Article & Photos By: Will Ramsey – Faith Forgotten Choppers – www.faithforgotten.com
Originally Published In The August 2014 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
While visiting Led Sled Customs to catch a sneak preview of the Biker Live build, Elbow Grease, I noticed a father and son appear in front of the shop holding a stock sportster frame. I followed the frame downstairs into the heart of the Led Sled fabrication shop and proceeded to watch Pat’s head fabricator, Joe, install a hardtail section in less than 20 minutes. These weld-on hardtails are a Led Sled original product and have had a huge impact on the custom sportster market. Pat’s innovative product allows customers to install the section without using a frame fixture. Or you can just drop your frame at the front door of the shop and wait for 20 minutes.
Measuring back from the neck and the front motor mounts, Joe makes three cut lines to separate the frame.
A reciprocating saw is used to accurately cut the stock frame along the marked lines.
In preparation for welding, Joe uses a sanding disk to deburr and camphor the outside diameter of the frame tubing.
The sanding disk is then used to strip the frame coating down to bare metal, assuring contaminate free weld zones.
A carbide bit is used to quickly remove the burr on the inside diameter of the frame tubing, so that the slug on the hardtail section can fit inside.
The Led Sled Hardtail section comes with three slugs welded in place to maintain frame alignment when they are indexed into the stock frame tubing.
A few hard smacks from a mallet are needed to drive the tight fitting slugs into the frame rails.
Before tack welding the three joints, Joe uses a motor mount fixture to assure accurate positioning of the new rear mounts.
After a quick cleaning with acetone, the three joints are fully TIG welded.
Final welds are inspected and approved before being sent back upstairs to the excited customer.
Over the years, these Led sled hardtail sections have become the frame work for countless sportster chops around the world. They have also become the original model from which many other shops have developed similar products.