Great work and I empathise with your position on the primer. After mammoth work like that it would be horrific to see it rust up again.
I have used Eastwoods Rust Encapsulator on all cleaned metal areas on my projects and have my doubts about it. I've seen light rust coming back on it and the thing is indoors on clean metal. They claim it rustproofs on top of rust (outdoors)?.
I then tried an enamel primer, supposedly zinc based, from the Stationery Engine Company and that seems worse than the Eastwoods.
It so hard to tell with paint as there are so many variables but I think the best I have had is a Glasurit etch primer which is now seemingly no longer available
Well there went an hour of my life that I don't need back. Not sure how I have missed this thread for all that time, but just read all 10 pages. Riveting read, excellent skills. And great descriptive write-ups.
There is nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes
It's interesting to see where your's has rotted against where ours has. Our roof doesn't look as bad (but then we haven't taken it off yet) but the entire lower 6" was missing!
Doesn't help that there's sod all availabe panel wise for 'up top' so hat's off to you for that.
Is it just me, or do these things seem to be made with a complete lack of thought as to what fits to what?! I imagine the design coversation was something like "Ahh, just weld another panel on top of that one Bert, that'll fill that gap. Then stick another one on top of that to join up there"
I've came across this on my lunch break at work, and then spent most of the afternoon reading it - incredible stuff.
Also, I first heard (then spotted) the mighty Lexus thundering up Lothian Road this morning, which is what reminded me to post.
Ha, cool, Thats the route i take to work in the mornings.
I haven't posted in a while but I've been pretty busy. Not with the van but with another little project that i have been wanting to do for a while. Some of you may remember that last year i made my nephew a digger for his birthday.
Well, it was getting close to his birthday again and i had toyed with the idea of a near enough 1/2 scale replica of my dads trike for him to cycle. He loves looking at my dads trike and sitting on it so to have one of his own would be pretty cool. To start with I had to find some parts. I asked my mate that works in a motorbike scrappy if he had any old mini-moto dirt bike front ends and a small quad back axle. I managed to get the two of them, plus a cool headlight for £40. I bought a length of 25mm tubing from a metal fabricators that I used to work for for £10. Then i went to the nearest council recycling tip and found an old BMX. I offered the guy that was in charge £5 but he told me just to take it, nice guy.
With all the major parts i needed i started on scaling my dads trike down to match the wheel sizes. I took a side photo of my dads trike and traced around it in Adobe Illustrator. I then printed it out to the size i needed on bits of A4 paper and taped the them together.
First thing i needed to do was weld the new headstock. Luckily when i bought the front forks it can with the front end of the old frame so all i had to do was grind the frame off to leave me the tube that the bearings sat in. Then i drew the rough outline of a headstock onto 12mm plate and cut it out with the grinder. Clamped it all down with spacers and tacked it up.
I borrowed my mates pipe bender for the curves in the frame. This is the down tube bent and tacked into place. I checked it was all ok with the plans.
Then i got a slightly bigger piece of tube and tacked that across. This acts as the swing axle housing on my dads trike.
Trying to do the 'tank' was a pain. The bender i had couldn't give me a tight bend, the former was about 200mm diameter so i had to mess about a bit with a few ideas. Even if i did have a former that tight the tube would have just kinked anyway. I used a bit of both bending and cutting lots of slices in the tube and bending. The tightest bend on the left is pretty much made up fully of weld and then ground down to resemble tubing. I used 3 pieces of tubing to make the shape of the tank.
With that done i tacked another down tube piece up and made a couple of brackets to attach the rear axle on and then bolted the forks on to get an idea of how it looked. I got pretty excited to see it starting to take shape.
So excited infact that i had to set my camera up to take a photo of me sitting on it. using the old BMX handlebars and a piece of wood with a knee pad on it for the seat.
Unfortunately the piece of wood with a knee pad wouldn't suffice for the final fit so i had to finish off the seat frame. Using some practise pieces from the bender and more tubing.
And ofcourse it has to have the king and queen seat so Roo can take all his girlfriends on trips on the back seat, aaaaaiiii.
