Riding Missouri 2009 Edition

Every ride can be an adventure!

Building a Custom Headlight Gravel Guard

The materials I used for this project can be found at any hardware or farm supply store. I decided on 22 gauge sheet metal and ½ inch square fence wire but you can use any type of fence wire you wish.
The 22 gauge sheet metal can be any width but it needs to be 24 inches long. The following procedure will work for both round and squar headlights.

 

 

 

 

 

Carefully lay out a ¾ inch strip of your sheet metal using a ruler and a pencil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use a band saw or a jig saw cut along the penciled line. I don’t recommend using tin snips for this because it might curl the edges of the sheet metal.

 

 

 

 

 

This is the finished cut ¾ inch strip. Use a file to remove all the sharp edges then 220 grit sandpaper to remove any rust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrap the sheet metal strip tightly around the inner headlight ring where it will be mounted.

 

 

 

 

 

Use a small pair of vice grips to hold the sheet metal ring together then remove the sheet metal ring.

 

 

 

 

 

After removed, this is what the ring should look like.

 

 

 

 

 

Set the sheet metal ring to the side and unroll the fence wire you chose for the gravel screen. I chose ½ inch square wire fencing that I got from my local farm supply store.

 

 

 

 

 

Cut out about a 12 inch square piece of the wire and press it flat against the work bench. Lift up on each corner making very slight bends until the wire will lay mostly flat on its own.

 

 

 

 

 

I used a couple of fire bricks to lay my work on at this time so as not to catch anything on fire wile soldering my project together.
Lay the fence wire square on top of the bricks then place the sheet metal ring on top of the wire and center it up.

 

 

 

 

 

To help hold the assembly in place I used a piece of metal I had laying around the shop as weight to hold everything down.
Using an old toothbrush I applied a generous amount of flux paste to the inside of the ring and on the wire to be soldered.

 

 

 

 

 

Work your way around the edges of the sheet metal ring soldering each strand of wire to the ring. Try not to get to much solder build up on the wire or it might look sloppy when finished.

 

 

 

 

 

This is what it should look like after the wire has been soldered to the ring.

 

 

 

 

 

Remove the vice grips and use a pair of pliers to bend out about a 1 inch tab.

 

 

 

 

 

Then using a pair of side cutting pliers, start cutting the wire on the outside of the ring.

 

 

 

 

 

This is what the wire ring should now look like.

 

 

 

 

 

Lay out another sheet metal strip about ¾ inch wide and about 2 inches long and cut it out using the same method as used earlier.

 

 

 

 

 

Remove the sharp edges and clean any rust off of the metal.

 

 

 

 

 

Bend the tab into about a 1 inch L shape and cover one surface with flux paste. Then secure the ring once again with the small vice grips.

 

 

 

 

 

I used a small C clamp to hold the tab in place on sheet metal ring. There should be about ¼ inch gap between each tab. Now solder the new tab in place.

 

 

 

 

 

This is what the assembly should look like thus far.

 

 

 

 

 

Use hand drill to drill holes in the tabs for the securing nut and screw. The size you use is up to you but I would use the smallest diameter machine screw possible.

 

 

 

 

 

Then trim the tabs around each hole using a pair of tin snips to make the tabs look neat.

 

 

 

 

 

The assembly should now look like this.

 

 

 

 

 

Use a belt sander or a fine stoned pedestal grinder to grind down what’s left of the wire around the sheet metal ring. This will make the assembled gravel guard look clean and neat with no sharp edges. Be careful not to get the wire to hot though or it will melt the solder and ruin your work.

 

 

 

 

 

The new assembly will now need to be rough sanded ten washed and dried for painting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hang the part in a remote location and use a flat black spay paint for finishing.  Let the part dry over night before using.

 

 

 

 

 

After drying overnight press the new gravel guard in place and tighten the securing screw.

 

 

 

 

 

Now you have a very cool looking headlight gravel guard!

 

 

 

The End