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Sep 28, 2010

Make a DIY Bent Plywood Bicycle

Boy, do I love me some molded plywood. It gives my Eames lounge-ish chair its perfect shape, and is quite functional in my walnut magazine end table and this laptop riser I hacked from an IKEA stool.

And, as some industrious design students figured out, you can create a bike frame at home by learning to laminate and mold your own plywood elements. Brilliant! Even if you're not digging on building a bike frame, this is a great tutorial for learning how to mold and bend plywood.

  

After seeing this bike on a bicycle design blog I was inspired to build my own. It was made by someone named John Hobson. The concept is the same, but mine is fairly different.

Also I had some left over epoxy and fiberglass from a kayak I built and was just itching to find a project I could use it on (or maybe I was just itchy from all the fiberglass). Anyway, since I wasn't thrilled with my current bike that was a cheapo 15 year old big box store bike, I thought it would be great to replace the old frame with a wood composite frame and have something unique.

The part of the design I liked was that the top and bottom parts of the frame are like leaf springs separated by the seat tube. I thought that having a suspension system integrated into the frame was a really cool idea. Ideally vibrations and bumps would be absorbed into the frame and returned back to the wheels, without making the frame too bouncy. The frame I built consists of plywood, fiberglass, epoxy, and even paper, so there is no welding required.

Bent Plywood Bicycle [Instructables]

 

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peter on Oct 12, 2012:

Wow, that frame looks great, i'm thinking of building one too, where did you get all teh dimensions from to make the holes in the right places?