IF your interested in a hub drive trike, I have one I want to sell ASAP. running out of room and this trike has been a nightmare for me. It runs just fine on 36v but 48v would be better. I figured out what the issue was for lack of power and rolling resistance and corrected. Disc brakes drag some and have yet to configure to get them right. A great starting point for a tadpole type trike.
I've been working so hard to try to get two 3/16" plates welded together, and my welder barely has the amperage for it. It's too thick, and I can't get enough heat into it. Instead, I decided to do something I needed: 3/4" tubing to 3/16" plate. If that weld works, then I can start my build.
Yes, I put it in my vise and beat the snot out of it with my 7lb splitting maul. It survived. The build shall commence!!
I haven't had time/energy to do much the last couple of days. My wife and daughter had to run into town to do some things, and I asked them to stop at the local Harbor Freight to pick up some supplies for me. My wife is amazing, and she doubled up the welding rods, got way better gloves than I was going to buy myself, and surprised me with a cordless drill kit! I also treated myself to a "Swanson Speed Square" that I found on Amazon. It has the stuff you need to make angles on wood or metal, and far more. @Radical Brad after seeing one of your videos I knew I needed a square like this. I didn't have a square at all, so this will do quite nicely
The clamps are a little small I thought I selected 3" clamps, but I got 2" clamps. They'll have to go back unfortunately. The rest should work well. I'm hoping to have time this weekend to work on the frame. My daughters car just started having brake problems, so I'll have to work on THAT. Boo.
If you pull away from the arc a bit, then come back in, backing up a little (2 second weave cycle), does your final weld look a bit more "complete"? This should introduce some preheat into the joint to help the weld metal flow. I was once stuck using an under-powered rig, and this did help me.
I did try that with the arc, and it seems to have helped. My best welds were went I came in and out with the arc, since a longer arc heats up the metal better, I think?
I've been planning to build this trike for several years, and today was "the big day" for me. I started cutting frame material, and began frame construction. Wahoo!
First step was to replace the chop saw blade and cut four wheel stays from 3/4" square tube. I didn't get the lengths exactly even, so I'll have to go back and straighten them out. Here they are, pretty maids all in a row:
The speed square was instrumental in doing this. I'm so glad I purchased it! I used the new 2" clamps to clamp down the wheel mounts to the wheel stays, and then started welding. My welding skills are pretty rough, and there was a LOT of grinding involved. I wouldn't let any slag stick around, and I honed my technique. 1/16" rods can be pretty wobbly, so I cut them in half about 8 at a time. A cut off disk makes quick work of it.
I've ground down the welds because I want it to look smooth. If my welds were nice, I'd have left them. They weren't
The top one actually isn't ground down because I ran out of time before the city's 10pm noise ordinance kicked in. I'll finish them off tomorrow. I left the front and back sides of the wheel mounts unwelded, because I don't want to distort the wheel stays in that direction. I'll seal them up with some primer at the very least, and JB weld at the most. We'll see what happens.
Tomorrow, the plan is to grind down the last weld, cut all these the exact same length, cut two 42" sticks of 1.5" square tubing, and build the rear frame. More pics later!
Regarding a jack shaft there is a company that sells parts for gas engine conversions for bicycles in I think New Jersey. Their name is Staton Inc. They offer both right and left hand thread freewheel adapter's that they machine in house. There is a variety of sizes 1/2", 5/8", 3/4" as well as some metric sizes. They also have sprockets, etc to go with the adapters as well as adapters for a disc brake and steel axle rods that are slotted for a square key. Couple the axles with either a pillow block or an end bearing and you get a nice sturdy jack shaft. A friend bought some part's from them, he said the prices were reasonable but the shipping cost's he thought were a bit high. For my fat tire trike I think that 2 normal ie right hand thread freewheel adapters should work. The left side will be mounted facing to the outside (backwards) which should ensure the freewheeling action work's in the correct direction. I have already purchased 5/8" pillow block bearings and a short length of 5/8" cold rolled steel for the shaft at a local company. What it means for my build is the left rear wheel will be driven and the driveline will have 3 freewheel's. Number 1 will be the right side of the jack shaft which will be in line with the crank. That one uses a mountain bike sprocket set which will have a derailleur. Number 2 will be on the left side of the jack shaft and it will run a chain to the left rear wheel. I have another set of sprockets for number 2 but will just use prob the largest gear. Number 3 is the freewheel on the rear wheel. Between the 2 gearset's that will have derailleur's there will be plenty of gearing choices.
