Sunday, October 14, 2012

Motorcycle Cargo Trailer Project Part 2

Today I will continue on with the motorcycle cargo trailer project with showing you a couple of the tools that needed to be built before the actual build of the trailer could start.  One tool that was indispensable for this project was my custom built hot wire table.  The unique feature with this table is the capability to tilt the table when you are cutting the Styrofoam for the trailer parts.  Plans are available for the table here on the plans section of the website.  So lets get into the photos and continue with the build.

These first photo are of the tilt arms that hold the table at whatever angle that you wish to cut the Styrofoam at.  

 The base of the tilt table is made up of ordinary pine 2 x 4's that are screwed together.  The vertical 2 x 4 is bolted to this framework for the upper horizontal arm.

 The top upper views show you the table from front and rear views at an angle.  The lower photo shows the indicator for the angle of the tilt on the table and a simple wing nut on a through bolt to lock the angle of the table. Simple and easy adjust.

This is one of two hot wire bows that were used with the trailer project.  This one being a two foot bow and the larger one is a six foot bow.  It is made up of small pieces of pine with a wire that is heated up electrically mounted to two eyelets on the vertical pieces of the bow.  The upper end of the vertical arms have a spring loaded cable to keep tension on the lower hot wire.

This is a good shot of the upper spring and cable mount on the upper vertical arm of the smaller hot wire bow.  The arm is bolted to a horizontal cross member and is able to pivot at this point to maintain the pressure needed to keep the lower hot wire tight when cutting foam.  The little gusset plates are 1/4 inch plywood screwed into the horizontal cross member.

 The hot wire is attached to the lower eyelets of the vertical arms by just winding it around the eyelet. (shown here on the larger six foot hot wire bow).  Both of these hot wire bows you will see being used  in the build as we progress in the future postings that I will have here.

First day of the build!  Cutting of the floor panel using a hot knife with a 90 degree bracket to hold everything nice and square to make the cuts.  The hot knife I purchased from a company called 

The Hotwire Foam Factory.  Here you will find more info about there wonderful tools from this company that made this project possible. Here's the link to their site.

Kitchen chairs make good saw horses.  At this point the foam floor has been cut out and I still have not even had to sweep the floor.  Very little if any debris from using the hot knife to cut the openings.

The floor is checked with the frame for alignment and clearances.

The panels that were cut out were saved and used for the planned recess areas in the floor.

Setting up the mounting blocks so the body of the trailer can be mounted to the frame.  Oak blocks are cut out of one larger piece of wood and steel inserts cut from pipe are inserted for strength.  The foam was fiber glassed on one side to make the mounting of these blocks simpler.

Another perfect cut out from the foam.  You can see the fiberglass in the center of the cutout and a hole for the mounting bolt that matches up to the wooded mount.  

A perfect fit!

The six mounting blocks were aligned with the frame and puttied into position using a mixture of fiber glass resin and micro balloons. Micro balloons are a staple for anyone using fiber glass especially in composite construction like this.  They are microspheric hollow glass balls.  It looks like talcum powder.  But if you threw it into the air it floats like smoke.  Very very light weight. Great stuff for this project. 

The mounting blocks are checked with the trailer bed for a perfect fit and a simple, strong mount for the body of the trailer to the frame.  One thing I found out later and was lucky that it still worked was that I had not bolted the framework of the trailer together completely before mounting the floor.  Alignment of the floor to the frame later on showed that one bolt was just a bit tight to bolt together.  Had I completely built the frame it would have lined up perfectly with the floor and would have not caused some concern.  Like I said I was lucky that it worked out.  Keep this in mind if you plan on duplicating my process here for you trailer build.   Stay tuned for continued posts on this project.

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