Revisiting Sylvie’s Seat Cover Triggers Shed Spring Cleaning, While Scarlet Looks A Bit Flat

This week I was hoping to make another attempt at recovering Sylvie’s seat. However, when I opened the bike shed I immediately decided it was time to clear out the shed again instead as I’d let too much stuff gather in the doorway!

I also noticed the pegboard ws looking a bit bare, so I set about sorting the mess out.

Most of the spanners had accumulated at the entrance on top of a parts box along with an assortment of other tools, sprays and old parts.

The sprays went onto the spray can shelf.

The grease and o-rings went back on the shelf below.

The assorted washers and velcro cable ties went on the shelf below.

The cap went back on the Inox can.

I have a space for spare wheels that had a gap in it.

The spare CBF250 wheel hadn’t made it back there, so I rectified the situation.

The wheel had been sitting on some scrap cardboard, so that was relocated too.

The box for my grandfather’s large socket set had lost almost all its contents.

I spread the corrugated cardboard over Scarlet’s seat and tank and transferred loose tools and parts onto it to keep them at waist height.

Returning to the socket set, I flipped the plastic tray back up the right way and referred to the diagram on the lid to start replacing its contents.

The long socket wrench was on top of the tool pile, so it was returned to its rightful place.

Next, the spanners were transferred to  the cardboard and sorted.

After sorting, the spanners were returned  to the pegboard and neatened up.

I started sorting the larger sockets next.

These nwer sockets aren’t part of the old set and are usually hung on the pegboard by their tags.

These older sockets were returned to the set though!

I could almost see the parts box by this stage, so I became more motivated!

The small spark plug socket found its way home too.

The smaller socket originally came from several sets.

This thick rubber glove had been separated from its mate, so it was moved aside too.

The next layer of parts was 2 old CBF250 chains, so I set these aside with the old sprockets

I scooped up the smaller sockets and random other items and tools and found that quite a lot of the random items were not bike-related.

The larger sockets with tags were returned to the pegboard.

The pile of tools got steadily larger as the random items were set aside and moe sockets joined the pile.

Meanwhile, the top of the parts box came gradually into view.

A couple of the tools were from onboard toolkits, so they were set aside.

The zip-lock bag was used to keep the tools together temporarily until the full toolkit was in all in one place again.

A few more pieces made their way back to the socket set.

Finally the top of the parts box was free!

I removed some of the rags from inside it and sealed the lid properly.

I moved it out of the door way to the back of the shed and put the old chains and some of the rags on top of it.

Finally the entrance of the shed was less cluttered!


I looked more closely at the remaining items in the doorway.

Amongst these items were another small socket set and a can of electrical contact cleaner.

The contact cleaner went on the shelf with the other sprays.

The socket set went with the smaller sockets and some parts were returned to it.

The non-slip matting I had intended to make a seat cover from this week was left with the remaining tools.

I found a spare CB250RS clutch plate set on the floor too, so that was set aside with the tools for the next stage of clean-up.

The staple gun was left with the non-slip matting to remind me to work on Sylvie’s seat. next time I look in the shed.

Scarlet’s rear tyre was looking somewhat worse for wear, so that will need attention soon too,

Looking for a few more small items to clean up, I found two of my JIS drivers and several other screwdrivers on the end of the workbench.

The JIS drivers an spare Philips head screwdrives went in the bottom drawer of the toolkit,

The yellow-handled Philips screwdriver went back to its place

Finally I cleaned out the clutter from the top section of the toolbox and closed it up

Now that the entrance to the bike shed is less cluttered, I’ll hopefully be able to get on with working on bikes again!

While I didn’t make any progress on any of the bikes this week, I’ve found plenty to keep me busy as a result of the clean-up!

That’s all for this week. Once I’ve cleaned up a bit more, I’ll have another go at re-covering Sylvie’s seat, take a look at Scarlet’s rear wheel and keep investigating the electrical gremlins with Erica and Scarlet.


