Thursday, April 30, 2009

Roll of The Dice

This week has been spent putting finishing touches on the vehicle. Mounting and tightening the shifter knobs, speakers, power source for all the electronics, shaft collars to beef up the axles a bit, ect ect.

Sculpture is in its final stages, waiting for a sunny day to bring the pieces outside for painting.

The cassettes decided to take a crap all of the sudden and stop free spinning. You would expect dirt cheap Walmart bikes to last a little longer right? I guess we got what we paid for... both failed the same way. Maybe there was lead based castings or something in the freewheel casing... problem solved though, Erik bought American made quality (after being to be subject to a lecture on how buying china parts is crap from the bike store guy) and now they freespin smooth as butter silk pancakes.

So we have .75'' axles supporting this thing, more than enough steel to hold this baby up in its current configuration. The wheels flex slightly when loaded, not terrible but certain sections more than others. John decided to add some shaft collars to beef up those certain sections and cut down on the flexing. A 1.25'' OD x .75'' ID aluminum tube was magically ordered. Now the ID had a tolerance of .020'', you basically have a 50% chance of it being oversized which is what we want in this case to slide over the shaft easily. Tube arrived, John broke out the calipers to see where it fell in, .735'' ... =*(

John didn't have access to a .75'' reamer at the shop, luckily he found a dull .75'' drill bit that happened to cut just undersized enough to be a pain in the ass. Multiple passes were made on each collar to make sure the max amount of material was cut from each. The final bore was somewhere around .748''. Taking into consideration the axles have around a .005'' tolerance this would definitely cause a headache somewhere during the fitting process. Well nothing beats oil, mallets and some good old old elbow grease. After about an hour of wailing on the 3 axles John and Dave got them snug and in place.

Beefy, look at those guns

Tom went to town with the angle grinder cutting mesh sections for equipment mounts and foot rests. Those cutting wheels really got chewed up by the mesh material. Cut, cut cut, sparks, sparks, sparks ::: break::: replaces wheel, cut, cut cut, sparks, sparks, sparks ::: break::: replaces wheel, cut, cut cut, sparks, sparks, sparks ::: break::: replaces wheel. If only we had our oxy/acetylene tanks filled... More pics coming soon. Only 2 weeks away!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Seat Mounted

Short day tonight at the shop, Hedy Erik John & Tom dove right in. We don't have too many pics of tonight, but... the seat is mounted
Ready to set sail
Bowie approves

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunny Saturday

Saturday was quite the day at the shop. The crew was all busy working on getting this thing riding today! It was about 92, sunny, perfect for a ride on the Sand Reckoner. Rob made a guest appearance today to help with the break system.

2 Rotors welded to 3/4'' keyed hubs, 2 calipers, 1 master cylinder... its breaking time

Rob gets to work with the break mounts

sizing the mounts to the calipers

Meanwhile we cut and moved the bikes forward and up. Looks better yeah? This will allow us to be above the wheels instead of inside them thus avoiding tire rash on our arms. We also welded a cage for Tom to sit in for the rest of the day.
Mounted the calipers and rotors! Everything fits and is ready for final adjustments... now we are stoppin' with hydraulic disc power baby!

Happy idlers and sprockets

While the rest of the crew was working on the vehicle, Hedy was enjoying the sun working on the sculpture pieces.

Looking amazing

Another angle, cant wait to mount these to the vehicle!

And as promised, we finally got the Reckoner outside for a test run!

Gogo iPhone video...

We pushed/hand pedaled it down to the local park. Steering system worked flawlessly, it was quite an effort though constantly adjusting and compensating for the delay. Its like steering a boat. Lots of people commented on the vehicle, most were confused and amazed. Great fun!

Next we mount the seats and the sculpture and get working on detailing this baby up!

Friday, April 24, 2009


Kate getting some lettering ready... badass

Its starting to get warm out, the team is itching for the first ride. Octovishnu is whispering to us to take him out as well... Lets see what the weekend brings it's supposed to be beautiful out!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

More Sculpture Sculpting

Thursday Night was mostly sculpture & wheel truing related.

Really starting to take shape..

Makings of sculpture attachments... fun fun

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Its finished!

Complete with 6'' steel mine stomping wheel boots!
Nah, we got a few more tweeks left with the steering, wheel truing & bike geometries then she should be ready to ride. Fingers crossed the first test ride will be this weekend!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bowling a Turkey

The next series of photos is over 2 days, everyone has been so busy working that we didnt have time to upload all the pics!
Welded #40 sprocket to a steel hub/cassette ready for bearing installation

This is where man meets machine...

