The Mothership AKA '08 Kiddie "Space" Crate

This is something I dreamt up a year ago ( in '08 )and have been steadily gathering the bits and generally figuring out how to make it since.It's not offically a bike though.It's a bit of imaginative child transport for behind,so I'll understand when people say it doesn't really count,but the shape of it fits this space theme so well I thought why not see what everyone thinks.



I started by calling it the mothership but I don't know what Led Zeppelin would think.

The frame is aluminium pipe 30mm diameter with 2mm wall thickness.At 2m(6'6") long and 1m(3'3") wide it's actually a little narrower than I originally drew it 1m 20cm (4 foot). Apparently 80cm or 2' 8" is the legal limit for trailer width here in holland,but I was never one for letting rules stand in the way of things,although being able to turn corners will be nice so a comprimise was arrived at..... I made a wooden jig for welding.


For the frame of the "fuselage" I decided to use 4mm thick strips of plywood cut 4 inches(10cm) wide and 1m long.I steamed them in a PVC drain pipe using one of those machines for stripping wallpaper off your walls.I strapped them to a jig I made so they'd stay curved when they were dry.Each frame was made using 4 of these and there are 3 frames.I bonded them using epoxy resin.



The aluminium frame was welded by a very nice man from a place called Den Dungen,he does a lot of trial bike repairs and custom jobs and was only delighted to see that someone was making something of their own bat.Yes he was a bit mad too.


The wooden frame was completed by adding stringers down the length (3) one acting like a keelbeam I suppose.I added support frames to each of the rings to make everything rigid and to support the floor.


I made the nose cone with a skippy ball like they use in fitness(torture) centres.I pumped it up while it was in one of my wooden rings from the wooden frame and started layering fibreglass onto it. It took me 2 months to add layer after layer....two hours here three hours there,sanding a bit between layers...and then when there was no fibreglass,resin or money left we let the air out of the ball. It stayed together.



The "roof" is made but is at the paintshop, and I skinned the wooden frame over the last 3 weeks with 1mm thick aluminium,it's ready for paint now too.I have a terrific brother-in-law who works as a spraypainter for an auto-repair company...lucky me.
Hopefully we'll get it together and painted before the deadline.Whole thing weighs 25kg so you do feel it and when the kids are in it will be first gear all the way.I do fortunately have the advantage of living in the flattest country in the world...

 
I was a sheet metal worker on aircraft for 10 years,gave it up 5 years ago,I guess it stays in your blood......
A guy I worked with used to build boats and he told me about steaming wood,this was my first go at it,definitely gonna do more of that!
 
Apr 8, 2007
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Encinitas, SoCal
This is ground control to Major Smudgery, you've really made the grade!
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear, Now it's time to leave the capsule if you dare

Too cool!!!
 
Here am I (Liam) sitting (standing) in my tin can.....



The little piece of tube sticking up at the back is for a flagpole....


I have a last minute dilema,I don't know if I should paint it matt black like a proper hotrod in which case it would go better with the black straight 8, or, maybe paint it the metalic green of this Rally sport...? Any suggestions? Maybe the green would be more upbeat for the kids but black is probably cooler overall.I did 2 drawings of the trailer,one black,one green and Liam (my son) chose black too....
 
Well we're ready for a maiden voyage.No paint yet,gonna be waiting a while for that so it'll have to be considered finished like this for the present.


This is the roof with the Led Zep sticker from hippy motors.com
 
It's carnival time here in Holland so our maiden voyage was in the kid's parade,with three little cowboys/girls in it.Was heavy but not bad.Looking forward to a bit of summer weather so I can spray it black though.