Custom Softail Bagger

HarleyCruiser

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139
Time to everything smoothed out and down to the line.




I’m using a variety of tools that I have acquired over the years, this is a stationary sanding station, it is very handy for flat areas.



This is an oscillating sander it goes up and down and around at the same time, very handy, when this was given to me for my birthday I thought I would never use it, but it is one of my favorite tools. Great for sanding up to the line.





This is a rasp in my drill press.



And there it is the edges sanded smooth.
Next is the quick mount holes, the two front and back are simple, just a slot, the middle is the head ach, first the bracket is 1/8 inch wide and my plate is ¼ so I need to narrow the plate where it goes in. To do that I am going to use my spade bit.



Here is where it line up, you can see the blue marking holes where it will be drilled part way through to narrow the plate.
I has to be L shaped so that it locks in.



Here is a better photo with the flash off so you can see where it needs to be narrowed with the spade bits.
Then after it is narrowed I will drill the holes out to 5/8 so that it slides up and over into a slot.
 

HarleyCruiser

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139
Here I am using the old mount as a pattern where I want to drill for the L shaped slot for the quick connect.



I have drilled three pilot holes where I where I need to plate thinner.
Then using the spade bit to shave it down.





Before I can use this bit I need to take off the cutters on the end, and make sure it is square and sharp.
I like the spades for aluminum because they are so easy to sharpen compared to hole saws.



Then drill out the holes to half inch.



I’m using a variety of tools to cut the slots.





Then the back mount.



Your tape measure does not lie.
Measure, scribe your mount, center punch, and drill.



Then cut out the slot.

 

HarleyCruiser

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139
And there are you two back mount slots, without the front mount.



This is just a rough draft of what I need.
Cut it out then keep grinding until it fits.
There is not as much metal under the front mount that I would have liked but this is just an extra support, and I will probably put the lock up here to help reinforce it.



And here you go side one done.

 

HarleyCruiser

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139
I did not like how the mount lined up with my saddlebag hanger so I took off about ¾ of an inch in the back of the mount.



I cut it then sanded it, then used it for the pattern for the other side, here it is ready to cut out.


This time I am going to use my band saw, it is a little faster and since the piece is smaller easier to use.
You can see most of my tools are old rummage sale/hand me downs, that I have acquired over the years.



I am just cutting up to the line, leaving plenty to trim.
Next I have clamped both together and I am using to first as a pattern to follow using my router table and a mica flush cut trim bit.



A trim bit has a wheel either on the top or bottom so that it follow a pattern and makes a flush cut.





And there is your exact copy this second side took about two hours to make, a lot faster than the first and that includes the time to change the first side.
The center hole, I am not happy with it yet, and want to change it some before I waste time cutting it out on the second side.
I was able to get the L slot thinned and cut and on the bike for a look.



Next up is making a brace to go between the two sides, but that is later.
 

HarleyCruiser

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139
So now time to start on the cross brace.



This is ½ x 2” 6061 flat bar.



I have cut it down to 9 ¼ then squared to ends with my stationary sander.
In order to measure the distance between the two mounts I cut a piece of wood first to make sure of the measurement then transferred it to the t6




I want to give it a little diet, and add a design element, so.




Remember aluminum does not like square corners.



Then to the band saw, this thick aluminum does not cut very well with a jig saw, especially a piece this small.
Notice the water droplets on the piece, aluminum like to stay cool with water to keep it from melting and sticking to the blade, it also works as a lubricant.



And there is your brace, still needs to be drilled and taped for the bolts, and needs a couple of hours with a rasp, also the edges will be beveled.
Power tools will not fit to well on this. I find it interesting that I love spending four/ five hours on a piece that no one else will even notice, but it is features like this that make all the difference.
 

HarleyCruiser

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Messages
139
A little more filing, and marked, center punched and drilled pilot holes for the bolt holes.



Then drill the 13/64 hole for the ¼ 20 tap.



The zip tie is for the depth that I want, make sure to keep the flukes clean on your bit, you can gall your hole real easy by not pulling out the bit every once in a while. The deeper you go the more you want to clean it, here every quarter inch or so.
The paint brush works great for brushing out the chips, you also need to keep the hole lubricated with cutting oil.



I like to start my tap in the drill using just my hand to rotate it. Using the drill makes sure the tap is lined up with the hole.



Then use your tap handle. Remember to use cutting oil and keep your tap cleaned out. Also you do not want one continuous chip, go in a half a turn and out a quarter, when you back it out you will hear your chip break. This way you do not end up with a big spiral chip at the end of your blind hole or worse yet wound around your tap as you are pulling it out causing the tap to gall your new threads.



The last thing that I did was bevel the edges a little.



