Monday, February 23, 2015

Head & Tail light Brackets

The Hornet had no lights so I needed to make a set of mounting brackets for them. I am finishing them before I tackle the wiring system which will be detailed in another post. The tail light bracket is the easiest to draw so I decided to start with it. Both brackets will be made for quick removal so the Hornet can be shown in its stock configuration.

I started by downloading a free 2D CAD software called Q CAD. I spent eight years as a CAD designer and CNC machine programmer although I have not done this work for many years. I found it easy to pick it back up, at least for the simple work I am doing. The files were drawn to have laser cut. This is a process I am familiar with from my work and we have a good laser cutting source a few miles from my house. Once the design was sketched by hand I entered it into the CAD system. 

I printed off my initial CAD file and made a paper cutout which was held in location to see how well it would work. After several iterations I made a cardboard template and mounted my light & license plate to it. This confirmed my design but also called out one small adjustment that needed to be made.  I repeated the process to develop the headlight bracket
My paper prototypes and print outs. 

My "final" cardboard prototype. 

The headlight prototype with Bates headlight in place. 

After the cardboard prototypes were proven out .dxf files were taken to the laser shop and the parts were cut from mild steel. I used 14 gauge for the tail light bracket and 11 gauge for the headlight. 

Laser cut and ready to heat and bend. 

Head and tail light brackets ready to paint. I am finishing gloss black as I think the 
contrast will make the chrome stand out. 

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