Recumbent Trike
Part 3: Assembling the Body of the Trike


 

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It's All Coming Together

I had a piece of 3/4 inch plywood (birch veneer on two sides) that I planned to use for the body (frame) of the trike.  I put the two components (front end and the completed rear end) on the plywood, and marked it for cutting.  Here's how it looked:

There were four areas to cut away, marked with an X.  I made sure that the plywood would always be under a piece of the frame.  Thus where the front part of the trike meets the plywood, the lines for cutting are outside the frame pieces, as the center part gets kept.  See the cut plywood in the third view below:

   

Assembly

Assembly was done using 5/8 inch bolts (of appropriate lengths), washers, lock washers, and nuts.  In addition, I used a piece of angle iron (see pictures below) that I cut to appropriate lengths to serve as big washers and under-trike supports. 

Mounting the front end of the trike:  (Note the piece of perforated angle iron that goes down the centerline of the trike on the bottom of the plywood.)

 

Also note on the left picture, above, the aluminum pipe that connects to the two rear triangles is attached with bolts (three of them, but you only see the center one).

Attaching the right rear triangle.  I didn't use the original kickstand brackets as I did not feel they were strong enough.  I did have to grind down the lip that sticks below the kickstand bracket so the rear triangles would sit flush on the plywood.   Right picture, below, is an underside view:

  

And Here's How it Looks

 

  

 

"Ride"

I haven't ridden it yet, as it has no brakes, steering, or drive mechanism.  However sitting in it (no seat yet) indicates that the design is strong enough (we'll see) and has a bit of spring due to flexibility of the wood.

Notes

I've not gone into great detail regarding construction, as you have to be flexible in working with the materials that you have at hand.  For example, the blue rear triangle is longer and wider than the red one, even though both bikes are of the same make (Raleigh).  You have to be creative.

Other than the head tube rework that I describe next (steering), I did not do any overhaul on the bike components.  I realize that it would be best to re-grease the rear axels (one is even bent) while the wheels are off, but to do that during the building would require me to learn new tasks, that I (hoped) I didn't need at the time.   I wanted to get a working trike, and would do the upgrades (and beautifying) later.

Coming Up

Seat, brakes, drive, safety stuff.  Grinding of lots of sharp corners.  Stay tuned.

Continue on to Steering.