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Discussion Starter #1
I saw on TV that Morgan builds a wood frame for their car and was wondering if a similar frame could be made of laminated bamboo for a reverse trike. Specifically, I would like information on the best epoxy to use for laminating the bamboo.
 
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Prepping the Bamboo is going to be your biggest hurdle. I use west marine epoxy

Pete :)
 

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I saw on TV that Morgan builds a wood frame for their car and was wondering if a similar frame could be made of laminated bamboo for a reverse trike. Specifically, I would like information on the best epoxy to use for laminating the bamboo.
It depends on how much of the frame you mean.

Morgans always had a steel chassis frame and only the body was ash framed with steel ot aluminium panels fixed to it.

Bamboo has very different properties to hardwoods and so you need to be sure that these properties are what you want and that you can process it to your needs.

How big a trike are you building?

My trike is quite big and I am planning a steel chassis but also working on a laminated plywood monocoque tub to sit on top of it. The steel frame will take the suspension loads and the weight of the components and the monocoque tub will add rigidity and stiffness (if I get it right).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am planning a 2 seater trike as light as possible, hopefully under 500 kg, to meet the majority of my transportation needs which are a 120 km round trip over hilly terrain repeated 2 or 3 times a week.

I will probably have to make it a hybrid to keep the mass as low as possible, I am considering using a sub frame from a disposable econo-box to support the front end and the frame and ICE from a small Honda motorcycle at the rear. The bamboo would be used to support the skin.
 

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I am planning a 2 seater trike as light as possible, hopefully under 500 kg, to meet the majority of my transportation needs which are a 120 km round trip over hilly terrain repeated 2 or 3 times a week.

I will probably have to make it a hybrid to keep the mass as low as possible, I am considering using a sub frame from a disposable econo-box to support the front end and the frame and ICE from a small Honda motorcycle at the rear. The bamboo would be used to support the skin.
I thought Hybrids were typically heavier? This is in the range possible by a pure EV... if you can charge at each end would be a breeze.

Tidbit....Bamboo is actually not wood, but part of the grass family if I remember correctly. Have you considered an Aluminum frame or perhaps Cr-Mo tube? Oh I just re-read the part about the bamboo supporting the skin... One thing I can say about Bamboo after laying two floors with it.. .it's friggin HARD! I thought hard maple was hard.. .it will curl the nails from a brad nailer!
 

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Yep, bamboo is very dense and hard and a grass, not a wood.

However, that does give it a few interesting and different properties which you will need to work with. Don't try to treat it as a wood but make use of the tubular nature of it and its springiness. It is a very tough material that will take knocks and bounce back.
It is also razor sharp when cut and if it shatters it will produce thousands of needle sharp splinters from the break point.

You will need to think about how you want to joint it to itself and how to get other materials to join to it as well as how you fix it to the chassis frame.

There is a lot of research out there, maybe start with bamboo bikes as they are diamond frames with straight bamboo jointed to the various metal components.
Also look at the way bamboo scaffolding is used compared to steel or aluminium scaffold tubing.

Large sections of bamboo can be split and machined to regular stick sections and jointed to make larger boards but that is complex and difficult to get right without some machinery and knowledge.
 

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It is also razor sharp when cut and if it shatters it will produce thousands of needle sharp splinters from the break point.
Unfortunately, I can vouch for this.:eek::(...and it doesn't have to be broken to get to the slivers! Just slide your hand along a nice milled edge.... :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good find. I had planned on something larger though. It did get me thinking of weaving the skin out of rattan but remembering a couple of chair seats I caned it's out of the question.
 
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