Monday, March 30, 2009

Technical Drawings & Stuffs

Here are a few documents generated by the team throughout the build we thought we would share with you! 
This is a breakdown of how we used spokcalc excel sheet and our hub & rim  measurements to determine our 3x spoke pattern lengths. 

This is a construction blueprint of all the frame pieces that had to be cut for the basic frame. Disregard the rediculous .000'' tolerances on the measurements... drawing error heh. 
This is the drawing that will be used to program a cnc mill  to cut our wheel adapter plate so that we can secure the wheel to the drive shaft with standard X-Size keyed weld hubs
This is a very preliminary layout concept. We have decided since then to add more riders and change the seating configuration to a bench style in the middle and bring the steering forward a bit. 

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Erik finishes the last of the tread. 4 bike tires per wheel. And screws, screws, screws, screws.

Go juice.

Salvage Yard Saturday

The wheels are just about all tread ed at this point. Spirits are high and excitement further building.  Saturday morning, John & Denise went to a motorcycle salvage yard and put a deposit down for a front end off of an 80's Honda 750 for the steering system. This includes the front neck, triple trees, 2 calipers, 2 rotors, a master cylinder & a brake lever. The cool thing is, since we are salvaging the neck, it includes a salvage title. So technically The Sand Reckoner has a dmv title to its name... custom plates anyone?

Erik working hard to tread the last of the wheels.
John cutting the rear steering bracers on the chop saw

Sketch of the basic frame, there will be additional trussing added down the line

After all frame pieces were square and welded it was time to position everything we had so far into its final configuration. This really was inspiring to see it all come together.  The design we choose has 2 wheels in front, 1 person per wheel pedaling and 1 wheel in the back which is for steering. Below is roughly what the final vehicle will look like:

Rear angled shot of the beast

Top down shot, chair is there for visual purposes. 

A proud team standing in front of their creation!

Hmm, what is this? A mystery project??

Next on the agenda is mounting all of the drive train hardware to the frame. At this point, the team can start getting an idea of how to mount the sculpture on top of this. Things will be moving pretty quickly in the next few weeks! Almost there!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Frame Build

Tonight Kate & John met up to cut and weld the frame. The team decided to make the structure out of 1.25 x 1/16'' wall square steel tube. First step of the night was to cut all the pieces to length and then grind & wire brush prep them for welding.

John, griding the piece to finish

Once all the pieces were cut it was time to lay them out and get welding! Its important to sequence your welds so that the thermal expansion from heating up the steel wont warp your final dimensions. 
Kate laying out the initial perimeter

John about to make the first tack

John running the first bead.

Finished wheel frame, nice and square

Kate doing a final inspection on the squareness of the frame.

 What a way to spend a Friday night! Kate and John got just about all of the frame welded, all that is left is the steering braces and then its ready for trussing! Tomorrow its a trip to the motorcycle  salvage yard, more wheel treadin & welding!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Treadin' Tediously

Now that the wheels are complete, the next step is to add some treading to them so they can grip the various terrains we expect to encounter as well as protect the plastic from wearing.  Oh, did you think this task would be non-tedious? What were you thinking...

The shop is calm... almost too calm

Erik, Tom, Dave & Hedy took charge coating the wheels with their new rubber skins. Tom calculated that it would take 2, 26'' mountain bike tires per ridge, so that's 4 per wheel and 12 tires total. This adds up quick, if you can go with salvaged tires. We found some new, fairly cheap, tires online to keep the look consistent.  The steps for this round include: Cut the tire into an interlocking  pattern, spread glue on the plastic ridge, lay tire over the glue, clamp, then start screwing her down tight.
Look at that work face, Erik is definitely into it. 

Clamping the tire, ready for screwing

Do this 1000 times
Dave working hard, one wheel almost complete!
Looks bad ass! Great job team!

Sunday, March 22, 2009



Tom, John, Dave, Hedy and Dominic assembled the final wheel, Alicia.

Dave threads.

Bowie watches.

Dom and Hedy crimp.

John weaves.

Tom and John tighten.

Tom smiles.

Alicia plays.

