Take a look at the finished bicycle here..

Tuesday 26 April 2011

A bit of frame shaping.

Wit a few hours sneaked in over the last week end I managed to start roughly shaping the wooden bike frame. It is very early in the process and I have cut the frame over large so that I can work it back quite a way while finding a shape I like. The first steps were promising, as the lines that the laminated layers of the ply wood give as it is shaped look just how I had hoped they would.

The only thing is that the more I work with this hard wood ply that I have bought, the less confident I am in it. I think it is too brittle. I may have to use this frame as a test. I have been mulling it over and four layers of 12mm marine birch marine ply would do it. Going for the 12mm, would make it affordable, rather than the 25mm that I went for here. Part of the problem is that the ply I bought wasn't marine grade, and the gaps in lamination are just too frequent and I think the weak spots it makes are just too much.

I suppose I knew this strength issue when I started, but thought I could get by it with careful cutting and some epoxy resin. It may well work, but I am bracing myself for a restart.

On a more technical note, I bought a 40mm hole cutter for the bottom bracket placement. Drilled the hole and it fits perfectly. Big smile. I will now get together with the mechanical engineer at work who has kindly offered to help me out a bit with the metal fabrication work around the bottom bracket and head tube.

However, I have really enjoyed the basic shaping I have done this weekend, it has been the first time the frame has started to have a real feel about it in the way I saw in my head back along. I wont mind if I have to do it again as I love the process.

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