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vhclbldr
New Member

USA
58 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2010 :  04:43:42  Show Profile  Visit vhclbldr's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Rick, your attention to detail and documentation of each step/phase is incredibly professional and nothing short of spectacular. This thread is the best "how-to" on building velomobile bodies (or any fiberglass bodied vehicle construction) that I have found on the web.
Outstanding, sir. Simply outstanding.
.. and each entry is like getting a fix for those of us with the addiction to fabricating, too!

Warren, I am looking forward to seeing how this build is preserved with pictures. What options are you considering (I know that there has been repeated mention of a web page or web pages on this site), and have you considered converting it to PDF format? (too large? too much work?)?

If I can help, I would be glad to do my part.


Jamieson
Builder of Tadpole Recumbent w/ Electric-assist
Bel Air, MD (USA)

P.S. I just went back and re-read the entire post from the beginning. I stand by my original statements. Fantastic job!
:)

Edited by - vhclbldr on 07/04/2010 05:21:38
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rickmantoo
recumbent enthusiast

USA
243 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2010 :  12:47:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Jamieson
Thanks for the complement! I hope other people start building the own Velomobiles.

Today I got up early to do some cleaning up from all the sanding. Hopefully I will be able to get the vehicle together tomorrow and take it for it's test ride. I also painted the hinges for the top so they will be ready to install.


Now it is time to drink Beer and eat Bratwurst

Rick W
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Seatec
Starting Member

Canada
1 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2010 :  09:40:32  Show Profile  Visit Seatec's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Nice job, just found it today. How do you like the electric motor. I'm just starting to look at getting a recumbent trike and want a motor and a smaller body for the front end,.my hobby, building fiberglass accessories for Burgman 650 trikes. Wayne
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rickmantoo
recumbent enthusiast

USA
243 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2010 :  06:50:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wayne

Sorry for the late reply. I just went back to full time (Actually overtime) work and was away from a computer. I like the idea of an electric motor on the vehicle, and the system I am using works good for a low power (300-400W). I have about 50 miles on it and have been playing with the motor gear ratios somewhat. The next test is to see how it all performs with the body. Not sure when that will happen but I am trying to get it all sorted out so I can make it to the Niagara Velomobile Happening in early September.

Rik
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raymondg
recumbent guru

864 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2010 :  12:46:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rick,
Just got back online after vacation, and I like it. Very sweet work. I'd been eyeing the Duratec primer after using standard sandable primer (auto store variety)for the Orion Plugs. Your little comment of after 4 hours...just gets me. It took me many days to do the same thing on the Orion with the thinner primer. Thanks again for the updates.

Raymond
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rickmantoo
recumbent enthusiast

USA
243 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2010 :  11:04:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Raymond

Thanks for the continued support for this project. I still have way more than 4 hours to finish sanding and blocking the body before the final paint. The body is no where near acceptable mold finish.

I need to find the time to get the frame in the body and put some miles on the complete set up.

I am also looking into adding turn signals and lights. This is also a new area for me so I will spend some time lurking on the European forums for lighting solutions. Garrie Hill is also getting me some information on the lighting and signals on his Glide.

Rick W
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warren
human power expert

4790 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2010 :  12:19:02  Show Profile  Visit warren's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Here y'go Rick. $6.43 with free shipping from China.

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.3631

-Warren.
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rickmantoo
recumbent enthusiast

USA
243 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2010 :  12:34:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Warren
Thanks for the link. I ordered 2 different ones to check them out before I try and make a 12 volt system.


Rick W

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warren
human power expert

4790 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2010 :  13:13:54  Show Profile  Visit warren's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hey Rick are you going to have that velo ready enough to bring to N. Manchester next month so we can roll it test ride it?

