Exactly the method I was considering. Using Gasgacinch and fine grit sand paper on the drum.
You describe using a vise with the axle held in place and removing the backing plate from the forks. I was wondering if it wouldn't be easier, and more "True" if you were to do basically the same with the backing plate in place on the forks, and simply having the bike on a jack off of the ground so you can spin the wheel. It's easy enough to remove the axle and pull the wheel off to check the progress of the sanding.
Also this way I don't mar the chrome on the axle with the vise.
I appreciate the advice, and in my mind consensus that the idea of gluing sandpaper to the drum wasn't "out there".
I have to agree with you too. You can spit shine a turd, but when you get done all ya got is a shiny piece of shit. Nothing I do is ever going to make this thing work like disc brakes.
The brake drums on the old pan both appear to be about the same diameter and I never have any problems locking up the rear brake. The rear shoes and drum are wider than the front shoes and drum so there's more friction to do the stopping with plus my right leg is DEFINITELY stronger than what I can grip with my hand.
I do understand that the physics of the front brake and rear brake are different and that the LAST thing I want to do is ever lock up the front brake, but...
I recently had an experience I'm trying to never have again. NOT being able to stop at a stop light because my back brake failed due some material malfunction. Basically when I hit the rear brake the "cam" that moves the shoes against the drum BROKE right inside the backing plate. It not only broke off of the shaft, it broke into two pieces.
One of the pieces lodged between the backing plate and the shoe causing my brake to be LOCKED even though I immediately let off of the brake lever when I heard the loud POP when it broke and I started going sideways.
As I was sliding through the intersection, applying what front brake I have in order to hopefully manage to miss the car on my right that was insisting that HE had the right of way because I WAS running a RED light.
I popped the clutch and forced the rear wheel to turn, stopping my skidding about half sideways for the moment. The guy insisting on the right of way evidently figured out that I wasn't just "running the light" but that I was experiencing a life changing moment and stopped so I could manage to point the bike in the direction of a drive way that led onto a hard dirt field.
I motored across the short field and onto some blacktop behind a local pub. When I got off the bike and inspected things the brake lever that normally hangs almost straight down had been spun towards the rear of the bike when the backing plate had spun in the frame.
It appears that when I popped the clutch to get myself out of a locked brake situation it almost ripped off the tab on the backing plate that keeps it from spinning in the frame when you hit the brakes.
I have AAA towing for all my vehicles, including 100 miles for the Harley. They came out and picked me and the pan up and took us home.
I immediately took things apart and that's when I found out what had happened.
This backing plate was only 3 months old. I had replaced my old OEM part with a new CHROME one. The vendor replaced the defective backing plate with another unit at no cost to me. I have yet to install it though. My original unit isn't chrome, but it HAS held together for at least the 31 years I've owned the bike.
So... THAT'S why I'm trying to get a front brake that is something more than a piece of equipment that will hold me from rolling backwards on a hill while stopped at a stop light. I run a foot clutch with a jockey shift and it can get REAL dicey trying to keep your right foot on the one good brake while you put your left foot on the clutch...
Gravity's a law, not an option.
Thanks again guys for putting up with me and my questions and for your input.