When I am done I will put a little more bevel on it, but for now this is fine. The reason for the bevel now is so that I do not have such a thick edge to file/sand, no use sanding a half inch thick piece of t6 when I can bevel it down to 3/8.
The brace it taking shape, I still have another couple of hours filing and sanding then a couple polishing it. But that is a no brainer so I enjoy that, it is starting to feel good in the hand. There is nothing more rewarding than a piece of aluminum that you create in your mind, and then make.
There is going to be another brace up towards the front.
I don’t want any side to side movement or worse yet to break the cross brace because it was not strong enough or gave it enough support.
More later.
 

HarleyCruiser

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Messages
139
I’m getting ready to mount the pack, the back had to be trimmed about a quarter inch and the front just a shade to fit the bottom of the pack.
I also wanted to change the front just a little.





It stuck out too much in front of the pack.



Here is what I am thinking about the brace.



I have another piece of flat bar, this one 1/2x3” instead of the 2” to make a second brace, it will go farther up toward the front.
Now time to make the mount brackets.
This is 1 ½”x2” angle, I am using my chop saw to cut them one inch long.





Drill a quarter inch hole.



Clean them up, round the corners.



And there is your mount brackets, almost done.
I need to alter them some, when I started to put them on I don’t like how big they are so I am going to cut the long side down to one inch making it a 1x1 ½ angle.
Also the chop saw did not do a very good job of making them square, so need to work on that. I want these mount brackets to be pretty uniform so that they can be interchnagle and not location specific.



And of course I can’t do anything the easy way, I want them mounted on the inside with the long part coming over the mount.
Kind of like this.



This way all you will see from the outside is a small button head. Of course I need to cut a slot so the angle set in it.
I am trying to get an idea how I want the lightening holes drilled, I am thinking between the mounts and braces, starting in the back about 3/8” then getting bigger as they go toward the front. Also a set going down to the quick connect point getting smaller as they go.
I need to get all this mounted and the brace positioned before I can see what it looks like to make any decisions on that.
 

HarleyCruiser

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Messages
139
So like I said I did not like the brackets so big, so cut them down to 1x1 ½



I got a new blade for the band saw, the band saw work so much better than the chop. I’ve marked my side rail mount and cutting the slots for the angles.





Clean them up with the Dremel.




Then the file, this angle has a radiuses inner side where the two sides come together, it makes the angle stronger, remember aluminum does not like square corners. You can get it without the radius but most come with it.
So you also need to file for the radius to clear.



When you take your time you can get your pieces to fit perfect, or at least perfect where the mother in law looks.



And only five more to go.



Here is what it looks like from inside where it will be hard to see.



These will have button head bolts and acorn nuts so they will be part of the design. I was tempted to go with rivets but want to be able to take them apart to polish them in the future.



And that is what it will look like from the outside, of course the brace will be on the inside.
Here is Photoshop, where I think I will put the lightening holes.




Man I’m so rusty on Photoshop, this is just hacked together but you get the idea. The center hole needs to be changed and maybe some holes running down to the quick connect.
Well that is where I am at.
 

XXHDXX

X rated Harley Davidson
Messages
365
You are being very detailed with describing all the hard work you are putting into this project. Bravo and keep up the good work!
 

HarleyCruiser

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Messages
139
You are being very detailed with describing all the hard work you are putting into this project. Bravo and keep up the good work!
Thanks xx.
A couple of real quick.



I printed out some “Holes” and glued them on for placement.
I need to get some spade bits in the size I want, so this is on back burner.



And on the bike, I need to make the second brace for underneath before I can drill the holes in the bottom of the pack to mount it.
I did some wet sanding.





I’ve sanded off probably 75% of the high build primer getting it smooth. And another primmer coat.





I need to sand that down, and then do a little more filling around the lid to fill in some gaps.
We are getting close to color.
 

DanHappy

Well-Known Member
Messages
509
What kind of time do.you have into this now? Just curious.

I know I have allot of time in just reading and studying the pics? Lol

Sent from my Note 4 using Tapatalk
 

HarleyCruiser

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Messages
139
What kind of time do.you have into this now? Just curious.

I know I have allot of time in just reading and studying the pics? Lol

Sent from my Note 4 using Tapatalk
Oh geez, there are some things you don't keep track of how long it takes, like sex or working on your bike. I like to split a big project like this into smaller ones, and enjoy each one as it gets done, you loose tract of time. Like I said I love the aluminum work, when you finish up a piece like the cross brace and hold it in your hand, it's just a great feeling. I would not be surprised if this tour pack took six months or a year to finish, hundreds of hours, you have to love doing it.
 

DanHappy

Well-Known Member
Messages
509
I was thinking a hell of a lot! So I can see the time involved. Your not slapping shit together.

Time tells good work my friend!

Sent from my Note 4 using Tapatalk
 

HarleyCruiser

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Messages
139
Your not slapping shit together.

Time tells good work my friend!
Thanks Dan, you guys are jury of my peers so I appreciate that.
Working on the second brace.



This is the second brace that will go up toward the front.



