Custom Fabrication Costs

Discussion in 'BIKE TALK' started by partsguy, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. partsguy

    partsguy

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    Hey guys, I've got a 1966 Huffy Eldorado in a hard to find "Coppertone" color. It's in pretty good shape except the headlight is missing. Huffy built nice bikes back in the day but whether the bike was sold at the dealership or was a rebadged bike for a dept store, they all had one flaw and Huffman never seemed to learn. The parts that should have been metal were plastic and from the factory often fit poorly. I'm talking about all the lenses, fender ornaments, and headlights that all broke soon after they were new. The '64-'67 tank lights are the worst. there are four holes in the tank for screws and the headlight bezel was only made for two. That and all of the weight inside from batteries broke them easily from the bumps in the road.


    I have a mens headlight on my '65 Silver Jet in reasonably decent shape. How much would it cost me to get that reproduced? I mean, for multiple bikes? And in metal? I'll use something else for the fender ornament but a nice bike like this should have it's proper headlight.
     
  2. Probably cost more in labor to have one custom made than the bike is worth. Maybe you can get some metal and make one yourself? There are plenty of metalworking videos on YouTube to give you an idea of how to do it.
     
  3. partsguy

    partsguy

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    I suppose I could but I don't have a welder so any method I use can't involve welding because by the time I buy one I might as well pay a shop to make the part.
     
  4. MonsterMetal

    MonsterMetal

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    I have no idea how long it would take to make but just for reference my shop rate is $85/hr Just to build the patterns and bucks to make a light would take most of a day.
     
  5. I'd say if the part isn't that big get yourself a block of billet aluminum and start carving away with a Dremal tool or die grinder.
     
  6. abe lugo

    abe lugo

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    This is what i would do..
    Best way have the part scanned in 3D, have a 3d modeler take that file clean it up, print a copy with proper wall thickness, check to see if the lens still fit or fits where its supposed to go. clean that part up and have a resin cast made. From here you can either paint it with an chrome paint system or do another print with a thicker wall thickness and have it sand cast in aluminum.
    If you have anything stamped in metal, you need 3d file anyways to cut the tool.. But tooling can cost a lot of money like a couple thousand dollars, then there is seeing if a factory would make such a small quantity. If you have a friend to has a metal stamping company, that helps.

    If you thich some one will just replicate a small part in steel cheap, not going to happen.


    Your be spending morth than its worth for such a niche market piece and once you start producing more than a few piece for yourself, you run the risk of losing it all if you don't license the part through whoever owns the Huffy name.


    Or you can just buy a whole bike just for the mint headlight cover it has and sell the rest.
    Or find and nos part that cost a bunch of money, but still cheaper than build repops.
     
  7. B607

    B607

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    Hey Larry good to see you on here again! Gary
     
  8. partsguy

    partsguy

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    I would buy a parts bike but these headlights are pretty rare in good condition. That is an interesting point on the Huffy copyright.
     
  9. RichL

    RichL

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    Expanding on what abe lugo says, after a cleaned up 3d copy is made converting thatnto gcode a 3d cnc mill can runoff the parts in aluminum. If you do all the prep and findnamsmall shopnwillingnto work with you... You might be able to get them to do a small run for you. Trouble is your passion for this does not necessarily mean it would be profitable, not in the numbers a business wants to here :eek: so you need to make the investment in time, research and debugging to make the process less pricey from your end. If there is a market formthese parts using the same techniques you can make a business of supplying them :mrgreen:

    Rich
     
  10. Another option is find a place that does 3d printing, I know they can now do aluminum so you may look into that. Again you'll need a 3d rendering and all that but it might be cheaper since the machine does most of the work. If you have no idea what I'm talking about watch this video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSjjrEni_sY
     
  11. abe lugo

    abe lugo

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    3D printing steel is still not that great, you still have to have finish work done if you want a super smooth part.
    I would just mold a clean 3D print, cast it a a nice strong resin and them have it VUM'd or chrome painted. Either way you'd still be a 3-5K in the hole. I don't see anyone paying more that 100.00 for a custom headlight part unless it was the full assembly. Just wait it out and one will show up on ebay, eventually.
     
  12. partsguy

    partsguy

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    Oh no, I know I can't make money one them, this isn't a business venture. This was for my wn personal bikes. I can maybe try making a more simple one of the same general shape out of sheet aluminum and tin snips...
     
  13. Or get an old coffee can or oil can and beat it into submission with a ball peen hammer, drill it out and put two Harbor Freight flashlights in it, and make it "Rat Rod Bikes" style! :mrgreen:
     
  14. axsepul

    axsepul

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    nice idea
     

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