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The Voodoo Smallframe

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A bloke known online as Voodoo, one of the regulars on a Vespa forum I frequent, recently offered me a free, slightly dinged up Vespa 50 frame.  These are unobtanium over here, so despite the fact that I don't need it, don't really have an engine for it, don't have time to work on it, and I'm gonna be in trouble if/when Management finds out, I of course jumped at it.  I did a little paperwork to get an import authority, and put a hurt on my Fedex account, while Voodoo made a big box.

US to Aus in 5 days.IMG_0111.JPEG

Inside, a 56 year old lump of Italian steel.



Which sat in the corner of a mate's factory for a few months while the Covid 19 work frenzy was taking me away from having fun.



Last week, it was time to look at that ding.

Up onto the smally jig.



And away we go






I think it's fair to say that's had a resonable whack. The sides of the spine bulge nicely under that lump of megawelded patch.


From underneath, besides the rust. you can see where a slot has been cut in the spine, a clople of nuts welded in to spread the bent bits back out, then that big ass plate has been used to close the wound.  That wont pass tech to get it back on the road.

Time to make sparks.




With the plate gone, it's apparent that the walls are buckled and weakened.  On both sides.

Time for more surgery.  "Scalpel".


Thats the slot opened up, 


Those walls are'nt gonna cut it.


Now that's a hole.  Time for some pressure, some heat, and some hammering.



Followed by a little laser action and some tweaking


Time to close.  

Remember Buffy?  Luckily, I still have her remains.



And, while she was quite rusty,


the part I need is quite solid.


and covers the hole on both sides.



Thje challenge now was cutting a 3 dimensional piece to fit as snugly as possible, with no available referece point to work from.  Cue a whole day spent slowly cutting, filing, grinding, fitting, hammering, bleeding, and swearing.  Good times!

But,;progress was made.IMG_0496.JPEG

and, after a few thousand fitups, it was time.


With everything straight, some internal bracing is puddle welded in to the sides and top for strength.


and the patch is finally ready.


Gently tacked in


Then generously TIG'd down tight.




Out with the MIG, and some deep puddle welds to tie it to the bracing.


Time for a few hours of careful grinding and sanding


on both sides


and a little grey primer.


From Hole to Whole, just like that. 

Time to build a Voodoo Rat Rod.



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Wow...… serious surgery!  Came out well - almost invisible.  Good to go again.

Presumably the original "dent" was actually a fold caused by the whole structure bending from a substantial frontal.... errr…… mishap?

Not quite sure how many this is now...….. but I think it's fair to say that you've not been taking your pills...….. :P

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Cool! Lovely job there.

I had a couple of small-frame Vespas in my teens, fond memories. 

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Thats very nice work. With that much damage is any thing else out of alignment? It must had a big ding to bend that part...


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Cheers Guys.  I enjoy the problem solving that comes along with something like this.

Mike - the jig is the one I used to build the last frame, so I pulled it into shape using that.  Looks ok with the laser, riding it will be the real test.

Nick - Yep.  Didn't need it, but love the challenge.  Need to get the garage cleared  out so I can find the Sixfire again...  

Got a plan for a bit of workspace over the next few months, might even be able to find that lovely silver project before too long.

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