Shaving Fork Legs
I took some pictures of how I shaved the legs on my forks for my “Memento Mori” ironhead.
The original 35mm Showas were beat to hell, and had these big tabs for the fender which I certainly wasn’t going to run.
I started by marking out some rough cuts with a sharpie. I’ll whack off the bulk of the material with a 4.5" cutoff wheel on my angle grinder.
There is (well, was) a big pad where the reflector mounted. Ick.
I’ll use a grinding disk to knock off some of the bulk.
Time to get to work.
The wheel will only reach about half way through the tab, so I’ll need to cut from both sides. With any luck I will avoid digging into the part of the leg I want to keep.
Almost all the way through…
OK, that’s half of one fender lug gone. Three more to do. Notice that I didn’t try to cut it flush, the idea is just to remove the bulk.
I used a belt sander to knock down most of what was left next, still leaving excess material. You don’t want to gouge the rest of the leg!
I used a special no-load hard disc made for grinding aluminum to knock down the reflector pad. If you work carefully you can do the whole job with just an angle grinder, finishing with a D/A or a file.
The area where “Showa” was imprinted on the leg was deeper than the surface of the leg, so bead blasted it to clean it…
and welded it up
To make sure I got a super-straight surface I used my lathe to turn down the remaining material. I used a three jaw chuck to grab the top, and made this little piece to fit into the hole in the bottom so I could support it with a live center.
I took really light cuts, no point in cutting too deep or flinging the leg at this point…
Here is the leg a little further along. My goal was to cut as little off the OD of the leg as possible to get a smooth and straight surface.
This is the last cut.
The blue marker is what I attacked next, using a 3" D/A and some cartridge rolls. I blended all of the sharp edges and removed the casting flash. Then I used some fine belts on the belt sander to smooth out the leg.
The last step was to send it to the chrome shop. They came out really nice
Here are the legs at three different stages:
Here they are, ready to go to chrome.
And here is the (nearly) finished bike at the Smoke Out West"