Fred Builds Shed – Part 3 – Floor Finished, Gazebo Gone, Shed Secured!

(Part 3 of Fred Builds Shed. Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.)

Last instalment, I had found a suitable place for the shed – on top of the floor under the gazebo!


I had a water-damaged floor to repair and slight extension of the space to organise.


After a trip to the hardware store, I moved Rosie onto the lawn and set about removing the water-damaged particle board.


A shovel made short work of it, so I put some support pieces under the weakest part.

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I added some extra supports, then fitted a large piece of MDF and some smaller pine boards.

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A bit of sanding with an improvised floor sander before sweeping off the sawdust and it was ready for painting.


The floor was painted with  black non-slip paint and left to dry overnight.

The next morning, I started assembling the shed panels. Having disassembled the shed made reassembly pretty easy, as I knew which parts helped hold the structure together.

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The front door section was first.


Next up was the back wall.

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With the front and rear assembled, the rest came together quite nicely.

I had to attack a wild gazebo due to strong winds, as it kept pushing the shed off the raised floor. Here’s the skinned carcass:


The larger “bones”


And finally a collection of smaller “bones”  – screws and brackets – on top of my trusty toolkit inside the nearly completed shed.


While I needed a break after three days of disassembly, floor repair, painting and construction, I figured it needed a bike in it to be called a bike shed, so Rosie was moved in and a photo taken.


A fresh new padlock on the doors and I finally had a reasonably secure bike shed!


All that remained at this point was to tidy up the yard, make sure I had room to store bike parts, access to power and finally to move bikes back out of the carport.

I was taking that break first, though…

(Continued in Part 4…)

Fetching Scarlet, Relocating The Gazebo And Charging Bruiser’s Battery

After Bruiser arrived on Friday night, I got up early and drove 2 hours down the highway to a place called Yanderra to collect my latest acquisition – a red 1980 CB250RS. The weather was great on the way there, so I didn’t bother taking a tarp to cover it with. Halfway back it started raining and I returned to Canberra with a rather wet bike, who I decided on the way back shall be named Scarlet.

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She seems to be missing a few parts but the seat is very good condition and she has the front half of both mufflers. She even turns over, although I haven’t tried to start her yet. Apparently the previous owner had her running a few years ago.

All the wind and rain here lately has meant the my temporary bike shelter in the form of a kit gazebo has been somewhat bent out of shape. Rather than taking pictures of a sad-looking gazebo, I decided to relocate it to a slightly less windy spot and build a floor. After crab-walking the gazebo sideways, much shovelling of dirt, shuffling of bikes, laying of pallets and parts of an old wardrobe, hammering of nails and re-shuffling bikes, I’m pretty pleased with the end result.

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From the left, we have Bruiser, Eric, Scarlet and Nix.

Despite starting Nix to make her easier to move I couldn’t let the weekend go by without tinkering with at least one of the bikes, so I decided to top up Bruiser’s battery and see if it will charge.

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My trickle charger showed the battery as already charged as soon as I turned it on – this is typical behaviour for this charger for a completely drained battery, however.

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I put the bolts and caps from Bruiser’s battery in a plastic bag to stop them getting lost.

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Looking at the  battery box, it seems he’s had a somewhat hard life.

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The side panel covering it hasn’t fared much better.

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This crack may not look too bad from the outside but it appears that no expense was spared repairing it!

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His seat and tank have definitely seen better days too!

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Bruiser’s engine doesn’t turn over with the kick-starter, so he is primarily going to be a parts bike – he was bought from a scrap metal dealer so I wasn’t expecting to get him running.

On the plus side, all the specialised mounting bolts and nuts that were missing from Eric are there, he has fully intact instruments, all lights, both mufflers and a full set of matching locks, all of which work apart from the steering lock. More on that later.

As it was cold and wet, I packed up for the day. Hopefully the gazebo will remain upright and this week will have better weather!