. I tacked the new handlebars into place aswell. My dads trike has 2 tall uprisers that go into flat bars so i used the old BMX bars and the bars from the mini-moto forks and cut them and tacked them to look like my dads.
One thing that i was worried about was gearing. Roo is only turning 4 so it had to be easy enough to get it going but then i don't want him peddling 100rpms to move a few feet in length. Solution is gearing, I spent a little bit thinking of attaching derailleur gears but then i had a brain wave. If i could find a Sturmey archer wheel i could cut the hub out and weld a new cog on the drive instead of powering a tyre. I got a hold of my brothers mate that works in a bicycle shop and he gave me a complete wheel for the price of 6 beers, another good guy. So, snip, snip, snip the spokes and we get what i need.
Then i cut the crank assembly out of the old BMX frame, i liked the pattern on the crank so that was cool.
I got pretty hungry and went to the corner shop for sweeties and the meal of champions, a pot noodle. Unfortunately once getting back to the garage i realised i never ha d a suitable utensil to eat this fine meal. Not to let anything get between me and my food i made a ghetto spoon, yum!
With some sustenance in me my mind cleared and i could concentrate on the gearing once again. I used some 25mmx 3mm and 25mm tubing for the hub carrier. The rear axle has a built in adjuster aswell but the carrier also needed adjustment so the hub is bolted into grooves. You can see the other cog that i welded onto the hub here aswell.
The front crank was then offered up. It was with a bit of guessing where this should be. I measured Roo's inside leg size which was about 18 inches. I tacked it roughly into place where i thought it should be (it wasn't in the right place but more on that later).
Now it was functioning i took it for its first test drive. Which made me panic. When i tried to turn it would just go straight. The lack of a differential and a light front end meant there was no way it was wanting to turn. I did get a little dis-heartened at this. I took one of the rear wheels off and stripped the hub off aswell. Very luckily for me this 'grips' onto the axle with splines. Using the grinder i ground down the spline which made the right hand wheel free-wheel. Put it all back together then tried it again, great success! it would now turn, phew.
My dads trike a fully functioning wheelie bar which i thought would be cool thing to replicate.I got some 12mm round bar for the main frame and 8mm for the diagonals. I had also ordered some wheel bearing for the front wheel earlier. And it worked out cheaper to buy a pack of 10 than 2 so i used 6 of them for the wheelie bar wheels and made a cradle for them to fix into. You can also see the i cut the front handle bars again, they had too much rake on them, so that was 5 pieces just to make a set of handlebars. I had also raked around my dads box of bits (every dad has one of them in their shed) and found a gear change for the Sturm archers, this thing is about 30 years old apparently. I had to go to the cycle shop and buy a cable for it, about £9 i think.
Messing around trying to tension the chain i noticed it would slacken itself off after a bit of use so i had to make a fixed adjuster, using some 25mm x 3mm and a couple of bolts attached to a bit of 10mm plate welded onto the cradle. I also managed to put a slight bend in a few pieces of tubing to weld the front crank to.
This is also the point when i thought that the crank was too close to the back. There was a chance he could hit the back of his heel on the hub carrier.
I toyed with moving the hub carrier back but thought it would be easier to move the crank forward and hope that he could still reach the pedals. I moved it forward about 2 inches and added extra links to the chain.
Then i cycled it outside and took a few photos infront of the Lex.
The sissy bar i made can fold down for a larger adult to have a bit more space.
I was thinking about how to make it more safer for Roo and his friends sitting on the back and the best thing would be to cover the rear wheels with mudguards and a chain guard. The chain guard was easy, make a cardboard template and then make it out of metal.
The mudguards, well, I could have just curved a piece of sheet and called it a day but that would look horrible and a quick fix solution. I looked at mudguards for trailers but they were expensive and i would still need to cut them up to fit anyway. My first attempt was to cut a sheet of 1.2mmand tap the lip over a round former. I just couldn't shrink the metal enough to get a neat lip, too many peaks. Then i remembered the shrinker/stretcher i had bought for the van roof. Next attempt was another sheet of metal with 2 lips folded up on the home made bender.
