full time metal fabricator/artist

Sissy bar jig for hardtail motorcycles

I was talking shop with a friend that’s making his own motorcycle frames, we got on the topic of blacksmithing and production runs of steel using jigs, we decided to break out his forge, grabbed some my octagonal stock, and put some twists in the steel to start figuring out a game plan.
These following pictures are some hand bent pieces I made yesterday to figure out which bends would look best and taking measurements to determine bend points.

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While these parts are, “easy” to make if you have access to forges, anvils, heavy fab tables, and enjoy doing this, the market I’m approaching are people who know how to weld but want to spend their time riding, not fabricating.
In order for the riders to want to spend their hard earned money on my steel, it needs to be consistant and symmetrical, this is where the jig comes into play, after determining the distances from center, I laid everything out on a 11″ x 24″ .25″ steel plate I hand cut from a larger piece:

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I then cut down a half dozen 1″ dogs (dogs are short posts you can wrap steel around to bend them) and carefully fit each one up, clamped it down

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welded the dog into place, then repeated all the steps

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The angle iron tabs at the edge of the plate are there so I’ll be able to flip this jig over and have another jig on the opposite side while being able to clamp this down and it stay level and secure.

To further accomidate the compound bend at one of the points, I cut the bottom part of the plate off with a plasma cutter and welded it ba k to the plate at the same angle the bend needs to be, once the steel gets bent in this jig, I’ll weld it together and that’s it!

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I also took some video to share more about the jig making process, I’ll be doing some hot steel bending videos soon that will share the techniques used on how to get those cool twists in the steel.

During the winter months, I’ll be continuing this project and share more parts I’m making along with finished work.

Thanks for reading.
More to come.

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