Old hub turned into steering cable spindle
Spindle joined to ground down front end and mini wheel for balance

Kate does some last minute welding on the steering arm

There she is... ready to tear it up
Bikes welded, ready for chain work

Meanwhile Tom gets chugging along with the bowling pin captains wheel.
This thing weighs at least 50 lbs... 10 bowling pins...
Hedy continues work on the sculpture, almost there (This thing is massive)
Close up of our 4 way roller from a winch used as the steering cable guide... Keep those hands clear!!
Custom pulley block welded on angle iron. This is the final bend before the spool. Old Bowflex parts coming in the clutch, Feel the burn!
Time to weld the captains wheel/spindle combo to the frame. The top of those pins are about 10'
leftover spoke cable used for the steering system. Since this is a rudder steering configuration we are crossing our steering cables so the captains wheel & steering direction coincide. 
She steers!!

Just tightening up the chains, installing the seats & mounting the breaks and she is ready to ride!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tranquility Falls

Soothed by the ambient sound of water fountains, the team put in a long, productive Tuesday night at the shop.

Dave & Erik get to work chopping the 2 bikes.
China's finest cassette

John is a man of many spokes...
Aligning up the steering arm for welding... How many cameras can you spot in this photo?

Brainstorming on the best way to attach the steering arm... 

Prepped for the steering, Tom is lifting the 3000lb frame with 1 arm...

Last minute crimping..
and wheel truing..

A quick team meeting to discuss the sculpture part of the vehicle.

...then it's off to work!

A quick size check.

Next visit, steering arm is going to be attached or we quit!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We Got a Bleeder!

Monday night was quite the busy time at the ol' shop. We worked through a few problems (opportunities) and came out triumphant and excited. Kate, Tom, Dave, Hedy, Erik & John put in another hard night of work to get The Reckoner on her legs.

First order of business was to solve the steering arm design. Tom suggested we go with a bent tube design. This would cut down on the amount of welds and alignment . We were going to order a metric steel tube to fit the motorcycles steering assembly, but after searching the scrap pile originally for a piece of steel to test the bender with, we ended up finding the perfect fitting piece of rusty old scaffold. Yay for scrap pile finds!

We ground a bit down on one end and it looks like it could fit... Now to test the bender and see if we can get everything parallel.

John workin' the 12 ton bender. Go go harbor freight its great!

This may look like a mangled piece of failure but we learned quite a bit from this test piece. The top two bends were done with a smaller die which ended up pinching the pipe. The bends resulted in both ends nearly parallel to each other, but twisted slightly. The bottom bend was with a larger die and successfully no pinching. The bend radius was unfortunately too large and ended up twisting the pipe further. All in all we realised that there were too many variables using a hand bender with pipe twisting and making sure parallelism is maintained on both arms. If we had a nice set up with proper measuring tools & jigs, a steering arm out of bent tube would be the way to go. So onto plan B which is inserting 2 short tubes into the steering assembly and welding up a square tube steering arm.

Tom gets cutting the tubes...

And grinding ...

Kate cuts all the steering arm square tube...

Meanwhile Dave finishes the steering arm bearing mounts. Curse you dull drill bits and your siren screams!

Victory slam!

Hedy starts crafting the sculpture pieces. Who knew PVC fittings could crack so easily? Does Hedy have super human strength? Its a mystery!

Good old PVC & chicken wire

Kate & Hedy sizing it up... The Reckoner is coming together

Erik saves the day with a late night bike delivery.

We decided it would be best to go with 2 new cheap steel bikes for the drive train instead of sorting thru our scrap pile and sizing components. Building up the hubs & derailleurs from our scrap components would cost more than the new bikes from Toys R Us! New complete drive trains with everything fitted... its the way to go. This means that the 2 bikes we cut & prepped were for nothing, well no we now have prepped bikes for future goofy bike projects!

Taking all the steering arm parts and aligning it for welding.

Magnets are your friend.

John carefully tacks the pieces in place. Can't warp the steering arm!

Tom finished the tubes. Old rusty piece of scaffold vs ground down shiny tube bling. Time to fit into the steering mount!

The butter zone. The tubes fit snuggly, success!

Both tubes fitted, steering column looking a little heavy... time to cut her down.

Slim diet of sawzaw blades & grinder did the trick. Ready to mount to the frame!
It was a great effort today, great job team! In the next few days we will be mounting the bikes & the steering column with arm attached... Then The Reckoner is rolling!