-Warren.
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rickmantoo
recumbent enthusiast

USA
243 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2010 :  13:48:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Warren

I am scheduled to be up at the International Bridge August 16-26 for a bridge inspection so it looks like I will not be going to N. Manchester. I am planning on attending the Niagara velomobile thing. I just hope work does not get in the way ( but it is nice to be busy at work again)

Rick
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rickmantoo
recumbent enthusiast

USA
243 Posts

Posted - 07/25/2010 :  14:25:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So today I got back to doing some things on the velomobile body. I attached the hinges on the top and opened it it about 95 degrees open.


I then measured for the location of some mounting plates for a cable stop for the top. I will use some aircraft cable to hold the top open at about 95 degrees. I have not figured out a high tech way to keep the top from blowing shut. so I will use the low tech way like a prop.
Here is one of the bonded in mounting plate.


While I was bonding in the mounting plates I used some flox to feather the sided of the aluminum plates. I used the extra flox to fill in several sections on the shell where I sanded through to the foam.


Rick W
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pounce
Starting Member

USA
21 Posts

Posted - 07/25/2010 :  22:50:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by rickmantoo



I have not figured out a high tech way to keep the top from blowing shut. so I will use the low tech way like a prop.



How about using a lift hood strut off a car? They come in all sorts of sizes for use on the hood or rear lift gates and even just glass on hatchbacks and such.

I've actually just come across your long post here after planning a build approach that is very similar. It's really good to see your work and appreciate that you are sharing your steps along the way.

I am planning on using the same foam and leaving it as part of the structure. The approach will be to have the foam cut on a cnc like a frogmill or shopbot in 3 sections. Two halves from about 2/3 high and a top. I'm looking at the cnc for a few reasons. I've done some custom bodywork in the past and getting symmetry always made me crazy even though I know most people can't see it (you cant see both sides of a car at the same time). I also am imagining I can go directly to laying on a shell if I get a nice smooth surface from the cnc.

I've thought about trying some other types of shell coating materials.

A hard coating for foam:

http://styrospray.com/styrospray.html

Polyurea hybrid coating:

http://www.purepoly.com/index.php?main_page=indy_blast

I don't think either of these are as strong as fiberglass, but could serve as good prototyping surfaces esp if the desire was to make a mold off the model. I still need to try them to see how it will work in the real world.

Thanks again for posting all of this...it's inspirational. You must be having a lot of fun.

Cheers

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rickmantoo
recumbent enthusiast

USA
243 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2010 :  08:46:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Pounce

If you are going to do the strip method like I did, it is important to add a layer of fiberglass to hold all the strips together. Then any kind of surfacer or filler can be used to smooth out the shape. With CNC ribs it should be more accurate. If you are doing this to create the plug and you have access to CNC, I believe you would be better off and get a more accurate shape if you make the plug from solid pieces and not use the strips over ribs. Then you could probably use one of the products you linked to without fiberglass first.

Rick W
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rickmantoo
recumbent enthusiast

USA
243 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2010 :  11:23:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So I was finally was able to get all the parts assembled and take the vehicle out for it's first test ride with the body and the frame.
First I removed the wheels from from the frame and disconnected the tie-rod ends. I used a bungee to hold everything together. I also replaced the u-joint steering.


Here the frame is mounted to the lower section of the body.


Once everything was aligned and tightened I took it for it's first test ride.


That ride was good it reveled some rubbing of the rear tire when i was making turns. I used a saw and opened up the rear tire slot. I then added the top on.


I took the velomobile out for a second test ride. Except for needing to install something to secure the top from bouncing. I was pleased with the way everything worked.


I will add some weather striping between the top and the tub and also add a velcro strap to keep the top from bouncing.
Here I am sitting in the vehicle with the top open.


Here I am closing the top


Still allot of little details to take care of.

Rick W
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raymondg
recumbent guru

864 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2010 :  09:03:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Congrats Rick! The birthing process is always a lot harder to get to than you would think, but oh so rewarding. Yours looks to have gone very well. You must be very happy.

Raymond
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Garrie L Hill
human power supergeek

USA
1422 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2010 :  11:56:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Igor, you fool! Poahmp ze tyres up! Doan't bite zem!!



