Girder Trees

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Location: Ohio, USA

Girder Trees

Post by Customize IT » Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:25 am

This is a write up I was allowed to do under the banner of: The Chopper Builders Handbook Facebook page.

I took it as a great honor!

Building a set of trees for your custom chopper is not hard and can be done with simple hand tools. You need no more than a drill press, grinder, welder, and some simple layout tools-marker, square, and tape measure.

We will not go into the distances or measurements you will need to build your trees. All of that information is in the handbook along with materials and processes and also varies from bike to bike. We will look at building a set for a girder. A good girder can be built under 250$ so why not build a Custom one for your chopper? The handbook also has all the info needed to build a Springer.

There are many different ways to build a set of trees ranging from high end cnc billet aluminum to a buildup method of just adding and welding each steel component together to produce a set of trees or yokes as they are called overseas from America.

Since the build up method is the one more adaptable to the average garage builder and hobbyist we will cover one method of the construction of a build up set of trees/yokes for your girder.

1. Go to the handbook and use to find your dimensions needed for your bike.

2. Make a neck shaft so you know the holes needed for the trees/yokes. The one shown here was made by reusing the stock neck shaft and cutting the lower tree/yoke off with hand grinder and turning in a lathe. This may be something you have to engineer and be done/produced at your local machine shop. Either using this method or having a having a full shaft solid turned. [Figure 1]

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3. Now you know your offsets for girder shafts for forks location by using the Handbook and also your holes for the neck shaft in trees/yokes you can begin by cutting your trees to a block shape. The squarer you can make these will produce a better part.
[Figure 2]

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4. Layout your holes for steering shaft and tree/yoke pattern. [Figure 3]

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5. Use a drill press or mill (if you have one available) and drill the holes for the trees. Start off with small pilot drill bit and work up to your final size hole diameter. [Figure 4]

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6. Weld how you are going to make the girder shafts connect onto the trees. This is why this method is called a build up method. You weld parts out from the connecting point of the neck shaft with each part to your next link location. There are several ways to do this style from just having a round steel plate with hole and tubes welded off it for links to building a full custom application with multiple complex shapes. It is really up to your imagination here. [Figure 5]

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7. Cut the shape out you want. [Figure 6]

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8. On a girder you should have a clamp in the top tree to lock the two trees together when turning so the bushings do not wear out as the bottom tree follows the top tree. Cut this out with razor wheel and grinder and drill for the clamp bolt. [Figure 7.]

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9. Weld the bottom of the neck shaft to lower tree. If using a solid stem a threaded bottom tree and jam nut will work here but, for most garage builders and hobbyist threading such a large hole is impossible so we will show a welding neck shaft picture here.
[Figure 8.]

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10. If reusing the stock steering shaft you need a thru bolt to hold the two trees together because on a girder the forces are directed about equal across both trees unlike a Springer or hyd fork front end where all the force is directed into the bottom tree. This will keep the top tree from peeling off under load forces. The shock mount can also be built by build up method and does not need to be linked as the picture shows with it mounted on the girder top leg shaft in top tree/yoke. Just weld 1/4 in plate tabs off for your shock mount to bolt your shock to.
[Figure 9.]

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You have now made a set of trees and neck shaft for your custom chopper. The handbook will provide the rest of the details needed for construction and also the other possible ways of building these.

Also remember the handbook has a forum where you can share your projects and get help with any technical problems you may need help with. Hope to see you there?

http://www.choppercompendium.com/ccforum/

There is also CDs available that show full procedures to build these and other chopper frames and front ends. If you are a visual person for procedures on how to build these will help. The cost is minimal and only cover the cost to produce them and maintain these sites so, please support?

http://chopperhandbook.com/cd1.htm
MAKE IT YOURS!!!

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The owner is driven by:
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