Thursday, 29 May 2014

Waste house exhibition

This is my bike having just been set up in the waste house exhibition space. The wall mount for the bike is a piece of the sea defences (which is what the bike frame is made of) that i have sprayed black so your eye is drawn to the wooden frame of the bike. 

This is the trailer and basket also in the exhibition space.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Sustrans Logo

This is the process of spray painting the Sustrans logo and motto onto the frame. Here i have made two stencils, i will then coat the rest of the frame to prevent getting paint on it and spray over the stencil.

This is the result of the spray painting, I will now give it a couple of coats of varnish over the layers of bio resin to finish it off.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Waste House

This is the space i will be exhibiting my work in. I am displaying my project in the Waste House, a project in the grounds of Brighton Uni Grand Parade that has made a building from entirely waste material. This mirrors my project well with the themes of re using and recycling material.

Here is a link to the Brighton Uni website with information about the waste house. 

Bio Epoxy Resin Coating the Frame

This is the frame having been rounded and all the aluminium inserts added. This is the first coat of bio resin to waterproof the frame as well as strengthening it. 

Drying after the second coat of bio resin.

This is showing the laser cut join on the head tube after t has been rounded, sanded and had two coats of resin. After this coat of resin i will paint on the Sustrans logo and give a final coat of varnish.  

Trailer Basket

This is the final basket for the trailer. the bark has been screwed to the frame, making it a sturdy basket. After this i will create handles from the same bark so that the basket is easy to carry.

These are the fasteners i am using to attach the basket to the trailer frame. They should be solid enough to make a strong join between the two whilst also making them quick and easy to detach.

Laser Cut Joins

This is the join for the seat tube. At this stage the hole for the seat tube still needs to be drilled and then must be rounded off. I like the contrast between the greenheart and the ash in this laser cut join.

This is the head tube after the hole has been drilled. After this an aluminium tube will be inserted into this hole to accommodate the front forks and the join will then be rounded off.

This is the hole for the crank shaft, on the left of the image you can see the crank shaft i have cut from the frame of a bike and which will then be inserted into this hole in the frame.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Reviewed Statement

The main piece in this project is a bicycle frame made to fundraise for, and promote the cycling charity Sustrans. I chose to recycle wood from the Brighton sea defenses to create the bike frame because Brighton’s most popular Sustrans route runs along the seafront, parallel to the sea defenses. The design incorporates recycled bike components to create a functioning bike.

The second piece in the project is a bike trailer made from ash which was sourced from a tree with ash dieback. To make the trailer I have combined the steam bent ash frame, and basket woven from witch elm bark, with the wheels, axle and hitch made by CarryFreedom. The end product is a sturdy and practical trailer with a detachable basket suitable for everyday use.   

Working with reclaimed materials is crucial to the theme of sustainability in the project and also shows the potential for wooden bikes to be produced more cost effectively. These designs celebrate the unique properties and versatility of wood which are often overlooked in favour of more modern and less sustainable materials such as; aluminium and carbon fibre.

To conclude the project, I will be fundraising for Sustrans by undertaking a cycle ride from… to… using the wooden bike and trailer. 

I have left blank exactly where i will be cycling from but i was thinking of doing an extended London to Brighton ride around the Kent coastline via Dover. It seems appropriate to have Brighton as the destination for the ride, both practically and for the story line of the project.

This is not as ambitious a ride as i was originally planning but i think i also have to be realistic about what the bike (and me) is able to achieve.

Trailer Mark 3

This is my final trailer, the piece on the left is the frame of the trailer and on the right is the basket frame. At this point they have both had several coats of bio resin and are drying from their first coat of varnish. 

This is the beginnings of the basket. I have shaped the bark within the now surplus mark 2 frame so i can work on the final basket frame at the same time so the final basket will look much less chunky. The bark has just been shaped and woven into this position around a mold (shown below) and so when attached to the basket frame it will look much neater.

This is the mold used to shape the bark.

Saturday, 10 May 2014


This is the final bike, the layers have been laser cut and glued together with bio-resin. Following the success of my second sample i have used greenheart wood reclaimed from brighton sea defencesto form the majority of the frame and the back forks are steambent ash.

Once these layers have been glued the frame needs to be shaped by hand so it looks more attractive and also to reduce some of the weight. I have chosen greenheart because it is strong and also because of its Brighton connection, but it is a very heavy wood, so although when it has been fully shaped it will lose a lot of weight, it is going to be a fairly heavy bike.

Functional Mark 2 Trailer

Although I am intending to redo this trailer I decided to finish it to i could test it for practicality as well as learning from this example so i can more competently complete the final trailer.

The trailer works very well, it is light, strong and is quick and easy to attach/ detatch. The easily removable wheels mean it can be efficiently stored. 

My final trailer will have a basket the same shape as the frame which fits neatly inside the frame and can be detached for convenience.

The basket frame will be steambent ash in the same shape as the frame of the trailer, however the basket itself will be made from Witch Elm bark shown above and woven over a mold.

Laser Cut Sample

These are some sample joints i have been working on using various techniques. These first layers have been laser cut from my CAD drawing. The joins are nice and accurate however i was hoping to get all 11 layers of the sample join done, but the greenheart wood was a bit dense for the laser cutter and so it took time re-cutting each piece, this also makes it quite expensive.

Bike Sample Joins

These are some sample joints i have made to test the strength of the laminating technique as well as the shaping of the frame. This first sample is made from scrap wood of varying quality laminated using Bio - resin.

This second sample has been made using the same laminating technique but using greenheart wood reclaimed from the Brighton sea defenses which is incredibly dense ans strong. the back forks have been steambent from green ash reclaimed from a tree with ash dieback.

The middle five layers of the sample have had holes drilled through them to reduce weight. I have taken a photo of the bottom of the sample to clearly show the joining technique.