Able & Bakers Space Sled

Sep 2, 2008
Kind of funny but,

I have decided to put in an entry as a tribute to Able and Miss Baker. Some of our earliest astronauts that helped further our space program. Without them.. we would not have made it to the moon;)

anyways.. this will be a homemade project.. not going to spend a lot of money and will fabricate as much stuff as I can myself. I hope it turns out ok. Will post the frame and other stuff soon.

On May 28, 1959, aboard the JUPITER AM-18, Able, a rhesus monkey, and Miss Baker, a squirrel monkey, became the first living beings to successfully return to Earth after traveling in space (defined as above 50 mile altitude by the U.S. at the time). They travelled in excess of 16,000 km/h, and withstood 38 g (373 m/s²).[citation needed] Able died June 1, 1959 while undergoing surgery to remove an infected medical electrode, from a reaction to the anesthesia. Baker died November 29, 1984 at the age of 27 and is buried on the grounds of the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Able was preserved, and is now on display at the Smithsonian Institute of Air and Space Museum. Their names were taken from a phonetic alphabet.

Able in Capsule:


Baker in a life support capsule:

Typical Rocket:
Sep 2, 2008
:?: Not sure if I will use ape hangars or not.. we will see how the build goes as far as money and time :?:

I assumed that Able was a male when I first read all the information.. but it seems that able was a female monkey.. I will read up a little more to make sure. I have decided to use a girls bike for this project for this reason. I am going to use a somewhat newer girls bike that was in the bushes rusting and rotting. I brought it from California when I moved here.. and has been in the elements for 3 years. The desert cold and heat will really fade paint, rust parts, and ruin tires. It has gears but I will probably take them off, strip the paint, and oil everything up. I hate gears.. except for gear number 1.

I'm thinking making a gas tank for the bike like in the sketch.. not sure yet though whether this should be the top of the tank or have one of each on each side of the tank. Will figure it out as time goes on..

This is the girls bike that I'm going to start with.. will need new tires and innertubes.. maybe I will use solids since I have a ton of goat heads around here.

I will probably use solid black tires since the rocket paint schemes were black and white.. so will probably do the frame as a flat white with some embelishments.
Sep 2, 2008

Bike disassembled as of -10-2009.

What ended up in the trash.

The crappy chainguard.. it is really flimsy.. will either make a new one of find a better one.
The metal is really thin and the guard itself if bent.

Solid innertube so the bike tires don't go flat. No air involved .. just foam rubber type stuff.
Bought this at walmart a while back.

New Bell tires bought at walmart .
Sep 2, 2008
Price List for Project:

Girls Huffy Mountain Bike w/o seat: (outside rotting): Worth about $30.00
(1) Krylon Indoor/Outdoor White Primer: $2.97 (more to come)
(2) Tires Solid Black - Bell 26" Mountain Bike Tires: (New) $12.97
(2) Solid Inner Tubes: (On hand for another bike): (Still New) $19.48
(1) Seat Post with Rack: (New) $16.97 ??...?? I guess I wasn't paying attention.. because I would not have bought it at that price.
(1) Package of dust masks: (New) $4.77
(1) Tumbler Set: (New): $8.88 <-- for the monkey pod
(1) Safety Goggles: (New) $9.96
Total so far: $108.45 :( ... I'm not counting the bike itself since it was just sitting. I wanted to do a cheap build.. but doesn't look like it is going to happen.

I still need to buy the seat and misc. other parts to finish this bike.. I am still going to keep track of all expenses + time.


2 hours to disassemble bike
1.5 hours to clean up 1 front rim and install new solid inner tube and new tire <-- PITA
1 hour of sanding with electric sander.
1 hour in the store daydreaming ;)

Total so far: 5.5 hours of work.. not much to show at this point.

Finished front tire.. you can't see it from the photo.. but the chrome on the rim looks brand new and so does the tire.. because it is.. the inner tube is that solid tube.. which was a real pain to put on.. but it will last a long time.. I could run over goat heads and nails all day and the tire will never leave me stranded.
Sep 2, 2008
I started getting impatient with sanding the frame by hand. I hate chemical paint strippers and other toxics. Don't want to be woken up in the middle of the night by my glowing hands. :shock:

So... I went out and bought a sandblaster to finish removing the paint from the frame. I hope it works well. I was going to try it out tonight but the sand I had was wet. Will go out tomorrow and buy 50lbs of sand or so to use to strip the paint.

(1) Sandblaster from Sears: $63.00
(2) 50lbs of sand ?
Nov 18, 2007
Someone named Desert_Demon buying SAND!.............Why does that sound so WRONG?....................Looking forward to seeing this together.
Sep 2, 2008

Having a hard time finding blasting media at sears.. not really sure why since they have it listed in their catalog. That is where I bought my sandblaster in the first place. I don't want to have the blasting media shipped to my house because it will cost $54.00 in shipping. They should be able to ship it to the store for free, but I am not getting anywhere with them.

I would like to use garnet blasting media to strip the paint and the rust that has formed here and there. I have not done anymore sanding or blasting since last post.

Went to Albuquerque today to find some different handle bars.. decided on using the MOON handle bars.. they were only available in chrome. $16.00

Also bought some odyssey tripple trap chrome pedals for $15.00.. they are cool hopefully they will fit ..

Bought some chrome fenders for the bike. They are adjustable front and rear 26" bicycle fenders. I wanted just a normal metal fender without chrome, but they only ones I could find were chrome. $25.00.

Day spending totals:

$56.00 :(

I went to two stores in Albuquerque that were pretty helpful.. one was on menaul.. which I can't remember the name right now.. but the second was Cycle World on San Mateo.. they had two vintage bikes up over the counter that they were restoring.. they were cool beans.
Sep 2, 2008
Alright.. found some blasting media. I read in another thread that Harbor Freight Tools was a good place to go for blasting media. At Harbor Freight Tools they had walnut shells, glass beads, aluminum oxide, etc in 50 pound bags. Cost was $40.00 for a 50 pound bag of glass beads. Sears could not order the blasting media for me and they also did not have it in the store. It would have cost me $54.00 for shipping so I went elsewhere. I like Sears but they were lame about getting me this product.

I have not had a chance to sandblast the frame yet but I did clean up the second wheel and put on the new solid inner tubes and new tires. This time it went much faster because I used (tire levers). I had to use the chrome ones because the hard plastic tire levers would break trying to install the solid inner tubes. It only took me 10 minutes to install the solid rims and the new tires with the tire levers. It took about 20 minutes to clean up the rim. 30 minutes total.
Sep 2, 2008
[*] Yesterday I finished sanding the forks on the bike. Used a combination of a wire brush on a drill, a palm sander, and my sandblaster for the hard to get areas. 1 hour.

[*] Finished about half of the bike today using the same method. 1hour.

[*] Bought a Wald front rack from a private individual. Cost $7.00

Will post some photos when I am starting to do some fitting and mockups.
Sep 2, 2008
Ok.. haven't posted anything in a really long time.. but

I have not quit this build. I'm probably not going to make the deadline.. but I am going to finish. Still working with the space monkey theme. Still want to convert it to a single speed.

Got slowed down by school, work, and playing soccer:)

Will post everything I have done by Feb 28th. Then I will either move this thread to bike build unless this forum is still active until I finish.

Photos to be posted soon.