Using the “Looking for something?” search box feature of this blog and typing in “fuel tank” you will be able to read the story of how I managed to locate and acquire the original fuel tank for 2751 from New Zealand. It was extremely fortuitous though the tank was in a dreadful state with pannier extensions welded on the sides and slits ground into the bottoms, on each side, to allow fuel to flow into the added compartments.
Work was undertaken in the UK to repair the tank and refinish it. This was not an inconsiderable task… The slits and holes were brazed up and then lead wiped to achieve a smooth finish. It was then repeatedly thickly copper plated and the copper flatted with wet ‘n’ dry. This process was repeated until a suitably smooth appearance had been rendered. It was then plated.
Although it looked spectacular, the finish was far from what it would have originally looked like… I showed the tank to Glyn Johnson and he immediately told me that what had been achieved was closer to a satin chrome…
We weighed our options…. Sending the tank to the platers again was a risky proposition as the chances of something going awry were quite high. Also, few platers would be prepared to take such a job on. Blasting it with a suitable media might result in an acceptable appearance but there were other risks associated with this procedure (such as non-uniform patchiness in the finish). Bert gamely elected to dull the finish down by hand using a variety of fine pastes.
This is much closer to how it would have originally looked. It’s still a little bright for our liking but, over time, it will dull down further and gradually blend in with the other metal finishes on the bike.
Quite a momentous occasion as this tank was parted from 2751 probably in the 1960s! It looks great though it’s now significantly heavier than it was when it left The Works…
In addition, the inside was showing signs of rust so was carefully de-rusted using an appropriate agent.