Rick Wianecki's velomobile project
Velomobile 6

A project by Rick Wianecki

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Got to love UPS I got a shipment in tonight. Another 10 yards. Back to work.

Costs so far:
7 sheets of foam $70
8 cans of spray glue $80
20 yards of 9 oz cloth @ $9/yd $189
1.5 gallon of epoxy and hardener @ $135/gallon $203

About $542 . Plus miscellaneous stuff like sandpaper, mixing cups $150

Say about $700 before finish and paint

I got the epoxy and the cloth from Wicks Aircraft. Foam and glue from Home Depot

I finished adding one layer of fiberglass to the inside of the shell. I also glassed over the reshaped areas at the wheel wells.
I next turned my attention to the top. I added a 1 x 1/2" piece of foam around the head opening. I used pieces of duct tape to hold in position while the glue set.
Once the glue set I started to round the foam over get rid of any sharp edges.

Next I need to add a layer of fiberglass to the newly rounded lip and the underside of the top.

I have tried different glues in the past and I want one that does not affect the sanding of the finished shape. One may have to sand all the way through the foam at some spot so a harder glue joint will not work for me.

The 3M 77 glue is applied lightly to the both edges and allowed to sit for a couple of minuted before the edges are pressed together. Glue is also sprayed on the ribs and the back where the strips meet the ribs. One can not put the glue on too heavy because the carrier attacks the foam. I went through 8 cans with this project and only used 4 cans to build the F-n-L now Atilla streamliner.

One needs to be careful with the shell until the outside layer of cloth is epoxied on because the glue joints tend to be a little fragile. This is why I leave the inner skeleton in until after the outside has received it's cloth surface.

This is what I use and it works for me. There must be other and better products but I have not searched them out.
I decided not go to the races in Indy so I could work on the velomobile.

I sanded and added bevels to inside of the top to get it ready for a layer of fiberglass.
Here is a picture of a 45 degree bevel that I added to the underside of the lip at the head cut out. I still need to round the lip and blend it in.
Since I will be working on the top upside down, I added 3 pieces of duct tape from side to side to keep the top from spreading. I will only be glassing about 1/2 of the inside this time.
Here is a picture of the top after the fiberglass has been wetted out with the peal ply added.
I only did about 1/2 of the inside of the top because I noticed that I installed the hinge pins so I will not be able to remove the top without unbolting it. I want to be able to slide the top off the hinge pins to remove it. Here is a picture of the hinge pins as installed. They are pointing in opposite directions. I will reposition the front pin so it will be orientated toward the back like the rear pin.
Today I did some clean up and the took a step backwards.
I first removed the peel ply from the inside of the top.
So far the top section is looking good, I test fitted it to the tub and the duct tape did it's job the alignment looks good, I then removed any epoxy that got into the body mounting bracket threads. I used a tap mounted to a drill driver.
I then removed the front hinge pin and reconfigured the mounting location.
I cleaned everything up and added carbon fiber and fiberglass. Here it is before I added the epoxy.

Next I will reattach the hinge pin.

Tonight I bonded in the realigned front hinge pin plate.

I attached the hinges together on a piece of 1 inch square stock to help get the front hinge aligned with the back.
I then attached the hinge pin plate to the front hinge.
I mixed up a batch of flox and epoxy and stuck it all together.
The front hinge plated bonded in very nicely, so now I need to transfer the location for the hinge mounting plates to the top of the body.

I attached the aluminum mounting plate to the hinge with longer bolts and sprayed the bolts with some paint to help visually with the locating.
I then used a couple of pieces of 1 inch foam to prop the hinge in a partially open position.
I then with some help gently placed the top on the lower section and pressed down lightly at the hinges. I then removed the top to reveal where the hinge mounting plates needed to be mounted.
I then carved out the foam so the mounting plates could recessed slightly. This is one of the reasons I did not glass the entire inside of the top.
Here is the mounting plate waiting for glass and epoxy.

Next I will finish glassing the inside of the top.

I finished glassing in the hinge mounting plated and glassing the remainder of the inside of the top. Here is the hinge pocket ready for epoxy. There is a layer of carbon fiber below the fiberglass layer at the hinge mounting locations.
Here is one of the mounting plates fully epoxied in.

Next I get to attach the top to the tub section and hopefully everything will work out.

It was a very nice day today so I opened the garage door to work.
I started out by opening the holes in the hinges from 1/4" to 3/8" to allow some adjustment. I use a Uni bit because it creates nice round holes.
I mounted the hinges to the top and left the mounting screws slightly loose.
I then slid the top on to the hinge pins in the tub section of the body.
Here is the top in the closed position.
Here is the top opened. I will have to attach some sort of cord to prevent the top from opening too far.
I tried for a while to get the hinges adjusted and had to get creative to get the job done. I placed the body on some saw horses and entered from the foot hole opening.
Here I am adjusting the front hinge.
I had to get back further to adjust the rear hinge.
It was tight but everything turned out great.

Next for the body is the sanding and body work. For the frame I still have several things to do the the seat and steering.

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