Fabricating a custom gas tank

7 Chapters 12 Lessons Advanced

About this course

I fabricated this tank out of a sheet of 2mm 5005 Aluminium. 

Check out all the steps from concept, design, fabricating a buck, layout of the parts, shaping, welding and finishing.

This course is 107 minutes watch time, so settle in and pick up some tips and tricks!

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Course Structure

Introduction 1 Lesson


Tank design 3 Lessons

Determine the right “lines” for your bike

Check out a low-tech approach to determining the right "lines" for your bike. 

This is the approach I used to decide on my tank and tail shapes.

If you're absolutely keen to learn how to do this digitally, you should check out our design drawing course

Introduction to wireframe shaping bucks

Wire frames are an alternative to wooden/timber bucks. 

I'm not suggesting they're better or worse, just an alternative. 

Watch this video to hear why I'll be building a wireframe buck.

Setting the bodywork centre lines

More lo-tech! 

Using some welding wire, let me show you how I formed up the center line of the tank and rear fender section!


Building a metalshaping buck 2 Lessons

Building the tank wireframe buck

This is one method of making a shaping buck (the alternative is a timber buck).

I'll show you how and why I built the buck like this.

Paper templates and stock

The first step in building the tank is to make paper templates of the parts. 


In this video I'll show you how I formed the paper around the tank buck - and how this transfers to the sheet metal.

I made this tank in two parts: the sides and a top. Actually, three, as we'll need a base as well :)


Making the tank sides & top 2 Lessons

Forming the tank sides

Just using a piece of steel pipe, here is how I shaped the basic profile of the tank sides.

Forming the tank top

This lesson goes into detail demonstrating the process for shaping the top of the tank - probably the most complex shape in this build.


Welding & finishing the seam 1 Lesson

Welding the top-to-side seam

The first step at getting the tank together is welding the top to the sides. Watch as I demonstrate my process for this particular tank.


Fabricating the tank base 1 Lesson

Fabricating the tank base

Here's an attempt - and a fail - and a second attempt at fabricating the tank base.

The tunnel was formed over some steel pipe, then the tank base pieces were welded to the tunnel.


FInishing the shell to base seam 2 Lessons

Prepare to weld the base to shell

Check out the how and why of the steps before welding the base into the tank!

Finishing the base to shell weld joint

I wanted to make the weld joint between the tank shell and the base invisible. 

Check out my process to get it done.