Monday, September 19, 2011

Wooden Fenders First Pics

It has taken a while, but the bent wood fenders are finally finished and bolted onto Heather's bike, just in time for a wet fall.

Bonus points if you recognize the garage on the right of the first picture!

The fenders are designed to fit onto any 700c bike wheel up to about 35 or 40mm. The mounts are also universal but we are not yet sure how they will work on a bike that has brakes. They are made from leftover ash that we also used for the Delta Table. We steam bent the table legs, and we lamination bent the fenders. The ash is a very light coloured hardwood that has a beautiful grain almost like oak.

The front fender is held on by the fork and a stainless steel wire bracket. It doesn't extend too far forward from the fork so it is able to support itself on the front end. The rear fender is attached to the frame at the chain stays and the seat stays, and also has a bent wire bracket. The three ply wood is stiff enough so that the fenders don't rattle, but light enough not to be noticeable.

It took a couple of tries but I got the bend form to just the right shape to compensate for the spring back of the wood. This was the first time that I had used real epoxy, and I have to say that it is amazing to work with and well worth the investment for a couple of cans and the proper pumps. I bought the smallest amount available and expect it to last us for at least a year.

I bent two small aluminium brackets for attachment to the frame. They fit through small slits that were cut in the wood and were then epoxied onto the inside. The assembled fenders were then finished in eight coats of marine grade clear coat to keep the wood safe.

The wire brackets are notched through the sides of the fenders to keep everything nice and sleek. This was then sewn onto the wood with some very thick cord. The cord is not waterproof as far as I know so it may have to be replaced after every year or so.

I am quite happy with the result, but there are a few details that I would like to change when I make more. I chose 3mm stainless steel wire for the brackets, and nearly killed myself trying to bend it. Next time I will order the 2mm stuff, and get some nicer mounting hardware.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Peanut Butter Lathing Time!

But really... who doesn't?

After numerous cautionary tales of close calls while using the wooden lathe, i finally worked up my courage and decided to make something easy - a silhouette of a peanut butter jar.

Starting with a square blank, i marked on both sides where the center point was, trimmed the corners off the blank to the closest i could get to a circle (which wasn't very close at all). Turing the wood into a circular blank was harder than i thought. Using a roughing gouge and a slow and steady hand I (by I, i really mean Scott) carefully took all the edges off and turned it nice and smooth.

Starting to see the resemblance...

Once at the desired diameter, I put in the parting/guide lines to give it a quick lid vs. body overall proportion of the peanut butter jar. Adding some small details... and we're almost there. The piece was then put on a one way 4 jaw chuck (basically holding the wooden piece only on one end, commonly used when making bowls), the purpose was to lathe in the indent detail found in the bottom of the jar. (on wine bottles it's called a wine punt, not sure what it's called in a jar. jar punt?). However, to my worst nightmare, during the middle of shaving off the bottom, the jar flew off the lathe, making a loud banging noise as it hits the concrete floor. Quietly, i turned off the lathed, cleaned up the area, picked up the slightly cracked piece... and took a shower.

masked and painted with black-board paint

i <3 Peanut Butter - BT

Overall, lathing is very fun, however proceed with caution, make the blank is locked tightly to the chuck, always 'test' turn on the lathe without standing in it's immediate-potential-path-of-destruction, and always clean up after you use the lathe.

- Jess

Monday, September 5, 2011


Hey everyone,

There is a cool startup company here in Toronto called Ideacious that you should check out. They are a little bit like Kickstarter, but in my opinion better. They allow anybody with an idea to get some feedback and design/manufacturing assistance to bring it to the masses.

Once the details are worked out between the Ideacious team and the inventor, it goes up for presale on the website to raise funds for production. The best part is that everyone who buys in early gets a piece of ownership. When more are sold, the early adopters actually make money back as a reward.

They also have a nice online shop that sells cool stuff from designers all over the world, including some of our own!