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 Plywood Disc Wheels
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PUGZCAT
recumbent enthusiast

Canada
277 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2012 :  05:45:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Has anyone tried using plywood discs with the rim and a narrowed hub shell screwed and glued to the disc? The hub flange to flange spacing could be really narrow with no concerns of spoke triangulation. Hard to get lower buck than plywood, a handful of screws and glue.

Blue Ridge Biker
Starting Member

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2012 :  09:36:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Interesting! What do you mean "narrowed hub shell"? How far would the bearings be separated? Seems like you might have a strength problem at the attachment, maybe another thickness (like a plywood "washer" to screw into) in that area would solve it.

I've considered building a high wheeler with a plywood wheel, using cones of plywood instead of spokes.
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Jeff Wills
human power supergeek

USA
1204 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2012 :  10:42:04  Show Profile  Visit Jeff Wills's Homepage  Reply with Quote
George Georgiev built disc wheels from carbon-fiber/Nomex honeycomb sheets for the Varnas:
http://www.ohpv.org/events/albums/bm2004/varnas/pages/varnas17.htm

I think plywood would be either excessively heavy or really weak. I don't see an advantage over a conventional spoked wheel.

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PUGZCAT
recumbent enthusiast

Canada
277 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2012 :  18:15:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Flange spacing could be the width of the tire. Come to think about, machine screws with nylock nuts would be the way to sandwich the plywood between the hub flange, throwing in epoxy or construction adhesive for good measure.
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Larry Lem
human power expert

South Sandwich Islands
2276 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2012 :  19:04:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Build some, ride them and tell us how they turn out.

Larry Lem
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PUGZCAT
recumbent enthusiast

Canada
277 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2012 :  02:59:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yep, actually rolling on a pair would be proof of concept.
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jeroen Schasfoort
New Member

Netherlands
51 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2012 :  11:30:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
High tech/ low tech approach. You could build a wheel center from thick ply that looks like a 3 spoke from the side. That would probably be strong enough for the forces. Then aply 1 layer aeroplaneply to each side to close it up.

It would still be heavy.
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alevand
human power supergeek

USA
1890 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2012 :  13:07:52  Show Profile  Visit alevand's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You can cut big holes to lighten them.

C:
Tony Levand
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Steven Challenge
recumbent enthusiast

Netherlands
142 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2012 :  07:12:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I recall two websites about making wooden wheels.
The only one I could find was this one:
http://www.forum.freakbikenation.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=593&p=3650#p3650

Although it looks cool, it's not lightweight. Drilling holes in it would reduce the weight, but also the strenght. Centering and ballancing the wheel is almost impossible.
If you would want a wood look on your wheels, use wood veneer or regular plastic covers with wood decal stickers.

I have seen show bikes with chains instead of spokes. Also, lashing straps for spokes. If you want to go lightweight and alternative, you could go for the latter.

Edited by - Steven Challenge on 04/23/2012 07:35:50
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raymondg
recumbent guru

864 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2012 :  08:22:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I suppose it all comes down to the details. If, by plywood, you mean a thick piece or pieces of Hardware store plywood, it would be very heavy. If, however, you were do do something like use very thin aircraft or other top grade plywood as face sheets for some kind of core (honeycomb, foam, or other), along with a custom hub with generous bonding flanges, the results would probably be quite nice, and would look stunning if you were to bond some nice burl wood or other interesting thing to the surface.

If you do mean hardware store ply over spokes, I imagine using doorskin, or the thin luan or birch or similar ply like what all the hobbiest 3d printers are being laser cut out of might work, but would still be heavy. Could lead to a halfway decent "poor man's" disc wheel if executed well, I suppose.
-Raymond
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Steven Challenge
recumbent enthusiast

Netherlands
142 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2012 :  11:51:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Found a picture of the chain-spoked-wheel

The same way you can make one with lashing straps. Interlaced well, you can make the wheel all closed.
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Grant-53
Starting Member

USA
48 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2012 :  14:30:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have worked in a plant that makes laminated plywood products. We used Douglas fir plywood bonded between aluminum sheets with casein glue and Southco threaded inserts. We also used aluminum honeycomb with threaded inserts and epoxy filler. Either could make a solid wheel. For cheap, thin material, I save the 0.005" tarp plastic used to cover plywood in shipment and bond 1" hex mesh (aka chicken wire) between two pieces of plastic. For a truly stunning wheel use clear Lexan for the 'floating on air' look.
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