Introduction: Motorcycle Moustache - the Motostache
Why be a gentleman when your motorcycle can be one for you? I'm a big fan of moustaches. And, While I can only grow a very sparse one myself, I've become something of a fan. Now, I've always wanted a Carstache (If you haven't heard of it, here's the site: http://www.carstache.com/) but I don't own a car. So I improvised and came up with the. . . .MOTOSTACHE!
The Motostache is a moustache for your trusty metal steed - your motorcycle (or your friend's. I'm sure they'd love to come out of their house and find their motorcycle grew facial hair). Some great things about the motostache are that it easily attaches and uses very little materials, plus, it doesn't even take a day to make! I don't know about you, but I can't even grow my scraggly moustache in a half a day.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
You can make the motostache two ways, without a wooden mold or with one. I made a wooden mold to help with the bending as well as to help with future mostaches (where I'll use a blow torch to help with the bending). I have included the steps with the wooden mold; if you choose not to use one don't include the optional materials or tools and go ahead and skip step 3.
The motostache is made out of metal for a couple reasons: While wood is lightweight it doesn't hold up to the same amount of rigors that metal does, Your motorcycle is probably metal so it'll match, and not everyone can carve wood but most everyone can bend metal with pliers.
Time to complete: A little over 4 hours including spray-paint time. I made mine in my free time, so I completed it just under a day.
1 6x18" thin steel sheet (I got mine at Lowe's for $5. Aluminum would work too, but it's usually more expensive)
1 strip of black rubber mat OR some other form of cushion
4 long thin zip-ties
1 can of spray paint in preferred color (and any subsequent enamels you want to add)
1 piece of spare wood
1 pair of metal snips
1 pair of working gloves
1 drill or metal punch
1 black marker
1 measuring tape or ruler
1 jigsaw or scrollsaw
1 ball pein hammer
1 average hammer
2 short nails
Step 2: Measure and Plan
Measure where you'll hang or attach the motostache. I measured the width of the bars, the depth, and the height of where I had to work. I kept in mind that I'll need to wrap zip ties around these spots. I did this all in inches. Be sure to write everything down!
With your measurements down, quickly get an idea of the size of your moustache. Formulate the widths and heights. I planned this by sketching a moustache out, which I highly suggest but is not necessary. With this in hand (or head) you're ready to start your project!
Step 3: Making the Mold (Optional)
Do this step If you are opting for the mold option.
I took my measurements and sketched my moustache on a plank of spare wood (I found it by the street on trash day. Recycling is cheap). Try making the moustache a near perfect mirror because this will affect how your final result bends.
After I finished drawing on the plank I clamped it down to a secure table to cut out. This is where you'll use your jigsaw or scroll saw to cut out the mold. I found the scroll saw to be incredibly helpful and I'm glad I had one on hand - if it's an option to use I highly suggest it. When you are done with half the mold flip it around, clamp it down, and cut out the other half.
Be sure to be careful because you're probably working with tiny pieces of wood that are hitting a saw that's moving incredibly fast. Safety saves on bandages.
When it is all cut out take some small spare chunks of wood (I used some pieces I cut off from the original plank) and nail them in the centers of the large mold - where the largest area of the moustache halves are. This creates a depth that will be helpful for getting a round shape.
After you've done these steps you've completed the mold. You're done with wood-work now.
Step 4: Prepping the Metal Sheet
Here's the metal work, finally!
The first step is to get your sketch of the moustache onto the metal. Use your maker and draw it on the sheet of steel. I used my mold as a tracing guide so it was a near match.
Then sketch a rough guide around the sketch on the metal. This is where I cut the metal with the snips. The dashed lines are the lines on the inside that I cut as well to help with shape and create a curve. A lesson from experience from working on this: the more cuts you make connecting your guide to your original sketch will create a smoother curve. Be sure to plan to cut where there needs to be sharp crease too, such as the top of the mustache and the bottom, where the two halves meet. Also make sure you have two thin strips of metal planned to cut for the top and bottom of the mustache, this is where you'll drill holes to attach the zip ties (The picture helps to understand what I mean here).
