Oct 6

Oct 6, 2004

Something new - fairing construction!

The first test fairing will be fiberglass wrapped onto a one-time only Styrofoam plug. When the fiberglass has curred, the plug will be cut in half and the Styrofoam will be carved out of each half leaving two hollow fiberglass shells. These will be mounted onto TCR1.

It is my plan to produce a couple of these - each one with what ever required refinements. When I'm ready to produce a final fairing, I'll produce the plug using a CNC machine rather than the stacking foam method and then finish with carbon fiber rather than fiberglass.

Here is how it's done (well, how I'm doing it anyhow...):

1. Design the fairing model in a 3D CAD program - make sure to allow room for the rider inside including shoulder width, eye-height, peddle width and peddle extension.
2. Create a plane the thickness of the Styrofoam you plan to use. I used 1" thick pink insulation. Stack enough duplicates of this plane to cover the entire fairing
3. Use each plane to cut out a section of the fairing plug where they intersect. Since my plug is 29" high, I cut 29 different 1inch "slices"
4. Print out each 'slice' on overhead transparency material
5. Project the image of a fairing slice onto a sheet of 2' x 8' Styrofoam insulation. To ensure that the enlargement is accurate, make sure to include something on each fairing slice that is an exact know dimension. I put two circles in the middle of each fairing slice that are exactly 24 inches apart and will serve as a key to hold each slice exactly where it's supposed to go when they are stacked up. I adjusted my overhead projector such that the distance between these two holes was exactly 24 inches.
6. Using a felt pen, trace around each projected outline making sure to also mark your alignment keys (the two holes placed 24" apart).
7. Before cutting out each shape, I expanded the outline by 1/2 inch to allow for edges that would be filed off when finishing the plug.

A smarter person would have allowed for that in the Cad program....

8. Start cutting out the shapes. 1" foam cuts easily with a Dremel all-purpose cutting tool, or an Exacto knife. (I used the Exacto knife, but Cody liked the Dremel because it's cooler)
The pink surf board factory!

Tracing and cutting all 29 sections took about 8 hours.

9. Put the family to work. Make sure to number each section so you don't get mixed up with where it goes in the stack.
10. I drilled out each 1.5" key hole using a plywood guide set so that each hole was exactly 24" apart.
11. I welded two 1.5" diameter tubes to a steel plate 24" apart and slid each foam section onto the poles. This ensures that each section is exactly where it is supposed to go according to the original CAD model.
This is a stack of the outside of each sheet that shows what the fairing will look like from the inside.
A quick check to make sure everything fits. Another option would be to use the outside of each section for a mold rather than the inside for a plug. It would be more difficult to finish smoothly though.
12. The completed stack - ready for sanding and finishing.

Stay tuned for more....


Tew Dew LIST:

1. Buy and install right brake (FINALLY ordered it!)
2. Invent new cable tensioner to allow more steering bar turn radius
3. Add front derailleur
4. Order 20mm axle bolts for the rear wheels (I'm using 1/2 inch now which isn't right)
5. Design and machine 2 seat mounts out of aluminum to replace current steel ones (e-machineshop.com) LATER.
6. Design and machine 2 steering tensioners out of alum to replace LATER
7. Order a new front wheel! (Helen is kind of upset that I am user her Zipp race wheel!)
8. Start work on the first fairing (starting now)
9. Invent steering stiffener
10. Add larger chain ring and modify chain stays
11. Make clamp-on out riggers and try to flip it (changed to#25)
12. Fabricate new steering bar (aluminum or composite?) or rework existing
13. Lathe an aluminum collar for .5" hub axles (Ben E. said he'd do it for me) (That didn't work - I'll get someone else to machine it).
14. Design and build a trainer to fit mag trainer (donated by Michael Hoenig).
15. Replace steel cables with Kevlar (maybe not - I think the flex of steel is good....)
16. Crotch guard / fender
17. Narrow chain stays to allow foot to clear
18. fix derailleur
19. crank hitting chain stay
20. chain stay frame flex?
21. Narrow, high density foam for seat
22. Make front quick release safety
23. Change steer cable sheaves to Pete Heals idea
24. Add missing and new webs
25. Add a g-meter and quantify turning g's at flippage threshold. (add outriggers)
26. Firm up relationship with a charity (Helen???)
27. Find a PR person

TOTAL distance on TCR1
495.3 km


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