by Fred Houston
photos by Josh Calkins (grandson and father of my great grandson Ethan)
Several Manufacturers made Cycle Fenders in the Model T era. Two of the more prominent were Mercury, the maker of the famous Mercury body and Morton and Brett, maker of the famous Morton and Brett bodies. A review of these two Cycle Fender brackets resulted in the design selected.
Fabricating Speedster Cycle Fender Brackets
Materials used in the fabrication of these brackets are half inch steel rod and 3/16 by 1 inch steel strapping. The strapping was used to form the part of the bracket curving under the fender. The half-inch rods are heated and hammer formed on the ends to the 3/16 by 1 inch size then welded to the strap going under the fender. 3/16 by 1 inch steel tabs are welded on to the half-inch rod as required to form the bolt attachments.
Front Fender Brackets
Note that the front fender bracket is basically one piece, starting under the front of the fender as a strap then going straight down the front side of the spindle, with 2 welded on tabs. The first tab bolting on the top of the spindle bolt, the other bolting to the spindle arm nut, the rod continuing down under the spindle bolt nut then forming a ‘U’ and coming up the back of the spindle to the spindle arm where it takes a 90 degree bend parallel to the arm. Another 3/16 inch tab about 3 inches long first attaches by ‘U’ bolt the spindle arm then extends an inch or so farther to form the base for the triangulation support rod. (See Photos) An early spindle bolt with the screw in oil cap is required and the attachment bolt for the tab at the top of the spindle bolt is made from and old spindle bolt, shortened and threaded to screw into the spindle bolt. The triangulation support rod is flattened on each end. These flattened ends bolt directly to the main bracket on each end close to the fender and forms a triangle support for each end of the fender. A flattened place in the center of the support rod is bolted to the spindle arm tab, which extends from the main bracket and is clamped to the spindle arm.
The above photo shows a partially fabricated right front bracket with tabs welded on with the bolt holes pre-drilled. Note the rods have not yet been flattened on the ends and welded to the flat straps. The spindle bolt is lying in the correct position together with the short bolt above it which is used to attach the bracket tab to the top of the spindle bolt. This bolt is made from a scrap spindle bolt, which has been cut off and threaded to screw into the top of the spindle bolt. This way the oil cap can still be used. The triangulation support bracket is not shown.
Rear Fender Brackets
The rear brackets are made in a similar manner as the front brackets. Basically we have two 90-degree brackets made of ½ inch rods with the ends welded to straps, which are formed in a curve to fit the fender. The rear bracket has a welded on tab, which bolts to the emergency brake hinge bolt. The front bracket also has a welded on tab which attaches to top radius rod bolt. In addition a rod is flattened and attached to the top of the front bracket and extends down to a clamp on the rear axle tube to prevent side movement.
The bracket above is a partially fabricated right rear bracket with the tabs welded on and thin nuts, which can be used with lock washers. The front tab attaches to the top radius rod bolt while the rear nut attaches to the emergency hinge bolt.
In summary, I have had these brackets in service for about five years now and they have proven to be very strong. No problems at all. Tools needed to produce these brackets are: acetylene torch, hack saw, drill motor and vice. The fenders are allegedly early Harley reproduction. We have found no one to make these fenders. We believe there would be a ready market for these Fenders and brackets. We would be happy to provide all information to anyone willing to reproduce these fender and bracket sets. Four sets are needed in the Tulsa chapter alone. If you know of anyone who can make these fenders please contact the author, Fred Houston.