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View Full Version : Winter Project: Solo Wide Seat Pan


flskevin
26th November 2010, 13:20
I've wanted a solo wide seat for a while now and after several months of searching online I haven't found any thing I like.

The plan is to make a solo seat pan that I can set my Airhawk seat cushion on and make a cover for it. This will lower the seat about 3"-4" from the current seat height.

I went out today and bought a 2' square 16 gauge sheet of steel.

The plan is to make a template first and go from there. Bend out the shape and contours then take it over to a friend that has an english wheel and smooth it out.

Once the pan is done on to making the cover. I recently was given a nice sewing machine. I haven't used one in about ten years but after a little practice I'm confident I can make a pro quality cover.

Pic of the progress will be posted as I get things done...

jharback
26th November 2010, 13:31
How do you like the airhawk. Been thinking about one myself. They worth the money?

flskevin
27th November 2010, 16:49
How do you like the airhawk. Been thinking about one myself. They worth the money?

The AirHawk cushion is the best seat cushion I've tried. Better than the gels & memory foam.

The reason I'm making a pan for it is that it sits too high on my old seat.

This is what I've gotten done so far...

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan1.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan21.jpg
Template for the seat pan

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan32.jpg
16 gauge steel with the outline...

Phillober
27th November 2010, 17:13
Looks good so far...

This is the first i've heard of airhawk... it does seem pricey.

snowman
27th November 2010, 17:20
Lot's of cruiser riders swear by them...

Make sure to roll a bead under the edge of that pan. Looks like a fun project...:geek:geek:geek

flskevin
27th November 2010, 21:10
AirHawk seat cushion. It's like a sleep number bed for your ass....

flskevin
28th November 2010, 13:48
Today's progress...

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan4.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan51.jpg

Cut the pan out of the sheet

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan6.jpg

Basic shape...

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan7.jpg

Worked the front & sides...

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan8.jpg

The seat cushion sitting on the pan...

This is the first time working metal this much. The most difficult part is the hammering. With my arthritis in my hands I can't work too long. After a while I risk hitting myself because my hands weaken. But I have all winter so I think I'll get there eventually.

flskevin
29th November 2010, 13:39
Today's progress...

Hammered out the shape a little more. It's starting to come together.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan9.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan10.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan11.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan12.jpg

flskevin
1st December 2010, 10:00
Today's Progress...

Some XLF'ers may be wondering how I'm going about shaping the seat pan. Basically I'm using...

Bench vise, grinder, 2 body hammers, 2 body dollies, old trailer ball, rubber mallet & a Craftsman cordless Hammerhead.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan14.jpg
The trailer ball is letting me get the rounded edges.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan15.jpg
The Hammerhead came about after I learned that my friend with the english wheel had lent it to another guy out of state. So I had to figure out a way to try & smooth out the metal. I use a body dolly to support the pan & the Hammerhead seems to work fairly well in smoothing out the dings & dents.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan13.jpg
Working in the rear bend to make the back of the seat more rigid.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan16.jpg
Using the Hammerhead to smooth out the pan.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan19.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan18.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan17.jpg

So far for never doing anything like this before it's going pretty good. It's still not symmetrical all the way around but it's getting there.

jguynn
1st December 2010, 11:14
I haven't done any sheet metal work since college, and even then it was mostly duct work and a/c drain pans. Looks like you are doing a fine job to me!

flskevin
1st December 2010, 18:38
I haven't done any sheet metal work since college, and even then it was mostly duct work and a/c drain pans. Looks like you are doing a fine job to me!

Thanks, I've done similar work on car fenders but nothing from scratch. I'm not too concerned with getting it super smoothed out. It's going to be painted black after it's done & get an all around cover so as long as it will hold up to my weight it'll be good enough.

My one goal is when you look at it done the shape is symmetrical and not looking all warped and off balance.

The back of the seat and front end is still a little off but it's only been a few days.

80xlPaul
1st December 2010, 18:49
looks really good to me too, nice work

flskevin
3rd December 2010, 08:48
Today's Progress...

I started on a cover plate to keep the wires protected.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/Seatpan20.jpg

I guess I'm going to have to repaint the rear fender when I'm done.

flskevin
3rd December 2010, 09:59
Base plate is pretty much done. All that's left is drilling the mount holes for the brackets & cleaning it up for paint.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan211.jpg

jguynn
3rd December 2010, 10:01
Considering the tools at your disposal, that's really nice work! Can't wait to see the finished seat.

Jt1200r
3rd December 2010, 10:46
looking good Kevin

blazer95
4th December 2010, 06:10
Man Kev that is looking real good might have to talk to you about mine LOL

rickxx
4th December 2010, 07:03
nice work kevin!

flskevin
4th December 2010, 15:32
Today's Progress...

I didn't get too much done today. Hammered on the seat pan a little but my main goal was to get the cross beam that the pan will sit on. I ordered a bracket & base to attach the front of the pan & base plate so the rear of the pan won't be bolted down.

I didn't want springs in the back so I mounted heavy duty rubber that will be bolted on the base plate.

I tapped the holes for the bumpers & that took a long time. I did find out you can snap the thread tap.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan22.jpg

sportsterpaul
4th December 2010, 19:54
Looking good Kevin, very impressed. Best wishes for the Holiday season.

flskevin
5th December 2010, 17:31
Today's Progress...

