Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Since I have no tubing bender with which to make the crank, and since budgetary constraints prohibit the purchase of one at this time, I had to go ahead and make up a jig to weld the crank together. Here it is with the parts attached. The microphone stand gave its life for this crank. Tomorrow I should be able to weld it up and mount it on the bike. That'll clear the bottleneck to fit the seat and steering, and then, it will roll.

Measure twice, order once

It turns out that 3/4" electrical conduit does not in fact have a 7/8 " outside diameter. I know this because it completely does not fit in the nice new 7/8" bearings that I received yesterday. Fortunately I scoured the house and found a mic stand that has 7/8" outside diameter tubing as its base, so I am now down one mic stand but up one set of crank raw materials. At the end of this week I hope to have a crank welded together.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


It stands on all 4 wheels now, and I've started on the steering linkage. The electric wheel pushes it along just fine, and I'm deciding on a place for the seat. Here we see Abby holding aloft the traditional Steel Branch symbolizing the completion of major frame construction. 2 of my neighbors have come in to see what all the arcing is about. Interestingly, both of them said they had done some welding earlier in their lives. Must be a rite of passage.

The garage is getting to the point where I really should do a major cleanup before continuing construction, but I doubt I'll follow through with that.

Chinese Electric Wheel

So I found the cheapest electric hub wheel I could possibly find. It came yesterday, with 1 photocopied sheet of English instructions and plenty of Chinese. It uses 2 12 V batteries, which weigh as much as the whole frame, so I hope it works well.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


I went to the Norcross Open Car Show today. They had everything there you could want, from 30s hot rods to a completely original 1970 Dodge Challenger. What I was looking at were the T-buckets, though, because the bikecar is heading in that direction. I liked one in particular, with the leather couch interior and coach taillights (they look like little lanterns). As I went passed I hummed Dragula by Rob Zombie and have been humming it ever since. So the bikecar will have a gothic T bucket theme going for it.

By the way, the car in the Rob Zombie Dragula video is actually the Munster Koach. The Dragula was Grandpa Munsters, and was in fact a coffin with a V8. Sweeeeeet..

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Quadbike Wheel

More progress on the quadbike - one of the back wheels is attached. I'm loosely following the plans found at www.americanspeedster.com, except mine's made of metal instead of PVC pipe. Same basic idea - chain outside the body, one electric rear wheel. Welding's getting to be no big thing, I think I've got the hang of it. Always a shame that you can't go back and fix all the things you did when you were learning. Oh well, next one.

Gas looks set to go above 4 dollars a gallon. Time to start a moped/golf cart/bicycle shop.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Well, it's been a while. I've always wanted to weld. It seemed like such a useful skill, but somehow I never got around to it, probably because it's also an inconvenient skill, what with the fire, sparks and melting metal.

A couple of months ago Dad was down fixing my porch roof with me, and he convinced me to go to the Harbor Freight store and pick up a flux welder. I was not aware of the advancements in welding technology. This welder plugs into a 120 volt house line, doesn't use gas, and doesn't use sticks. You just hold the pointy end close to the pieces you want to join and pull the trigger.

Actually there's more to it than that - I still only get a nice-looking weld about 1 out of 5 times, but the rest seem to hold too. It's a strange feeling, since you can't see what's going on too well from behind the mask, and you have to go on feel and trying to watch the puddle of molten metal behind the arc.

Which brings me to the best thing about welding; you're MELTING METAL. With ELECTRICITY. Yes, please.

So anyway, my first project is a 4 wheeled pedal and electric powered vehicle. So far the frame is done and all the parts are on order. It's heavy, but so far not as bad as I thought it would be. I'll try to stay more up to date on my progress here.