Balance Bike - Father/son Project

CAD rendering of my son's design

Play
PlayPause
 
Stan Glover avatar
Video made by Stan Published on 11/2/2016, viewed by 2095 , 6 Comments

The goal was to make it look like an Italian Vespa

What you will need

Sheet of 1/2 inch Russian poplar plywood

Red oak remnants for parts needing more strength

Wheels from a $10 kid's bike found on Craigslist

Various hardware pieces for assembly

Bushings for steering mechanism7

Handle grips

3/4 inch dowel for handlebars

1 inch wide aluminum bar stock. 1/8 thick

How to do this project

1

My son decided he wanted to design and build a balance bike for his buddy's daughter. This is our adventure in making something outside our comfort zone...

2

Play
al engineers provide measurements to 3 decimals! Lol

We started off with detailed plans and templates drawn by my son. Mechanical engineers provide measurements to 3 decimals! Lol

3

Play
fender pieces. Use the first frame and fender pieces as templates to make a second copy.

Trace the paper templates onto the plywood and cut and shape the frame and fender pieces. Use the first frame and fender pieces as templates to make a second copy.

4

Play
ten them. Keep enough material where the wheels will mount.

Once the fenders are fabricated, hollow out the back of the fenders to lighten them. Keep enough material where the wheels will mount.

5

Play
g a 1-1/2 inch hole saw.

Easiest part of the project... Cut frame spacers from plywood cut-offs using a 1-1/2 inch hole saw.

6

Play

Make the headset from solid oak for strength

7

Play
faceplate from plywood.  Assemble.

Steering assembly. Build the fork and headset brackets from solid oak, and faceplate from plywood. Assemble.

8

Play
ips from spare bike parts from a friend.

View of the steering mechanism with handle bars installed. Donor handle grips from spare bike parts from a friend.

9

Play
ght adjustment holes in the frame.

Make the seat and adjustable seat extension. Need to drill out the seat height adjustment holes in the frame.

10

Play

Make the rear fender filler and match fender contour

11

Play

Assemble the frame using the spacers and insert the oak headset

12

Play

Attach steering mechanism to the headset

13

Play
 adjustments..

...dry fit all the parts. Drill out the holes for the seat extension height adjustments..

14

Play

Time to take the bike apart to mask the paint design.

15

Play
or grade varnish.

Paint Job. Aqua and white. All other raw lumber gets a few coats of exterior grade varnish.

16

Play

Materials to cover the seat. High density foam and red vinyl.

17

Play
 the rear wheel support.

Just about done! Added aluminum bar stock on the back fenders to strengthen the rear wheel support.

18

Play

The inspiration

19

Play
nd cut the rear wheel axel.  But yeah, looks like we have a finished product. Great father/son bonding experience.  And we're still on talking terms.  Lol

A few cosmetic things to do. Still have to paint the aluminum bar screws and cut the rear wheel axel. But yeah, looks like we have a finished product. Great father/son bonding experience. And we're still on talking terms. Lol