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan23.jpg
Got the base plate done. All that's left is to mount the seat bracket that should be here this week.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan24.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan25.jpg
Shaped the seat more today

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan26.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan27.jpg
Seat pan sitting on the base plate.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan28.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan29.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan30.jpg
It might be just me but I kinda like the look of the AirHawk sitting on the pan without the cover. When I'm done shaping the pan it's going to be painted black, it might look fine without the cover.

flskevin
6th December 2010, 14:32
Today's Progress...

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan31.jpg

Today I worked on smoothing out the metal. I used a sander to clean up the hammer marks and see where I needed to work on the small dings.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan321.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan33.jpg

80xlPaul
6th December 2010, 15:01
nice wook its getting there

flskevin
11th December 2010, 15:55
Today's Progress...

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan34.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan35.jpg

I worked on finishing up the pan today. I smoothed out the metal as much as I could then covered the seat with a thin coat of body mud.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan36.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan37.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan38.jpg

After sanding the pan smooth I laid own the first coat of primer. I also painted the base plate and seat mount.

Hopefully the mounting bracket parts will arrive in the next week or so.

garvicad
11th December 2010, 16:03
great job like the profile it has

jguynn
11th December 2010, 20:22
Can't wait to see the finished product. I like what I'm seeing so far.

flskevin
13th December 2010, 15:22
Todays Progress...

Well it's too cold to paint, mounting brackets haven't arrived yet. So it was time to start making the seat cover.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan39.jpg

To get in to running a sewing machine again & figure out the pattern I'm using old sheets to make covers and seeing how they fit & what needs to be adjusted to make it better.

beano
13th December 2010, 16:47
are you using a special sewing m/c ?...b.

flskevin
15th December 2010, 17:07
are you using a special sewing m/c ?...b.


It's just a regular Singer that someone gave me but I've used one like that before to make stuff out of heavier material. I just need to practice on it for a while before I start on the actual cover.

I've made tuck & roll bench seat covers for pick up trucks and cars before but that was about 10 years ago. The hard part is figuring out the side panels on the curve of the seat. It has to be right or the top seat panel won't be smooth along the contour.

garvicad
15th December 2010, 17:38
practice makes perfect

flskevin
18th December 2010, 15:55
Today's Progress...

Mounting hardware arrived this week so today was putting it all together. With some measuring, drilling, and hammering I was able to get it all together. All that's left is a few tweaks and then a final clean up before painting. Then making the cover.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan40.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan41.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan42.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan43.jpg

Phillober
18th December 2010, 16:32
It's coming along very nicely

flskevin
25th December 2010, 17:40
Progress Report...

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan44.jpg

Started painting the parts with flat black then top it off with satin black. The problem is that the cold weather is not good for painting so it's probably going to be a while before everything is done.

flskevin
26th December 2010, 16:36
Today's progress...

I was able to get the base plate painted and put together...

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan45.jpg

dmanis
26th December 2010, 18:09
Great job! Looks like a fun project. I've been thinking about doing the same for some time now. Maybe this will be the inspiration I have needed. Looking forward to seeing the finished seat.

Dave M.

flskevin
27th December 2010, 08:49
Latest Progress...

I was able to get it all together this weekend. Still need to drop a couple of coats on the seat pan but I can wait till it warms up a little. I wasn't sure it I would be able to pull this one off. My objective was to make a comfortable seat for my AirHawk pad and not destroy the existing seat set up in case I need to go back to the old seat.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan46.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan47.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan48.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan50.jpg http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan511.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan49.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan52.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatPan53.jpg

Now all that's left is the cover. I'm going to make the cover but part of me likes the look of the pad sitting on the bare pan.

beano
27th December 2010, 12:09
no, you got to put the cover on !...b.

flskevin
28th December 2010, 15:26
Latest Progress...

I got the cover done. I think it turned out pretty well. It looks a little pillowy now but after a few seasons it will shape out.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatDone4.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatDone3.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatDone2.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatDone5.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatDone1.jpg

Now all that's left is get it mounted on the bike. The forecast is calling for mid-50's this weekend so a ride is just what I need to see if it rides as good as I hope.

Rico 05R
28th December 2010, 16:11
Looks great Kev...looking forward to seeing it mounted on your sled.

flskevin
28th December 2010, 22:09
I got the finished seat mounted. It needs a little bending here & there so it looks even but for doing this myself I'm very happy with what I ended up with. This could be the softest most comfy seat I have ever used.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatDone6.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatDone7.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/931/SeatDone8.jpg

il67bp
28th December 2010, 23:22
i wanna go make a seat now!

hornbeck
29th December 2010, 14:01
Looks good

flskevin
29th December 2010, 14:18
The Winter Project is Done!!!!

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/500/CustomSeat5.jpg

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/500/CustomSeat4.jpg

redi2ride
29th December 2010, 14:32
Hey I've seen your leather seats on graigslist or ebay. r u the guy who sells the dyed, stamped, and stitched seats? I know that bike from the pics in the adds. I think We have spoke before.

Sleeper
29th December 2010, 14:35
Damn nice Kev!

Jt1200r
29th December 2010, 14:38
nice job birthday boy