Building Custom Motorcycle Exhausts: Filing the Pipes

What You'll Need
Steel Pipes
Pipe Cutter
File Card

Motorcycle exhausts cost a lot of money so it would be nice to build one using scrap metals. Although it is not a very easy DIY project, it is worth considering when one has the potential skills necessary to put together a piece of exhaust required for a motorcycle. Motorcycle enthusiast may already have a background in fixing their motorcycles so it would be worth a try to build custom motorcycle exhausts. In addition to special skills, special materials are also needed including steel pipes, pipe bender and cutter, files, and other specialty equipment. This article will discuss how to file the pipes of the motorcycle exhausts to make them look professionally made.

Step 1 – Preparation

When building custom motorcycle exhausts, make sure to cut the pipes and bend carefully. Build a template for the whole exhaust system and use this template as a guide when cutting the pipes. Use a hacksaw or a pipe cutter to cut the pipes. Be sure to make a clean cut on the pipes to avoid having to work too much on the filing process later on.

Step 2 – File the Pipes

When the pipes are cut, the cut portion of the pipe will definitely need some filing. Filing the pipes is important to make sure that the pipe edges are not rough and dull. This will also ensure that the welding process will be as smooth as possible. Welding rough edges is not a very easy task to do. Use the right type of file for the surface. There are different types of files for flat, round, and angled surfaces.

To use the file, let it lie flat on the surface. Use the file diagonally and work the tool from right to left and from left to right when the end of the surface is reached. Keep repeating the process until all surfaces are smoothed out. Do this every time a pipe is cut.

Step 3 – Weld the Pipes

Custom building a motorcycle exhaust will surely require welding pieces of the materials together. Determine where the welds are needed. Weld the pieces together until they are securely held in place. Allow the welded parts to cool off.

Step 4 – File the Welds

After the pieces are welded together, file the welds on the pipes to ensure that the finished product will look professionally made. Lay the file flat on the extra rough or extra welds and work the tool on the surface of the weld until a smooth and even surface is achieved. Check out all the welds and file them carefully. Afterwards, clean the files with a file card before setting them aside.

Step 5 – Sand the Filed Surfaces

Sand the filed surfaces to make them extra smooth. Sand paper will also clean surfaces that the file cannot clean properly. You may use a mechanical or electric sander.