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HydroJim 12-09-2012 11:14 AM

How would You Do this?
I'm building a reverse trike and I want to build a body that is similar in shape to the vehicle pictured below. The body will have to be fiberglass due to weight concerns, so my question is how would you go about getting the complex curvature on the body? I want the fiberglass sandwich to be as thin as possible to cut down on frontal area so using the 2inch pink foam is out of the question because the added frontal area would be too much. Ideally I would like the panel to be no more than 1/2 inch thick and I plan on making them able to be bolted on and off the steel frame for service reasons.

Any ideas would be appreciated :thumbup:

2000neon 12-09-2012 11:22 AM

Check out what the guys from the "Trucks" show on Powerblock TV did for the custom front bumper they made for their ranger (rolling thunder) project. They used a 1/4" steel rod to make a frame with all of the shapes that they wanted, then stretched fleece fabric over the frame and solidified with fiberglass resin. They left it at that, but seemed quite flimsy, although you could add fiberglass mat to that smooth fleece shape to get your strength without going too thick.

HydroJim 12-09-2012 11:24 AM

The problem I's that I'm trying to keep the weight down so using wood or steel backing material would add too much weight. I'm looking for a thin flexible material that will hold it's own shape and can be fiber glassed over.

gone-ot 12-09-2012 12:36 PM

GOOGLE: 'Duramold' and 'Mosquito' fighter.

THIN plywood can be bent into just about any shape using STEAM and PRESSURE.

ron 12-09-2012 03:31 PM

try using thin lauan plywood 1/8 in thick in several layers (3) 1st layer flex to desired shape ,apply glue 2nd layer is applied then the 3rd glued when the glue cures the lamination will hold the shape its cheep, lite weight and can be fiberglassed should come out about 1/2 in thick. good luck

HydroJim 12-09-2012 03:47 PM

I guess I'll have to take a trip up to Home Depot to check out what they have that I might be able to use.

Chopper 12-09-2012 04:42 PM

Fabric and dope. It cures rigid enough to cover a Hurricane fighter, it'll be fine for your skate. Use that for the flanks to keep weight down, sonething you can bend or form for the curved bits.

Smurf 12-09-2012 05:05 PM

Do a YouTube search for Dick Kincheloe's Raptor, or his website Texas Raptor*|*

Basically, he cut the curve out of plywood, and curved foam into it, IIRC. Fiberglass the inside, remove the plywood supports, 'glass the other side.

HydroJim 12-09-2012 09:24 PM

I have seen that Raptor before but completely forgot about his methods. Thanks for reminding me! that's probably the route I will take.

Anybody have any idea what kind of foam would work for this? I'll use the pink foamular insulation for the straight vertical parts, but idk what to use for the curves

Smurf 12-10-2012 05:17 PM

I've a HUGE admirer of his vehicle, and I'd give someone else's left jelly bean to own one.

Have you considered the wood frame, with thin plywood curved over? Fiberglass it, remove the fiberglass, flip it over, and build up the underside? Who cares what it looks like inside.

To get it smooth as glass like Dick did, you'll need to spend days sanding, filling, sanding, filling... If you're not going for museum-quality finish, I'd say just get 'er done for your first build and refine it on your second. My plan was to build a single-seater for in-town commuting, then on the second build make it tandem and focus on highway MPG.

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