Wednesday, September 18, 2013

TerraTrike Velomobile Skinning Has Started

After all of the construction that has taken place over the past weeks I am happy to say that I have started putting the skin on the TerraTrike Velomobile.  This as I have said earlier is not a difficult task.  In fact I find it very enjoyable as the vehicle really starts to look like something at this point. 

I started with the rear protrusion or blister as I call it that is right behind the driver.  I thought I would get the hardest part on the velomobile to skin done first.  Actually to skin this section of the body is not hard but the glassing of the inside was the tough part. Here the first few strip are hot glued to the framework of the velomobile.

  Here half of the blister has been completed and trimmed.  Just to do this little section of the body took around four hours to complete.

I completed the skinning of the blister and the top rear of the velomobile and then fiber glassed the inside surfaces.  This was the difficult part of the process. It was tight quarters to reach inside the body when it was turned upside down and with the rear inner platform for the body mounts it made it even more difficult to see where I needed to see to get the job done.  I felt like a contortionist trying to reach into this area at times but I did manage complete the task.  This morning this section of the body had stiffened up nicely and I was able to do preliminary sanding on the outer surface.  Already it is looking good. 

Working for another 2 1/2 hours this morning I was able to skin the upper side of the body.  Just to lay down four eight foot strips took two hours to compete.  It is a slow process but as you can see it is worth the effort. 

 After a total of five hours work I  called it a day and laid my tools down to admire how well the body is starting to look.  I have not even begun to sand the outer surface of the body yet and from what I can see it will take very little effort to the body ready for glassing on the outside. I will skin the opposite side of the velomobile next and then start the glassing of the interior.  This will be much easier than the rear blister as the bottom as well as the top of the vehicle is open so there is lots of room to work and see what needs to be done. 
   Lots of tasks to do yet on the project as I still have to work out the hinges for the front hood, set up a flashing tail light, more rear body detailing is needed and hopefully get signal lights working for the project.  One other thing I need to do is create two small access doors at the rear of the vehicle so that it will be easier to reach and see the rear mounts for mounting the body of the velomobile to the chassis.  If I leave these access doors out it will be near impossible to reach the rear mounts.  I have the location for these doors figured out and will  have to work out the fine details to create the new access doors for the project next.  So lots to do here at the Tinker's Workshop but I am happy the progress is really starting to show with what I got accomplished in the last few days.

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