A Field Trip to Fazios

More nuts. More eyebolts. And a bit of steel. Followed by a family outing to the Berlin Flea Market!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Deja vu

Prepping for the third and final wheel.

Spoke cutting jig.

John welds more eyebolts.

Alex crimps the spokes.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Finishing Angus

The team spend a few hours each weekday finishing up Angus and prepping for the final wheel Alicia. The method was sound, the team members experienced, and the wheel making not so tedious anymore. We figured it takes about 4 hours per wheel from measuring, drilling, cutting, crimping and weaving. Not too bad when you have an amazing group of people working together!
Tiredness, anxiety, and boredom cease to exist working on this collective creative endeavor . Great inspiration!!
The usual suspects, Dave & Tom getting psyched for tedious tasks Tuesday!
Octovishnu watches silently over us longing for the days of his four wheeled personal transport. Its been a while since hes been outside, maybe when it gets warmer we can take him for a ride and relive the old days one more time. Is he staring at a ghost?  
Expert crimp team Erik, Dave & John terrifically tasking on tedious task Tuesday!

Weight test for Angus.. that thing doesn't deflect at all under 250lb load! Fears of the wheels not being able to hold up the sculpture are extinguished and excitement increases!
Great job team! Atlas and Angus are ready to take up their roles as drive train wheels!
Rollin' on Unicornz yo

Now to finish Alicia then the frame design begins.... 

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Cursing Begins

Today was Repetitive Task Sunday. Hedy, Erik, Tom, Kate, Dave and I put in a full day of work on the Reckoner's wheels. The goal was to get at least one of the wheels done, 'Atlas' was chosen first. Mind you today would be the day where all of our wits would be tested, and as predicted, people would be cursing. The shop was in full swing with multiple stations set up. And now a quick recap of what we are getting ourselves into; The design we have chosen requires 3 wheels with each wheel requires the following:
1 rim cut from a 36'' ribbed irrigation tubing
1 hub off of a mustang
96 holes drilled into each rim
48 holes drilled per flange
2 flanges per hub
96 wires cut for spokes
96 ferrels threaded and crimped
96 thimbles set
96 cable stops crimped
96 eyebolts to weld
96 bolts
96 washers

That is about... a million steps. Perfect for Repetitive Task Sundays! Time to get started! Kate took lead on welding duty closing all the eyebolts.
Tom is ready for anything
Tom was head of the cutting station, with appropriate union representation, prepping the axles. Nothing but class and professionalism....
Do this 1000 times... with class
Erik was drilling the final few holes on the flanges
While that was all orchestrating, Hedy, Dave and I threaded thimbles, ferrels, and crimped the spokes. Our fingers were chewed up pretty bad by the end of the ordeal
Duct tape bandages are for hardcore wheel makers
Whew! Finally 96 spokes ready to crimp. Erik and Hedy made some serious headway crimping the first spokes! But...
We realised about 20 spokes in that we crimped the wrong length spokes. Tom was to blame, luckily we could salvage the cut spokes and use them on the other flange since they were still long enough.
This was a good time to break for lunch and recharge the old batteries around the fire.
Lunch was good, rejuvenating our bodies and resetting our minds for more repetitive tasks! Once the first flange was crimped it was time to weave the first spoke pattern. We decided to go with a 3x pattern for torque on both sides. We ran into a problem when weaving the pattern, we kept getting 1 extra spoke. After counting 5 times and re-spoking we finally got the pattern down. Note: Math isn't a strong point for us.

One side woven! Looking good

We flipped the wheel around and our expert crimping team finished the other flange:

Headlampin' for serious crimpin'

Now time to weave the other side:

Kate and Family helping out

More weavin'
Yes, another snag.... The second side spoke length, even though we cut it for a 3x pattern, wasn't long enough. After more cursing and brainstorming, we discovered that a 0x pattern fit. We had to progressively tension the wheel to get all the spokes to fit. But alas! 1 wheel finally complete!
Great job team!
1 wheel down, 2 to go. The rest of the wheels should go much smoother since we figured out all the kwirks making Atlas. Getting excited!