Garrie "carbon based lifeform" Hill
HPRA Co-Dictator of the East
for pics of some of my time and money sucking projects
http://garriehill.winkflash.com/
and
http://s58.photobucket.com/albums/g277/cfbb/
and videos
http://vimeo.com/5513519


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rickmantoo
recumbent enthusiast

USA
243 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2010 :  12:26:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Raymond

Yes it is a great feeling to have it all together and running on both human and electrical power. One thing I discovered is the mounting for body on the frame needs to be improved. Under hard cornering the rear tire rubs on the bottom of the shell. Also I need to change the way the front is mounted to improve the stiffness at the front wheel wells.
Next I will be looking at some additional body mounts as well as all the other little things that still need to be figured out, But I think I can see the light

Garrie

Slow day at work? Thanks for the picture, I looks like I may need some dental work.

Rick W
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alevand
human power supergeek

USA
1871 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2010 :  04:39:31  Show Profile  Visit alevand's Homepage  Reply with Quote
How much does your velo weigh, Rick? (minus electrical)

C:
Tony Levand

Edited by - alevand on 08/04/2010 04:41:41
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rickmantoo
recumbent enthusiast

USA
243 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2010 :  10:31:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tony

Right now the vehicle weighs in at 90 pounds and that includes almost 15 pounds for the electric motor, battery and additional gears and chain.

Rick W

Edited by - rickmantoo on 08/04/2010 10:32:16
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rickmantoo
recumbent enthusiast

USA
243 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2010 :  14:25:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Today I decided to change the front body mount to see if I could decrease the flexing of the body.
The original front mount went from the bottom bracket to the nose of the vehicle and allowed the body to rock side to side on the frame.


I started the new mount by cutting some chromoly tubing with my bandsaw.


Once the tubing was cut I mitered the ends of the tubing with a hole saw with my tube miterer.


After I had all the tubing cut and mitered I did some test fitting before I braze the tubes together.


Next step once all the pieces were brazed together was to test fit the new mount assembly and mark the location where the screw post would be bonded to the tub.


I then bonded the screw posts to the lower tub section with some fiberglass and epoxy.

Tomorrow after the fiberglass hardens I will take a test ride to see if this mount fixes the body mounting issues. If not I will add some additional mounting to the rear of the frame and body.

Rick W
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rickmantoo
recumbent enthusiast

USA
243 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2010 :  16:54:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So far it looks like the new front mount is preventing the body from rubbing on the rear tire. I will need to do some more testing and some more extreme cornering to be sure.

I added a petg wind screen and one mirror to the vehicle.


I still need to make a latch for the top, add some turn signals and lights and start thinking of a color scheme to paint the velomobile. As for now more on the road testing!! YAH

Rick W
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redorblack
Starting Member

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 08/11/2010 :  18:10:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wondering if you have another thread or can give more information on the front suspension you showed on the first page.

I am looking to do a Mochet Type H inspired Velocar and think I want to do a front suspension. The later ones had a spring device in the spindle possibly a bit like yours. I also want to incorporate drum brakes up front although the Mochets only used a band brake in the rear. Like I said... inspired by, not a copy. I want more modern equipment and a bit safer.

Thanks,
Scott
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rickmantoo
recumbent enthusiast

USA
243 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2010 :  17:17:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Scott

I do not have another thread going on this project at this time. I asked Warren to post the drawing I used to build the front suspension I have not been able to get it to show up in this thread . I hope it answers your questions rather then confuse you.

Rick W
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warren
human power expert

4790 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2010 :  18:44:08  Show Profile  Visit warren's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I have started Rick's velomobile page at:
http://www.recumbents.com/wisil/wianecki/velomobile/

You can find the front suspension drawing there.

-Warren.
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pounce
Starting Member

USA
21 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2010 :  06:59:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Small typo on the link to the pdf blueprint on the page currently. You have "velomobile6.pdf" and it needs to be "velomobile 6.pdf" with a space before the 6.
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