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
Tub Fabrication
To begin the fabrication of the tub section, I will need to remove the cross sections pieces. To hold the tub’s shape I will make a template that is the shape of the tub. I placed the tub on a piece of hard board and traced the outline of the tub. 
Now that the outline is traced I will cut the inside out and attach several strips to support the template on the tub.  
The template is placed on the tub and the remainder of the foam cross sections are removed. The template holds the tub in the correct shape so when the top and tub will align. The Template also acts as a handy surface to place things.
Now that the cross sections are removed the inside of the foam will be carved and shaped to provide the necessary clearances for the drive train and the motor (Frank). The openings for the wheels are cut and the foam is removed for the rear derailer and around the wheel openings.
This picture shows the center section of the tub where the foam is completely removed where the front sub-frame will be attached and areas where the foam is thinned down at for chain clearance and at the location of the pedal box for heal clearance. 
The foam is also carved away at in the area for the front wheel. I want the inner and outer carbon layers to bond together where there will be cut outs in the tub. 
Once all the foam is removed, it is time to place the inner layers of carbon on the tub. First the carbon is cut to size and placed in the tub dry. 
The carbon cloth is thoroughly wetted with epoxy resin and pressed into the foam with a squeegee just like the outer shell cloth, this needs to be done gently to avoid pulling the cloth and leaving voids.  
Now that the Tub shell is almost complete I will focus on building the supports for the rear wheel. Several concepts were considered with a steel tube with replaceable dropouts being the concept that I will use. The dropouts are cut from 5/16” aluminum plate. 
 ˝” X .035 cromoly tubing was bent at a 45 degree angle to form the top supports. The tubing is left long and will be trimmed once the final wheel position is determined.
The dropouts are placed on the wheel with a threaded rod and bent tubing is laid on the tub to determine the location for the dropout mounting plate.  
1/8” Steel brackets are brazed to the ˝” tubing to hold the dropouts. 
The supports and wheel are reassembled and placed back in the tub and then the mount for the disk brake is fabricated from 1/8” bar stock. 
Here is an end view showing the rear wheel support. The ends of the tubes will be trimmed and plates will be brazed on for bonding to the tub. Also several vertical tubes will be added to prevent the supports from bending upwards once the final wheel position is determined.  
Next I cut some 3 ˝” wide strips of carbon cloth. This will be used to cover the exposed foam on the edge of the tub. 
The strips are centered on the edge of the tub and are spray glued to hold them in place.  
Once all the entire edge is covered with the strips, epoxy is brushed on to wet out the cloth. The Tub is left to cure overnight. 
Before I assemble the part to the tub several additional components need to be fabricated. I purchased a ˝” thick 12” square piece of filled nylon and will cut it into 4 pieces to make the chain idlers for the driveline. The pieces were roughed out to about 6” in diameter with a band saw and then mounted to a custom mandrel for the final sizing and cutting the groove.
Three down and one to go, the idlers are 5 7/8” diameter with a 3/8” groove, shown here with a 2 ˝”diameter Delrin idler for comparison.
Once I had all 4 idlers sized, I printed some paper patters that I used to locate the lightening holes. The patterns were spray glued to the idler blanks and clamped to a drill press for the drilling.
Here are the finished idlers ready for bearings. I sized the center hole so the Idlers will use standard skate bearing sizes with 8mm mounting bolts.
After the races at Waterford I took the top half of the body over to Frank’s house so he could work on the final sanding. Once Frank finished the canopy area, Garrie Hill drove up from Ohio and we meet at Franks to make a mold for the plastic canopy window. Garrie will be vacuum forming the plastic for us. Garrie and I started by stretching a plastic vacuum bagging film over the canopy area. This will prevent the fiberglass and epoxy from sticking to the body and eliminate the waxing and mold prep.steps 
Next we cut 4’x5’ piece of 6.7 oz fiberglass cloth and placed it on the body. Garrie and I both commented how nice it was to have help when doing lay-ups since both of us usually work by ourselves.
Here the fiberglass is checked to see how it lays and trimmed slightly. The black stuff is duct tape that was used to secure the bagging film. We tried not to get any epoxy on to the top of the fairing or bond to mold to un-taped areas.
Once we were satisfied with the placement of the cloth we thoroughly wetted it out and continued the place fiberglass and add epoxy cycle. We added 4 layers and went for lunch and returned and added 5 more layers. (Mold lay-up) 
We let the mold cure on the top till the following weekend when I drove over to Frank’s place and we removed the mold. The mold came up fairly easy. Here Frank is pushing the mold up from the back. Once The Mold was removed Garrie and I each drove ˝ way and did a mold exchange in a parking lot of a Bob Evens in Boling Green, Ohio.
Now that Garrie has the canopy mold and Frank is back sanding on the top section of the body, it is time to continue working on the tub. I need to mount the head tube in the front sub frame. I clamped the front sub frame to my bench and used a hole saw in a hand drill. I used the drills built in level and sighted down line I drew on the sub frame.
This picture shows the head tube before being inserted in the front of the sub frame. 
The head tube will be bonded to the sub frame once everything is aligned in the tub.
Now it is time to see how all this stuff will fit together with the tub. I decided to use a long straight edge strut to keep the wheels lined up while I glue everything to the tub. For the strut I combined an 8’ long angle and a 10’ piece of Unistrut. The angle and Unistrut are clamped together and placed under the tub.
I made spacer blocks that will determine the amount the wheels will protrude below the tub.
Then the strut was shimmed up so the spacer blocks just touched the bottom of the tub.
Once the strut is shimmed in position the wheels are clamped to the strut with the tire and tubes removed. Shims are added between the wheel and the strut to make up any difference between the width of the front and back rim. This keeps both wheels on the centerline.  
Here she is, the tub with all the main components in place. The alignment will be checked several dozen more time and additional components for the drive train will be fabricated before everything is glued together.

Next I will need to finish the rear wheel mounting, make seat mounting and idler support brackets and bond in the bottom bracket assembly on the mount drivetrain page.

Back to the HPV projects page