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.