Of course, I had to do this in two steps to capture the whole guard. As you can see from the pics, I ended up re-doing to decal in white on red instead of the original red. It just made it pop a little bit more.

When I got the guard done, my focus wandered to the shifter cabinet and I picked a shimano friction shifter that would fit the dual top tubes. Unfortunately I did not have any frame clamps, but this was easily rectified with the 3d printer. After taking a few measurements and drawing up a quick model, the clamps came off the printer in 20 minutes.

To go along with the red colour scheme of the bike, I also started to think of replacing the original shifter knob. I cast up a sample in a mold I had made up previously but, I'm not quite sure it fits the look I'm going for at this point. More experimentation later...

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That's one fine decal you made for the chain guard. Nice job! This bike's going to be great when it's done!
 
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Aug 26, 2016
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Okay, this might jump around a bit, but I'm covering 3 things in this post. I had to figure out the caps for the frame, fenders, and the addition of the overload tube!!! Muahahahaha....

There are two style of AMF frames that have the metal caps in the frame with the mutli-coloured peace sign logo. Some frames have a smaller and larger set of these on each side, like the AMF Flying Wedge, and the frame I have has only one set.

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Unfortunately my caps were mangled with a ton dried up hot glue on the inside. One was good enough to save, but the other was toast. I decided to 3d print my own cap. If I had white filament on hand for my printer, I probably would have just stuck with that, but since I have white plastic resin, I decided to make a quick silicone mold of my 3d printed part. It worked okay but I made the walls a little thin and my first test broke when I tried to fit it into the frame. I ended up laying the cast parts flat and filling them up with a little more resin. I let that set up and then I had a nice smooth surface for the decal I cut on the vinyl cutter.

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I don't have many pics, but I gave the original fenders a bath in evapo-rust and spent a fair amount of elbow grease on them. I drilled out the original rivets for the fender braces and replaced them with these little dome head bolts which I seem to be running out of. I literally spent 2 hours sifting through parts bins to find the 4 I needed for the front and back fender. The front fender brace was pretty rough, so luckily I had a new one on hand to replace it with.
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The load of parts I got from Texas recently had a whack of shimano overload tube clamps which I have been searching for on ebay for years. I love the look of them on bikes, and since I have a bunch in stock, the Cherry Bomber gets some added bling. Somewhere along the way I picked up a bunch of the necessary cable ends needed for the install of the overload tube. There's a spring on the inside and you need that special cable end to hook on to it. GRAB parts whenever you can..... You never know when it will come in handy.

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You can also see that I added white vinyl circle decals to the back of the frame.
 

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Aug 26, 2016
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When I get going on one of these builds, the order of operations is somewhat routine, but sometimes I jump around to different parts of the bike with a flurry of creative inventiveness. I messed around with the shifter knob earlier, and I decided to revisit it when I found a random box of old billiard balls I had in the shop. Who knew these would come in handy later on down the road. Some minor hoarding pays dividends sometimes. Anyway, the box had all manner of sizes of pool balls which turned out to be helpful for shifter knobs and valve stem caps.
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I actually have a set of 8 ball valve stem caps that are commercially available, but I found a similarly sized set of red balls that I drilled out to accept some valve caps. The idea here was to drill out the numbered side, so that these little red rollers would morph into cherry bombs instead of billiard balls. I think the look goes well with the bike. I've even decided to make a mold of my 8 ball caps, so that I can cast round valve stem covers whenever I want.

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I found a few larger red 3 balls that seemed too perfect for shifter knobs on this bike. After all, it is a 3 speed bike. The white ball pictured is the same size, but it's like teflon and was easy to drill out. I used it as a sample and even made a mold from it. It was ok, but the surface quality of the ball itself did not produce a great part when I cast it in plastic. So, I decided to take the pool ball itself and cut out the slot on the CNC. The resulting cut is a really nice fit on the shimano stick shift handles. I'm still not totally sure if I'll keep this for the knob, because my original intention was to have the shifter knob resemble the chain guard decal. The round red ball would represent a larger Cherry Bomb.

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The picture above is deceiving. This is not a regulation sized pool ball.

I decided to make a mold of the pool ball because I knew that it would yield a glossier finished part. I'm sure somewhere down the road, I'll want to make or sell some custom knobs. Maybe one day we'll be allowed to have swaps again. Sigh.....
 

