Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Glueing up the rear end......intense

Our wooden cargo bike is about 90% glued up. Last night we tackled the rear triangle which is an order of magnitude more complex than the cargo bed/head tube mast we did last week. Not only did we have to ensure proper clamping and alignment of the rear stays but also integrate the seat post and bottom bracket blocks, the bottom bracket/seat tube steel component, rear head tube and attendant panels and all of these disparate parts liberally coated with epoxy resin making the whole enchilada a slippy, gooey mess. Good job Jeff owns a small mountain of clamps and an awesome epoxy resin dispenser, that combined with liberal use of zip ties (what did we do before they existed?) and the nail gun that shoots tiny, tiny headless pins we slowly brought the form together. Still, three hours in a jolly plastic coverall and respirator applying 'spooge' into every nook & cranny is about the limit of human endurance. We left of the dropouts, the rear head tube and the outer frame of the cargo bed for another session. Those cold beers Jeff had in his micro 'frigilator' never tasted so good.

Jeff has some misgivings about the intense curve needed to form the rear stays. It's possible the whole thing might explode when we remove the clamps (cool!). Our thinking going forward is to form the rear stays with stacked plywood laminate but that will have to wait for version #2. Right now our intention is to add material as necessary to increase rigidity. The major area of concern is the cargo deck that lacks torsional rigidity. The rear triangle? We shall have to wait and see when the glue drys.

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