I decided early on that I wanted to sandblast the old xs frame right from the start of this project. That way I could take a good look at the frame to know if it is hiding any secrets. It also saves me screwing around grinding off small sections at a time when welding on the frame. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to do the blasting myself instead of sending off to a professional. I have very limited experience with sandblasting. I haven't done it since I was in high school, and that was more than a few years ago. One of my favourite parts of any motorcycle project is trying something new and learning along the way, so why not?
a game of how much can I spend
We carry a lot of tools at Perth County Moto but nothing for sandblasting. This called for a trip to Princess Auto, which usually ends up as a game of how much can I spend. Trying my best to stay on target, I headed right for the blasting guns. I found the first basic gun I could and grabbed it, focusing more on the price than anything else. Now for the abrasive. I guess I could have spent a bit more time researching which abrasive would best suit my needs and what type of finish I was going for. My only real goal was getting the powder coating off of the frame and for this, I chose crushed glass. I'm not sure if that was the 'right' choice or not but that's what I ended up with none the less. For once I got out of that place without spending more money than needed!
When I got home I pulled the bike out onto the gravel driveway and moved the car back a bit. I poured the crushed glass into an empty bucket, you can never have enough empty buckets in your shop! Buried the abrasive hose from the gun into the glass and fired up the compressor. Eager to make some progress on the bike this week. I through on my shop apron, face mask and safety glasses. The moment I pulled the trigger I realized I was going to need some better eye protection and maybe some long sleeves. A quick break to pull on my coveralls and an old pair of riding goggles I don't even remember owning, and a face shield. Ok, let's try this again!
I started on the spine of the frame. At first, I was elated to see the powder disappearing and revealing the bare metal below. That happiness wore off quickly when I realized how slow this was going. Maybe I should have taken the time at Princess Auto to check what nozzles came with this gun... I only made it about one-third of the way through the frame when I had to pack it up for the day due to the fading light. Not the end of the world, at least I got started. If I could free up a bit more time in the week I was sure I could get it done.
piles of old motorcycle parts from previous projects
A few days later a few people I know randomly stopped by the house. It wasn't until they walked into the workshop that I really noticed just how bad it had gotten in there. The place is a mess! Before opening the store I used to spend a lot more time out there. Although it has never been the most organized space, it was a lot better then it is now. There are piles of old motorcycle parts from previous projects, winter tires that never got stored properly in the spring, and a mix of household items that have just been collecting over the past year. I realized I can not get this project done when I am always tripping over this crap.
Not how I wanted to spend the day...
Although I started the day with hopes of making some more progress on the xs650, I knew I had to spend some time getting the workshop back to a functioning space first. A trip to buy some shelving and totes was long, long overdue! Once I got home with the shelving I cleared some space to start putting it together. Lindz gave me a hand and it went up pretty quickly. Now the hard part of sorting through everything. A pile to be kept and organized and a pile destined for the landfill. By the end of the day, I was only about halfway through cleaning up the shop and no further along on the xs. Not how I wanted to spend the day but I guess it's a blessing in disguise. I feel like once the shop is organized I will be able to focus on what I am doing and be a lot more productive. Although the bike is on hold for just a moment, I am looking forward to having some overdue de-cluttering! Now, who wants some old motorcycle parts?!
Author: Perth County Moto - Jeff O'Neill @perthmotojeff