I was able to get it pretty much done, holes drilled in the ends to mount, sanded pretty good, still needs some finish work.



Here is the side plate with final measurements, placement.



Center punch and drill.



Trial fit.








I was also able to drill out some of my holes, and finish my center hole, this is the second side clamped to the first using the router table trim bit trick.

The mount is very strong and fits very well, it pops right in place; it weighs in at five pounds so it still needs to go on a diet. I also need to cut down the weight of the pack itself, so I ordered an angle die grinder to grind out some of the inside.
I picked up a bunch of button head SS, and some SS acorn nuts to put everything together with. I’m going to try to get the last hole cut, but need a 1 ¼ bit. Then I can mount the pack and see how everything lines up.
I still have a ton of stuff to do but that is where I am at.
 

HarleyCruiser

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Messages
139
Moving forward



I got all my holes drilled, and here I am beveling all my exposed edges.



I really like the 45% beveled edges instead of the rounded, it acts like a diamond cut and highlights the edges instead if blending.
They will be hit again later after all the edges get a good sanding, there are still some rough spots, but like I said before the bevel makes for less edge to sand.
When you polish the beveled edges you lose some of the sharpness, so you need to do a lot of sanding and keep the buffing to a minimum. I’ll explain the better later.



Here I am starting to clean up my stock, this is 220 on my da.






Then you move on to wet sanding in a straight pattern.



And here we are assembled, notice the 3/8 hole was too small for my wheeled bevel bit so will have to do that by hand later. There are still some spots that I don’t like, and the front still needs the hand holds and the cup holder. I will also add some lightening holes in the front to pull everything together.



All that work to make the braces and you cannot even see them;-)







A blurry photo but you get the idea.
 

HarleyCruiser

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Messages
139
Is it done yet???
Yea enough of this goofing off:)
I did some wet sanding.





I’ve sanded off probably 75% of the high build primer getting it smooth. It needs another primmer coat.



The primer really show up where you need more body work.



I need to sand that down, and then do a little more filling around the lid to fill in some gaps.



This is epoxy with some filler to make it thick, it holds up better than body filler and glass resin.



You tape off your lid so the filler does not stick, let it dry and then pop it open and sand.



Laying out to attach the mount on the tour pack, center line then measure out.



Position, drill your holes and bolt it on.
Here is a good example of no matter how much you plan everything out when you change one thing it changes something else that you did not think of. I was going to leave the hole in the middle of the bottom, and just make a lid for it.
Well you can see the braces are in the way I did not see this coming, so I am going to fill that hole and move the hole to the side under where the actuator goes. Duhhhh.



And here is a side by side of before and after the pack was narrowed.
Speaks for itself, fits the look of the bike much better. I did take it to town for a test run, even stopped to pick up some stuff, yea actually used it, holds a 12 pack of soda, and a can of Bondo, although I was carful that the can did not roll out of the hole in the bottom, need to take care of that;-)
It’s going to be handy stopping for lunch, a place for the helmets and taking some extra jackets along.
Oh yea Mrs Cruiser tried it, she like it.
 
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HarleyCruiser

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Messages
139
I need to start cleaning up and get ready for paint.



Spread on a little hole-be-gone.

I want to get started on my electronics so was able to lay out where I want my LEDs.



I thought about putting them under the pack, kind of hidden but think it will add to the interest in the back.



Time to drill some pilot holes



Then the 5/16 holes.



These are 6mm id, 8mm od carbon fiber tubes for the LEDs to sit in. Man this stuff is tough, when I say strong, it will hold me when suspended between two pieces of 2x4. And so light, like a straw you would get at McDonalds.
Anyway I am mumblings again.



Cut them to 1 ¼ on the band saw, they cut pretty easy but you can tell that they are hard, about like cutting aluminum.



And insert them in your holes.
I am going to let them stick out until I epoxy them in, then they will be ground off flush with the rear of the pack. All you will see is a hole, you won’t even see the LEDs until they come on, they will be recessed about ½ and inch.
I am not going to put the speakers in or the amplifier; I am getting concerned about the weight. The pack weighs in at about thirty pounds, not bad now, but in order to take it on and off, I need to keep it as light as possible.
 
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HarleyCruiser

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139
I am starting on the electronic actuator, I’m not sure how practical this is going to be.




A video of how it works.
https://youtu.be/QvCpBi-MOTw


Trying to figure out where it should be mounted, In all honesty this is a challenge especially with the weight restrictions of the actuator.



Shut it is 8.25 open 14 so need it as straight up and down as possible, needs to be as far towards the front as possible and still open up as far as I want.
The top mount will have several places to mount it.
Laying that out now.









 
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HarleyCruiser

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Messages
139
Well I went to Lowes and they did not have my blade, out of stock so, I’m using my drill press with an end mill bit to take it down, the drill press works ok but you need to take it slow.









 

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