Learning how to make parts for a bike is something that many bike enthusiasts consider. Making parts can vary widely in the degree of difficulty depending on the part. You may need everything from a metal lathe to a large metal press. Let’s get started.
You will need the following:
- Manufacturer design information
- Metal machine shop
- Tape measure
- Screwdriver and wrench set
- Do online searches to find out what specifications your part has. This means you need to find out the exact dimensions the part in length, width and depth. Any holes and moving parts must also be specified with exact detail. Capture all of these measurements and put them down on paper.
- Prepare a "dummy" in your machine shop. The starting part or "dummy" must be made of the same material as the original part with the ability to be shaved or reduced to that part. An example would be a metal square can become a sprocket or a metal rectangular prism that can become a box.
- Machine your dummy part to the required specifications. You will do this primarily with the lathe, machine drill, metal sander and metal jigsaw. If you were making a sprocket, you would drill out the teeth and center hole on the sprocket, and sand the jagged edges to fit the chain.
- Test your part on the bike. You would put your part directly on the bike and try it out. If it was machined correctly it should fit and work with the other parts. Please note that after this point, many people need to make some modifications. Never try to take off too much metal at once. Being conservative lets you try many times to get it right.
Machining a part takes a lot of time and virtually no one gets the part right the first time. Take your time and get it right. This is not a process to be rushed.