Hello @Hugh, yes there are indeed ways to buy my way out of the jackshaft problem, but I'm going to use bicycle hubs as a basis for it. The challenge is to do it with only parts on hand There will be 3 sets of 5 or 6 speed gears plus the 3 speed crank, and have a gear inches range from 10 gear inches to 120. Hopefully it'll work just fine... We'll see!
My plan for this afternoon was to finish grinding down the bugly welds on the wheel stays, make all the wheel stays the same length by trimming up the rears, and then build the rear frame section.
I ground down the wheel stay, but realized that before I start welding the frame together, I needed to cap off the wheel stays. And so I spent all afternoon learning a bunch of ways NOT to do that, all using scrap steel of course. The method I ended up with worked fine and was simple: Cut a piece of steel the same width as the internal width of the 3/4" square tubing, but much longer. Weld in one side, cut off the excess, flatten the piece, then weld around the perimeter. It's so simple I feel foolish for having tried anything else first! Here are the obligatory pics:
Of course I attempted to grind them down to make them pretty.
The steel I used was from the angle iron salvaged from an old bed frame that was going to be thrown away. That worked really well, and was just the right thickness. Tomorrow's task will be to finish even them up, box the opposite ends, and then begin work on the frame itself. One thing at a time
Today was "finish up the wheel stays" day. This was easy enough to do. I've also become adept at filling holes that I burn in things. Controlling heat by varying arc length is wonderful.
Here are the wheel stays, all done:
After that, I cut two 1.5" square tubing sections, 42" long each. These are the crossmembers. I love the chop saw, it makes such straight cuts. Of course I couldn't get all of this cut and not clamp it together just to see how it's going to look when I get it welded up!
Whoa! This thing is gonna be HUGE!!!! It also weighs a TON. But, I have to remember my goals: This is for utility, riding pleasure, and more than anything: getting exercise! It'll definitely be that. This thing will probably do 8-10mph when I ride it, unless I get going downhill.
Once I get this welded up, then there will be more thought to do regarding overall length and what not. The seat position will be far enough ahead that there will be plenty of weight on the front wheel. My Meridian was quite long, and the front wheel extremely light due to most of the weight being on the back wheel. That's largely because I used a 26" wheel in the front, and extended the front tube to allow for it. Now I need to consider seat position, x-seam, and the like. I don't want the main tube to be any longer than necessary. Nobody taller than myself will be riding it more than a ride around the block, so no longer adjustment is needed, only shorter- possibly.
As always, input is welcome! This is going to be a lot of fun
Thanks Gents! I appreciate it. For those of you that have owned several recumbents, does the height difference between the seat base and the cranks matter much? The Meridian had the cranks about 3" lower than the seat, but this design may end up with less than that. Is the higher seat position more comfortable?
a word of advice on the welding apron-- I had one, used it 2 times and tossed it. Look for the flame proof green apron made from cotton or ?? have used several years. finally started using the second one since the first one was so grungy.
I try not to worry too much about the weight of a vehicle, it is an addiction for some! Drilling holes, trying aluminum to save 5 pounds.... yikes!
Unless the goal is to beat the other athlete up a 20 mile mountain run for the million dollar prize, it all seems so silly.
I can drop 5 pounds by watching my intake of popcorn, and it doesn't have to come at the expense of an "almost strong enough" frame.
Build it they way you want, then enjoy the exercise! When you have to push up a massive hill, your quads will thank you later.
Thank you gents! I love watching a build come together before my eyes. Yesterday was a big milestone for me, one that's taken years to reach. Also, @Radical Brad@SirJoey any comments about seat height vs crank height? See my post above.
@MrIdaho yes the apron isn't the greatest, but it's what I have and so I'll use it. It's better than the one I didn't have before
Personally, I find having the cranks a little lower than the seat works best for me. On a long ride in particular, having the cranks up level with the seat tends to cause
numbness in the ol' feet. Once again, "for me", but then I also have poor foot circulation.
For short rides I don't think it matters a whole lot, but I sure don't want the ol' boxcars
sticking way up in my line of sight in either case! ***