Rick Wianecki builds the frank-n-liner recumbent hpv streamliner bicycle
Rick Wianecki builds 
the Frank-n-liner

By Rick Wianecki

 1-Design and mold    2-Fairing    3-Subframe    4-Tub    5-Drivetrain    6-Attach Top   7-Bodywork   8-PreRace
Fairing Construction
After all the strips were glued on it was time to shape the body. By using a sanding block and 80-grit sandpaper the corners were knocked down and a smooth shape emerged.
The pink insulation foam sands easily, care must be taken not to sand to deeply. If any of the hot glue made it to the surface it does not sand as easy as the foam. In those areas I cut the glue out with a utility knife.
The plan is to have about ¼ in of foam sandwiched between layers of carbon, Kevlar and s-glass.  
Some sort of support needs to be made so one could easily work on the body. Here I use a cut piece of 1 ½” foam in a workmate and a saw horse. 
The foam is easily damaged at this stage so a 5oz. layer of fiberglass will be placed on the body to stiffen the shell and hold the strips in alignment. 
The epoxy resin was used and was brushed on wetting out the fiberglass. I used the West System epoxy and the slow hardener. 
Once a section of the fiberglass was fully saturated I used a plastic squeegee to press the epoxy into the fiberglass and foam. This also removed any excess epoxy. 
Each side of the body was covered over a 2-day period. If this was going to be the plug and I was going to make female molds I would of added 1 or 2 more layers of fiberglass and epoxy.
The body was placed with the bottom side up in another stand. Reference lines were drawn to mark the location where the body will be split to form the structural tub and the top.
Several layers of 10oz carbon fiber were cut to orientate the fibers at a 45-degree angle to the centerline of the body. Carbon is only being used on the inner and outer lay-up of the tub and for the inner sub-frame due the worldwide shortage of carbon fiber.
The carbon was wetted out with epoxy following the same procedure used with the lay-up of the fiberglass.

This is where I am with the project as of today 5/24/06, I hope to get the s-glass and Kevlar laid-up on the remainder of the body over the Memorial Day weekend.

The next step is to add the additional layers of s-glass and Kevlar to the topside of the body. Before I lay-up the top I added a layer of micro-balloons to soften the edge of the carbon layers. Then the entire body was sanded. 
The Kevlar and s-glass are cut to shape by laying them on the body before any epoxy is added. The Kevlar will be applied first followed with the s-glass. 
I mix small batches 10oz. to 12oz. of epoxy at a time. The West epoxy comes with mixing pumps, equal number of pumps for the resin and the hardener. 
I alternate pumps between the resin and the hardened and then mix for about 60 sec. before I am ready to apply. Mixed in the cup I have about 10 min of time before the epoxy starts to gel up or "kick". 
I started at the front of the body with the Kevlar Layer. Brushed on the epoxy but did not squeegee the excess epoxy until after the s-glass layer. I worked in sections doing the Kevlar then the s-glass before moving on. 
When I got close to the previously laid carbon on the tub I fully wetted out the fabric and then came back and trimmed any excess. 
It is important to male sure that the s-glass completely covers the Kevlar and laps on to the carbon tub.
Completed lay-up. I will need to come up with a different system to support the body to work on; the foam does not provide enough support when one pushes on the body. 
Once the epoxy has hardened overnight I began the task of feathering at the seams. A small amount of lightweight filler is added to smooth the transitions where several layers of fabric overlap.
I also smoothed out any depressions or issues in the shape of the body. Care must be taken when sanding and smoothing the filler not to sand through the S-glass into the Kevlar. Kevlar does not sand and fuzzes up. 
Here is a close up of the new support. The plywood pads are covered in Zote foam and swivel to follow the shape of the body. Two sets are placed at this location so I can flip the body over to work on the top or the bottom. The rope is used to hold the body while I am sanding. 
This view shows some of the feathered areas. The next step will be to order some Duratec primer. Duratec primer is a high build primer that will fill in the weave of the fabrics and will allow me to see if there are any additional areas that need to be feathered before I cut the body apart. 
After I covered things in the shop with plastic sheets and laid plastic sheets under the body to catch as much overspray, I Placed the body in the stand ready to spray the first layer of primer. 
Once the dust is wiped off the body I mixed up some Duratec primer. This primer is a high build type and is catalyzed with 2% MEK. Always use the appropriate mask when painting.  
After spraying a light coat of primer, several heavier layers were applied to fill in the weave pattern on the cloth. 
Once the entire top of the primed body cured overnight I hand sanded the body with 40 and 80 grit sandpaper and different types of sanding blocks. This revealed the low areas that were then filled with some lightweight body filler and the surface was sanded again. 
After spending about 6 hours of sanding, filling and sanding the top half of the body is ready for another coat of primer. 
Here is a view of the body looking from the back after the second coat of primer had cured. I will still need to do some additional bodywork on the shell before it is ready. 
Here is a view looking from the left front. The lower tub section was not filled or painted. The Tub will be finished after the addition of the drive train and wheel fairings. 
The next step is to determine where the body will be cut to produce the tub and the top. And a string was tied around the body for a starting point. Than a steel square with a level on it was used to mark points on the shell. The top of the masking tape is used for reference.
A straight piece of aluminum stock was then used to draw a line around the perimeter of the shell.
Before cutting into the shell I checked and rechecked that the cut line was in the correct location. Starting at the tail of the body I cut using a sabre saw with a fine tooth metal cutting blade.
I continued cutting each side of the shell. The sabre saw’s blade speed was set in the medium speed position and I took my time and did not force the blade.
Extra care was taken when cutting near the nose of the body to make sure the cut lines align. 
Once the shell was cut all the way around the body, the rest of the foam skeleton on the inside needed to be cut. For this I used a thin blade pull saw. I started cutting at the tail of the body. 
I worked my way around the shell trying to keep the blade of the saw as vertical as possible.
Once both sides were cut the shell split open.
Here they are; Faring-on-a-Half-Shell. I placed the top section on my work stand and will set that aside for a while. I will drop it off at Frank's house so he can practice his sanding.  
I am going to concentrate on the tub section of the bike and get the drive train built before going back to finishing up the top. 

First I used a stiff scraper to break through the horizontal section in the tub. 

Once the foam was split I could break the foam and remove it. Any remnants of hot glue were also removed at this time.  

Next step will be to carbon the inside of the tub, build the composite sub frame, and mount the wheels …..

On to the Subframe construction page

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