Then slip it into the jaws of the shrinker and nip it a few times then flip it around and nip the opposite side.
Repeat the process about 100 times over the space of an hour, checking it against a circle i had drew on a bit of wood, then realising i went too far and having to swap the jaws to stretch then back to shrink, tweaking it here and there by hand etc,...over the space of an hour or 2 and i got a decent enough mudguard, great now i had to do it all over again for the other side, my favourite......
I also started the template for the seat pan.
Both mudguards done and mocked up in place using the hose pipe trick i had seen on American chopper.. I had bought 2 rear lights from a pound shop for, well, 2 pound that got taped on for now and i also made a bracket to attach the front teardrop shape headlight.
This was the main structure done. I moved it along to my work as i was getting close to the painting stage and wanted to use the works spray room.
My next obstacle was the rear brake. The axle had came with a disc but no calliper. I had a small cable operated calliper the same as the front one but that was designed for a smaller and thinner disc. My brother gave me a disc that fitted but a completely different bolt pattern to the quad axle holder. With a bit of careful measuring and cutting i made one good disc out of the 2.
The mudguards still had a gap where the passengers feet could get trapped so i wanted to make the mudguard bracket cover it but look stylish at the same time. I used another thicker piece of tubing for the foot rest and cut a nice shape out of 3mm sheet. Then another piece of 12mm round bar to act as a top bracket/hand rest.
A couple of tabs cut from 25mmx3mm to mount the rear lights.
The frame done i stripped it all back down again so i could grind the welds down and get it ready for painting.
As i had to make a new disc for the rear axle i also had to come up with a bracket to mount the calliper.
Solution : more 10 mm plate cut to shape.
The frame got a coat of primer then gloss black. If i had more time and money i would have used a better quality paint, this is just bog standard gloss black thinned down with white spirit. Its cheap but takes ages to dry!. The other pieces that got painted silver was with smooth-rite, good tough finish.
Along with the rear axle.
Whilst the paint was still drying i made the seat. I forgot to take photos of the seat pan. The seat pan is made up of 3mm plate with a lip all the way around. I had bought some look-a-like leather and little buttons to cover in leather. The lip of the seat pan had thin pieces of wood screwed to it for the staples to attach to. I also bought some pinstriping for the front wheel and painted the rear wheels red and silver. I also bought new pedals as the BMX ones were quite scuffed. But even those couldn't be simple. They were a 9/16 thread and the crank is a 1/2 thread. I looked in another shop for other pedals but all i could find were 9/16 . In the end i had to take both set of pedals apart, cut them in half then extend the old pedal shaft to bold the new pedal on, gggrrrrrr. Worked in the end though and defiantly worth it. when the paint was dry it was time to reassemble. The headlight was also a pain as the bulb was for a 12v battery so i had to go to maplin and buy a 6v bulb, a bulb holder a switch and 4x AA battery holder and wire it all up to fit inside the headlight casing.
The trike was now complete. Just had to finish up the cables, i wanted it to look neat so they go through the frame. The 'tank' needed more definition so i put some pinstriping around it then washed and dusted the whole thing down.
The day before i gave it to Roo i took it to my mum and dads house to get a few photos of it beside my dads trike. I was really happy with how it turned out and so was my dad. I can imagine my dad taking his trike to shows and taking Roo'pedal trike to sit next to it as a neat touch.
The next day we went to my brothers house to give Roo the trike. I rolled it over to his house and covered it in a big blanket. It was cool to see him all excited about what it could be underneath the cover. he ripped the cover off and jumped straight on. He didn't need any encouragement and his little legs reached the pedals and he was off. I let out quite a sigh of relief to see that it moved under his own power plus the pedals were close enough for him to reach, something that had been playing on my mind since i had started the project!.
Roo and my bro.
And ofcourse i had to have a shot.
It was good to have a little break from the van to do something completely different for a little bit. Now i need to get back onto the van.
Post by purplebargeken on Apr 30, 2012 12:04:26 GMT
How old are you? What do you do for a living? Whatever it is you are wasted there. I envisage a bloody impressive fabricating/custom shop business for you at some point. Top bloody work (again). Wow!!!!