Friday, August 16, 2013

TerraTrike Velomobile Fiber Glassing Has Begun

After having spent over seven hours tracing out the parts for the TerraTrike velomobile project I thought it best to keep pushing on today and get started on the fiber glassing of the parts on the first foam panel.  This again is not a difficult task to do. As with the tracing it all takes time and a little effort. 

 In this first photo you can see some of the strange looking shapes that will make up the framework of the velomobile body.  In the upper left corner of the photo you can see the fiber glass cloth that I need for these parts.  Lots of little piece of fiber glass cloth was needed to be laid into place over the traced shapes.

 The three curved pieces in this shot will be part of the framework that will be located just ahead of the driver (namely me) when I am sitting in the vehicle. (See first photo in this post)

This large center piece in the photo will be the part of the frame that is just behind the driver in the velomobile.  All of the parts have several layers of fiber glass cloth on them at this point.  I will let these cure over night and then cut the panel up into smaller more manageable individual parts so the back sides of the parts can be glassed again. I will try to eliminate as much unneeded foam during this step to save materials for the glassing of the parts.  Once this also has had time to cure I can make the final cuts to clean up the parts using my band saw to get them to their correct shape for the next step in the assembly. 
  I will have another complete panel of parts to glass the same way that you see here and then a few more steps in the process before I can set up a build jig so the body can start to take shape. 
  For now I am happy that I am able to get to the glassing of what you see here and I am able to get some decent photos to give you an idea of all the different pieces that will be needed for this project.  
  To give you an idea of the weight of these parts you should know that a 4 x 8 foot sheet of styrofoam only weighs around four pounds.  As I am cutting a lot of parts out of one sheet and eliminating a lot of wasted foam you can see that these parts will be very light in weight even with the fiber glass on them.  It will be interesting to see how it all comes together.  
  Three more hours work on the project today brings the total up to 110 and 1/2 hours. (Roughly)  One step at a time and before you know it I'll have the frame ready for assembly.


  1. Hi Dave, I've never tried fibreglassing but it's one of those things I've always wanted to get into. Was thinking a kids ride on toy might be a good thing to try it out on.

    1. Hi Andy, I have been working with fiberglassing for around six years now. I really like what I have been able to create with it. I learned the process by taking a class through the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). If you can paint a wall you can learn to fiberglass. It's that simple. When I can create everything from a three piece take apart kayak to a BMW sign the possibilities are endless. Your only limited by your imagination. Thanks for the email. Dave