Take a look at the finished bicycle here..

Saturday 14 May 2011

Got lots done.

A bit of progress. Firstly I cut some rear stays and tacked them onto the main frame. The main reason for doing this was to ascertain whether the crank would clear the bottom stay. I am pleased to say it does. See the vid.

Crank clearance test.

The other reason for tacking on the stays was to see if they lined up and would actually fit. They did, so I made four more. Each stay will be made of three layers of the 12mm birch ply.

Rear stays all cut.

I spoke to the resident mechanical engineer at work about giving me some help with the fabrication of the bespoke metal fastenings. He had a great idea about how to connect the stays to the drop outs. I had always been worried about weakening the stay by drilling it, his suggestion was to make the end of the stay round and slot it into a metal tube that in turn would be welded to the drop out. I like it, quite simple and will maintain the strength of the stay.

After my last post, I did get the epoxy I wanted, even if I did have to cycle to the other side of town. I bought a small kit of West System Epoxy to learn how to use it. So the first thing I did today was to mix up a small amount (30ml) and have a go at laminating three strips of off-cuts. I found it easy to use thanks to the very clear instructions. I haven't gone back to see how strong it is but I am confident it will be fine.

 Epoxy Resin test.

But the big job today was to split off the two outer layers of the main frame and to reduce weight by cutting out as much as I dared. The idea being that when the outer layers are laminated on top it will create a box section and maintain strength but loose weight, as the frame is really quite heavy at the mo. 

Drilled out.     

     Shapes cut with jig saw.
I drew on the shapes I wanted then drilled out the main cavities. I then trimmed out the remaining bits with a jig saw. What I didn't do was weigh the frame before and after, but it has made a huge difference. I like the look of it. My son asked why the whole frame couldn't look like this. Its a good question, I think it would look great, but I don't think it would be strong enough. I think the box section idea is vital, as I think the frame would flex too much if opened up like this. Also I would have taken more care on the cutting had that been the plan. Next time maybe.

 Just the curve around the back wheel, head set groove to drill out and the rear stay shaping to do to complete the wood work. Metal work next. Then fix it all together.

1 comment:

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