What Have You Welded Lately?
When Steve Hyatt was 17, he had an accident when the front axle of the motorcycle he was riding broke due to poor penetration on the weld. He swore that if he had the chance to learn to weld, he would make a bike and do it right. He got a job as a welder in 1973 and in 1976 built his first bike – a 1/24 scale model. He had no blueprints to work from. He built it just from his own experience with bikes and “knowing what goes where.” He made the gas tank and front and rear fenders from brass, the rims on the wheels from aluminum and the spokes from stainless steel wires. The seat was made from a square of rubber carved down and rolled with a knurling tool to create a knobby effect. The Engine was made from two bolts that looked to fit the 1/24 scale size the bike was made to be. It was shaped and resembled a panhead motor. The chain came from a ten-speed bike. The tires are O rings. The frame was chrome plated. The bike disassembles, and the removable wheels can roll.
The model bike was submitted to Easy Riders magazine in the late 1970s. They featured it as a centerfold in a brand new magazine called In the Wind. Steve also submitted it to a local radio station for “Show Me Your Ride” and had to bring in the model to prove, to their disbelief, that it wasn't real.
Today Steve welds art structures as a hobby and uses ESAB products, including the Heliarc 161 for TIG welding, to make 100% titanium 1/24 scale sculpture bikes that resemble Harley Davidson bikes.
Click on images below to enlarge!