This article is by Kim Boyle of Boyle Custom Moto and originally appeared on ChopCult.
I'm going to kick start the tech with the bottom of the ladder, The Drill (not Chivos Drill).
Anyone who know us at BCM knows we work out of a two stall garage without a huge selection of tools and other than a crappy drill press, zero machines. I rely heavily on the hand drill, I do a great deal of shaping finishing and polishing with a $35 Rigid from Home Depot. The key for me is a fairly wide assortment of wheels. I would guess 95% of these drill wheels come from harbor freight and they work fine. I've tried more expensive stuff but there's really not much difference. As for the drill itself any electric drill will work but in my opinion the faster the better so if your going to buy one for this kind of work I would look for something in the 2500 rpm range. One thing I have noticed if used a lot the chuck will develop some end play and eventually a lot of play so we dedicate a drill just for this purpose as it will cease drilling nice round holes.
Below is the retired Black & Decker 2500. I wish this thing had an hour meter & I would say the chuck moves 3/4" side to side before it finally gave up.
I'll break down the wheels we use most of the time. Grind & flap wheels used for shaping, also drill mills (as I call them):
Wire wheels mostly used for heavy rust and thick gunky crap. I don't use them much as they scar and heat ripple the material.
Scotch-brite wheels and discs in various sizes grits. I love these things. that multi disc ball is amazing.
Now these are my new favorite Nylon Bristle wheels combine these with a little Never Dull on your material and you'll get some good results.
So here's some examples of the results from around the garage.
Here on the R100 you can see some of the case covers are finished this was done with a nylon britstle wheel & Never Dull. Smear on the never dull and have at it in circular motions until it dries up under the wheel, wipe it down with a rag. Check out the difference.
Here's the megaphone exhaust muffler on my personal SR 500, the whole thing started life chrome. I used a soft scotch-brite wheel then a soft bristle with the never dull.
Here's Bob's FLH, He used all the wheels on this removing paint all the way down to brushed finish including bring the chrome down on the shock.
Here a blurry picture of the horseshoe oil tank on my Harley-Davidson Panhead, it's chrome. The tranny and case were also done with the nylon wheels. They get the grime out of sand casing nicely and if you incorporate some polishing compound smooth them out a bit.
This is the gas tank on my SR, I've been asked many times if it was a custom motorcycle gas tank, if it was a stainless tank or chromed. this thing is a regular steel gas tank I was lucky enough to have Mullins Chain Drive tunnel and notch. I have about $2500 in this bike, I ride it all the time so I never got it painted. There's about an hours worth of sanding and the rest is the drill wheels, scotch-brite and nylon bristle.
Bob rode it down the coast the other day hence the rust. I'll Never Dull/nylon wheel it then mothers polish and a coat of car wax. ten min time good as new.
Pick up some wheels and experiment. I think finish is important and a lot of times it's all we got.
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