After you've got your guide and sketch on there, cut on the lines using your snips. Wear your gloves, the cut metal is sharp and has no regrets if it cuts you back!
Step 5: Bending the Metal
Now we bend the metal. Be sure to wear your gloves during this portion too. There are two ways to bend the metal:
If you made the mold:
Lay the metal sheet you've cut out onto the wooden mold. Use your ball pein hammer, hammer, and pliers to shape your metal around the mold form. I used a hammer and hit it around the mold, which created a nice smooth shape. Grab the pliers and pull the top down around the form, so it half-way encases the mold. Then, slip the mold out and shape the bottom portion of the metal sheet with the pliers. Do this by grabbing the portion of metal you want to bend, angling your pliers parallel with the direction you want the sheet to be, and pull. Try to fold the metal into itself so it's not sticking out the back. This sometimes takes some effort! Leave the thin portions you cut for attaching untouched or pull them straight back and not in like the others. See the fourth picture to understand more clearly.
If you opted out of the mold:
This is a pretty easy part. Just grab a wing of the metal with the pliers and rotate the pliers back. Once the pliers are parallel with the rest of the metal, pull a little. This should create a simple curve back. do this for all the little wings of metal. Then, grab your hammer and hammer them into the inside. This will ensure they stay in and don't bulge back too much. Leave the thin portions you cut for attaching untouched or pull them straight back and not in, like the others.
Step 6: Drilling the Holes
Grab your drills ladies and gentlemen, it's time to put holes in your moustache.
At this point in time you should what looks to be a rough metal mustache in your hands. On top and bottom (or in the back) there should be a total of four wings of metal sticking out. in the middle of each of these is where you need to drill.
Place one of the wings against something solid that can also be damaged (when you finally puncture the metal the drill will continue to drill through whatever is under it). I used some spare wood. Grab your drill, and drill into the wing. You should get a nice hole. Make sure the holes are wide enough for your zip-ties to thread through.
Step 7: Painting
Grab your paint cans, it's time to paint!
The painting portion can be as detailed or simple as you would like. You can choose to not paint it, or you can paint it with as many layers and details as you would like. I did a simple undercoat, enamel, and overcoat.
Find some way to rest your moustache so that you can paint it in 360 degrees. I made a spindle out of cardboard, but I could have just as easily hung it with string.
For the undercoat I used a black base paint. I let that set for half an hour then coated it with a black semi-gloss enamel then did so again 15 minutes later. Afterwards (about an hour and a half later, I coated it in a full gloss clear-coat. You don't have to follow these steps, you could even just do the enamel and be happy - whatever suits you.
Try to cover as much of the motostache as you can to provide as best of a protection as possible. No one likes a rusty moustache.
Step 8: Putting It All Together
Now we attach the newly painted motostache to the motorcycle. Pictures are a real help here. If the directions confuse you, take a look at the pictures and the answer will probably be there. Also, an extra pair of hands is helpful in this step to help hold things up, but it is in no way necessary
Thread one zip-tie through a top hole and the lower hole directly beneath it on the back of the motostache. One for each side. Now, attach a second zip-tie to one of the threaded zip-ties, and a third to the other side - leave them in a line, do not close the zip-ties into a loop yet. Place aside for now. Check the third picture for comparison.
At this point in time take your rubber mat and cut it to size - just enough to protect your front bars and to stop any rattle. In other words, cut it to fit the bars so the motostach touches the mat instead of the bars. Once done, hold it up bars and keep there.
Bring the motostach up against the mat, facing forwards. Grab a zip-tie end and wrap it through the bars while bringing up the lower end to fasten to. Connect the two and you should have a loop that encircles your bars or the connecting beam; I did the beam. Do the same with the other zip-tie on the other side. Pull each zip-tie close and tight, make sure it is pretty level and tight, then snip off the extra ends.
Step 9: Finished!
You should be finished with your motostache now! Take a step back and look at your (or your friend's) gentlemanly motorcycle. Appreciate the odd looks and comments you get too, the people are really just jealous of the motorcycle's manliness. Enjoy!