Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames ?

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Classic Motorcycles' started by Rohan, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. cjandme

    cjandme

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Re: Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames

    I had been meaning to "chime" in on this thread some time ago but got busy with the kids weekend projects etc... however I'm curious about my '69 basket case frame and now my 2 '75 e-starts. this quote was earlier in the thread "I dont think the Verlicchi Norton frames used ERW tubing.............I know they did! They were heavier than the Reynolds frames built in the UK, but far cheaper to make" A few years ago I was able to fit my '69 frame in the plastic media blaster booth at work-(I know , I know , don't ask, I just snuck it in) and at that time when the paint was removed and I saw the Brazed joints I was thinking that because it was and early commando frame it wsn't as good as the later ones (stories of head tube cracking etc...with early frames). It sure is really light too. Anyway am I now to understand that it is made of better quality tubing than the later ones, and are my 75's Italian? Not that it matters that much to me since I'm not taking them GP racing, I'm just curious. Cj
     
  2. slimslowslider

    slimslowslider

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Re: Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames

    Here an article on the Commando-frame-KenSprayson-involvement from Classic Bike, May 2002.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Cheesy

    Cheesy

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Re: Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames

    Thanks for posting that, now the drawings in the background would be interesting!
     
  4. Rohan

    Rohan

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Re: Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames

    Measured drawings for the Commando 750 and Commando 850 frames are printed in the Factory Workshop Manual, which was available when these bikes were new.
    I can, note CF, guarantee this - I bought one.

    They are not on the secret list (like featherbed drawings ?), these manuals (and copies of) are all over the place. The drawing are available online somewhere too.

    Not quite as detailed as that drawing in the background though.
    Not nearly, in fact.
    Wonder where all those drawings ended up ? ZFD ?

    P.S. Don't know about the early widowmaker frame though...
     
  5. Rohan

    Rohan

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Re: Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames

    P.S. Eagle eyes will also spot (bottom P71) 'the headstock being welded to the frame spine tube' in a jig.

    Thanks for posting these slimslowslider, haven't previously taken note of these.
    Has made my day....
     
  6. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Re: Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames

    "Curiouser and curiouser"! The '69 frame and also the '68 shown in the links below both appear to be MIG welded (welding experts please feel free to comment?).

    http://www.nortonproject.org/1969.htm
    http://www.nortonproject.org/1968.htm



    It has been said before that the Italian frames could be identified because they were made from metric size tubing, and we know from past discussions that some Commando frames do appear to have 60mm O/D spine tubes instead of the standard 2-1/4" (57mm) O/D, and 25mm frame tubes instead of 1.0" (25.4mm) however the metric-Italian frame/Imperial-Renolds frame theory has never been proven.
    My Mk3's frame tubes certainly seem to be made from Imperial size tubing as it has a 2-1/4" 57mm O/D spine tube.
     
  7. Rohan

    Rohan

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Re: Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames

    You really need a good close up pic of a freshly blasted clean weld to say.

    The photo bottom of P71 in that article appears to show the headstock being electric welded to the spine frame tube on that jig. Pic doesn't really show enough detail, or from the right angle, or ANY of the welding gear, but it could be a mig welder being used. It could possibly be a stick welder too, although he'd want to be good on that thinwall tubing.

    Unorthodox way to 'wear ' the UV protectant welding mask though, it usually goes on your head, leaving both hands free. Maybe he /they wanted his face in the photo ?
    Its just possible this is being oxy welded in bronze, but because of the photo he is holding his mask, rather than a stick of bronze.

    I've looked at the welds on my (850) Commando - without blasting them clean for a really good look. Its very hard to tell what they were done with, mig is most likely.
     
  8. cjandme

    cjandme

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Re: Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames

    Thanks forthe post slowslimslider, and to everyone else. Again this is why I love this forum. Cj
     
  9. Cheesy

    Cheesy

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Re: Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames

    Are you talking about the frame checking drawing in the manual where there is a drawing for both the 750 and 850? if so I am not entirely convinced that these are correct, when I modeled a frame some of the dimensions seemed to contradict.

    Brazed or miged... my 71 has a mig welded frame and gearbox cradle but the front ISO mount is brazed, if any are brazed you will not see the distinctive bead from the mig welds, it will tend to be a nice smooth fillet

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Rohan

    Rohan

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Re: Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames

    Now that you mention it, a spare front iso mount here has braze under where a few flecks of paint have chipped off. Looks to have nice (low) fillet to it where the paint still is though.
    Can't see it from the angle of your pic or not...

    Bronze and braze welds look different though, bronze should build fillets. ?
    (Not being entirely familiar with SiF bronze welds, or what the modern equivalent would be ?)

    Yes, the frame checking diagrams.
     
  11. hobot

    hobot

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Re: Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames

    I note the article says 60,000 Commando sold and 450 Reynold frames a day. There's about 2.5 quarts volume in the hollows.
     
  12. splatt

    splatt

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Re: Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames

    "Curiouser and curiouser"! The '69 frame and also the '68 shown in the links below both appear to be MIG welded (welding experts please feel free to comment?).

    Well unless he has 3 hands, 1 for helmet( not needed for bronze welding), 1 for torch, 1 for filler rod......
     
  13. cjandme

    cjandme

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Re: Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames

    Since this frame thread is still curent I've been wondering about the VR880 modification or addition of a cross brace to the front down tubes, to stop them from "walking" under load. Has anyone else done this, or know about this? Again, not that I'm going to try to take my Norton GP racing or anything, just curious. Cj
     
  14. Carbonfibre

    Carbonfibre

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Re: Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames


    Both the frames in your pictures have been MIG welded. There is no good reason to have used MMA in producing 1970s frames, but MMA would certainly have been used for production before the MIG process had been perfected, and came into common use industrially.
     
  15. Rohan

    Rohan

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Re: Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames

    How do you know it "certainly" would have been used ?

    Do you have anything to back this up, or are we inventing stuff again. ?
     
  16. Carbonfibre

    Carbonfibre

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Re: Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames

    Why on earth would any production process use a form of welding which is slower and more expensive than MIG, and offered no advantages whatsoever? Also positional MMA welding is not that easy, so as you are now claiming this was used to make Commando frames, then perhaps you can outline how this problem was overcome?
     
  17. Rohan

    Rohan

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Re: Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames

    I'm not suggesting anything.
    But I suggest we go back and read what you wroteth in your previous post.

    To wit :-
    Is this or is this not saying that MMA (stick welding) "would certainly have been used".

    Please don't make off-the-cuff random nonsense comments, and then condemn others for it when they question it. You are actually quite good at this, we notice.
     
  18. Carbonfibre

    Carbonfibre

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Re: Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames

    Before chain drives came into common usage belt drives were generally employed on motorcycles. In the same way MMA welding was generally used for production welded frames, before it was superseded by MIG welding, which is far superior for production work.

    However as MMA welding a relatively skilled process, hearth brazed lugged frames were somewhat more popular up until the late 60s, as this process can be carried out by semi skilled workers, and is therefore less costly.
     
  19. Matt Spencer

    Matt Spencer

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Re: Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames

    Theres a photo / picture somewhere of Triuph Oil Tube Twin frame with person meanaceing with Arc Welder ( stick weld )
    Why was the Arc built of Timber ? ? , Have you seen what Arc Welders cost . :lol: . :oops:
     
  20. Carbonfibre

    Carbonfibre

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Re: Where was the Reynolds factory that made Commando frames


    Interesting that Triumph as well as Commando frames were built using the MMA process!..............you learn something new on here every day!
     

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