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How To: 1913 Veloce footpegs

March 1, 2011

The Veloce didn’t have any footpegs when I uncrated it, but it was simple enough to make up a set.  Looking at all the various parts, what stands out are the sheer number of items required.  A few of them necessitated some different setups on the mill than what I’ve shown in other projects, so I snapped some photos as I went along…


Spindles:  These started as some 1” 12L14 steel.  The lead in their composition makes the steel very easy to machine.  Here is a short video of the first one on the lathe.  Nice long smooth chips coming off of that brazed carbide tool.


The spindles register into slots in the Footpeg Mounts.  To make the flats on the spindles, I used the spin indexer.  It grabs parts in a 5C collet, then the part can be turned to any angle required and locked in place.  These indexers are handy for cutting a hexagon onto the end of a part, or for sharpening end mills with a surface grinder.  They are cheap too, about $40 on sale through Rutland/Airgas, Enco, MSC, Travers, etc.  Here’s a quick tip: get on their mailing list, the monthly sales are way better prices than the giant yearly catalogs!






Footpeg Mounts:

These were cut from mild steel flat bar, all operations done on the mill.  The fun part was creating the rounded ends with the rotary table.  I showed that in a previous How To article…  In this photo the spindles haven’t yet had their threads cut, nor the flats on the other ends.



Here are the parts ready to be assembled.  The round sleeve fits over the spindle and allows the footrest to rotate into position.  The footrests are made from two sheetmetal parts cut on a laser cutter, then formed into shape.  The formed edges give a bit of a lead in for the riders boots to fit down onto the rubbers.  A pair of studs with 3/16 whitworth threads hold the reproduction rubbers, and a tube keeps it all from collapsing when the shouldered nut is tightened.  All these parts were newly made in the shop, except the rubbers, which are available from Jeff Hunter Engineering, some other vendors and also sometimes on eBay.



Two extra sets of footpeg frames were made and are available for sale or swaps for veteran motorbike parts.  Email via the Comments link if you are interested.


Here is a preliminary fitment on the 98 year old shaft and the brake pedal.   Next steps are deburring and paint, then maybe some silencer fabrication, control lever machining or motor main bearings fitting… stay tuned.


12 Comments leave one →
  1. March 1, 2011 11:30 am

    Veloce at last. There is a vitage bike show over here in Bangkok on March 3-6 and the cover bike on all the ads is a featured restored 1917 Excelsior 61 cu inch! I’ll go check it out asap. Gotta meet the owner. Exciting. Thanks, Paul

  2. March 1, 2011 12:52 pm

    Nice work! Looks pretty much like what I need for the ’27 BSA, I’d love to buy the extra set if they’ll work.

  3. alan comfort permalink
    March 1, 2011 6:27 pm

    Nice work Pete, My machine shop is comprised of a large collection of files, some drills and a few taps and dies. I am considering the purchase of a new made in China lathe mill combo. Are they worth $2k or should I hold my ground for a used Southbend and forget the mill?
    Regards, Alan in vancouver

    • March 2, 2011 12:38 pm

      I’ve used a few lathes over the years, but never tried a combo mill/lathe. For motorbike parts, a lathe is more useful than a mill. Instead of a combo lathe/mill combo, you might be better off buying a lathe now, and a mill later. When I bought my new lathe, I got a 12×36″ Birmingham. Made in China, but it was made pretty well. It’s no Hardinge, but it should last for my lifetime when used as a hobby lathe, and it is big enough for flywheels, brake drums, etc. The price was right for me, but don’t forget the tooling you’ll need to buy, that adds up.

  4. Russell permalink
    March 1, 2011 11:13 pm

    Excellent, been hanging out for some Velo developments!! Thanks.

  5. Lee Samuelson permalink
    March 1, 2011 11:53 pm

    Hi again, Pete

    Looks like you’re spinning your lathe on the slow side. With carbides you should be making CHIPS not swarf.
    Rule-of-thumb for carbides is 400 surface feet/minute or 400 rpm at 4″ diameter (1600 rpm for 1″ dia.). Scary at first, but iff’n you don’t get the speed up your carbides will leave a gummy or roughish finish – i.e. the proper speed lets the lower part of the tool face burnish the surface.
    And yes, a dead sharp carbide will cut at tool steel speeds (80 to 100 sfm).

    Just back from Costa Rica, -30 degrees and calving season is upon us.

    • March 2, 2011 8:34 am

      Thanks Lee. I don’t have a cutting lube system so I tend to go slower than ideal. I was taught to cut while watching the chip color to avoid burning the tool. But I’ll speed it up next time and see how it goes. 😉

  6. March 2, 2011 8:05 am

    I guess Latvia didn’t come thru?

    • March 2, 2011 8:29 am

      Hi Jason. It’s still in process, it’ll take several more nights before there is anything to share…

  7. Richard McKenney permalink
    March 2, 2011 3:06 pm

    Time to crank up the Nickle plating kit Pete.

    • March 2, 2011 4:07 pm

      yep, stay tuned. probably later this spring though, as I have a lot more parts to fabricate before I get into plating them.

  8. victor boocock permalink
    May 12, 2011 4:56 pm


    Nice job on the Atascadero run
    Enjoyed the time with you and Kim

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