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When I get going on one of these builds, the order of operations is somewhat routine, but sometimes I jump around to different parts of the bike with a flurry of creative inventiveness. I messed around with the shifter knob earlier, and I decided to revisit it when I found a random box of old billiard balls I had in the shop. Who knew these would come in handy later on down the road. Some minor hoarding pays dividends sometimes. Anyway, the box had all manner of sizes of pool balls which turned out to be helpful for shifter knobs and valve stem caps.
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I actually have a set of 8 ball valve stem caps that are commercially available, but I found a similarly sized set of red balls that I drilled out to accept some valve caps. The idea here was to drill out the numbered side, so that these little red rollers would morph into cherry bombs instead of billiard balls. I think the look goes well with the bike. I've even decided to make a mold of my 8 ball caps, so that I can cast round valve stem covers whenever I want.

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I found a few larger red 3 balls that seemed too perfect for shifter knobs on this bike. After all, it is a 3 speed bike. The white ball pictured is the same size, but it's like teflon and was easy to drill out. I used it as a sample and even made a mold from it. It was ok, but the surface quality of the ball itself did not produce a great part when I cast it in plastic. So, I decided to take the pool ball itself and cut out the slot on the CNC. The resulting cut is a really nice fit on the shimano stick shift handles. I'm still not totally sure if I'll keep this for the knob, because my original intention was to have the shifter knob resemble the chain guard decal. The round red ball would represent a larger Cherry Bomb.

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The picture above is deceiving. This is not a regulation sized pool ball.

I decided to make a mold of the pool ball because I knew that it would yield a glossier finished part. I'm sure somewhere down the road, I'll want to make or sell some custom knobs. Maybe one day we'll be allowed to have swaps again. Sigh.....
I love how creative you are with this bike! You are totally speaking my language when it comes to using random objects on bicycles! Using actual (or at least miniature) pool balls for the shifter and valve caps? I love it! That's just too cool!
 
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Jul 16, 2019
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America's Friendly Hat
"She's got speed my babe
Got what I need my babe
She's got the ability
To make a man outta me

But most important of all
Let me tell you
My lady's got balls
She's got balls"
She's Got Balls
ACDC
 
Aug 26, 2016
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ACCESSORIES!!! Okay, I'll have to admit - I'm pretty picky about what accessories go on a bike. It's all about balance. I'm a true believer that other than Peewee's bike, you can have too many doo-dads attached to a frame. I'm very careful about what I add, so that the add-ons don't overwhelm the bike and take away from the overall look.

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This bike has taken me past my comfort zone, and I have steered dangerously close to a "BIG ADVENTURE", if you know what I mean. But.... I think it's working. I keep plowing forward and falling more in love with this build. Red after all, is the easiest frame colour to ad accessories to. My cabinet is filled with a large assortment of goodies that are predominantly RED!

I mentioned earlier that this is the first bike I've ever built with a sissy bar pad on it. Up until now, I had never found a set or combo that I liked. The nice American Huffy and Murray ones are hard to come by and very expensive. I have a huge assortment of radios as well, but very few of them have had the opportunity to grace the bars. I have the perfect NOS radio, horn, headlight for this build. It fits perfectly in the middle of the bars. I have two of them actually. The other one is black and will proudly stay in the case for now. When I drew up the decals for this bike, I also drew up a quick sticker for the radio. AMF radio? Sounds perfect to me.

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The Cateye rotating siren horn was an exercise in patience and perseverance. It took two NOS examples to make one good one. The internals of both switches had disintegrated over time. I spewed countless curse words for a couple of hours will I tried to re-solder wires and get the fragile parts of the switch back together. I trimmed most of the wire because it's ugly and I didn't want it draped over the frame anywhere. I also knew that I was going to mount it under the seat, just behind the seat post instead of the traditional sissy bar mount. This let me put the switch on the seat post, nice and accessible for the rider. And the bonus is, it works when I put batteries in it! It lights up as it should, but the horn sounds a little old and tired. Good enough at this point.

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The 60's Daido machine gun is a part I got at the local flea market. I tried to sell and trade it with no takers. I'm glad it managed to stick around, because it fits this build nicely. A Cherry Bomber needs a machine gun for sure. I bent up a custom bracket and off-set the mounting screw holes so the gun would shoot straight ahead. Again, I kept the button and the cord close and tidy, to satisfy my recently diagnosed bike OCD.

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As a kid I used to ride my bike to the local Canadian Tire hardware store and stare at the parts and accessories in the bicycle aisle. I always wished I had the money to buy parts to add to my bike. I never had the money to do it, but I dreamed about it constantly. Seeing Peewee's Big Adventure in 1985 solidified this dream.

So all these years later, I'm spending late nights in my garage building the ultimate Peewee style muscle bike. And now I can buy whatever parts I want. It's too bad they're not still at Canadian Tire. They were much cheaper back then.
 

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