zondag 20 januari 2013

Captain Kirk on snow patrol and cardboard progress

Captain Kirk enjoys his nice little spot in the garden. The chicken haven't eaten him yet and the cold is no problem for him. I'm waiting for snow to melt, then we can see how much he can handle.

Here you can see him enjoying himself in the snow

I've tested the red paper bowl by pouring in 1 liter of water.
The experiment ended after about 30 minutes. Water slowly went through cracks in the paint layers and softened the paper underneath. 
After the said 30 minutes the bowl was standing in a little puddle and the bottom of the bowl was weakened. After letting it dry on the heater it is hard again, but I see the experiment as partly failed. I didn't test the yellow bowl yet because I saw some cracks in the paint as well, so I can guess what the outcome would be.

 I have been busy with yet another test piece, this time I wanted to combine the sturdiness of the Captain Kirk piece with the good looks a velomobile should have in my opinion. So I made another little bowl.
I've used 4 layers of corrugated cardboard as a base and finished it with another 4 layers of paper using wallpaper glue. I've used a different applying technique this time and I'm quite pleased with the outcome.
After everything is dry I could also use one layer of paper on the inside to give it a smooth finish. this way the possibility of cracks is smaller and it will look so much better.

  Imagine, this is how your future velomobile could look like...

dinsdag 15 januari 2013

cardboard experiments

As you might have already read, I was busy trying out whether cardboard would be a good material to build a velomobile from. The first test piece finally dried and became a sturdy, light weight, ugly thing.
I was already prepared that it wouldn't be the most beautiful thing to see and I was mostly interested in the sturdiness of it. I haven't been disappointed. For this one I have used wood glue, three layers of corrugated cardboard underneath 4 layers of brown packaging paper.
Since this one had come out so ugly I've decided to use it as a weather test. Today I've painted it with a few layers of spray paint and after letting it dry it got a nice little spot in the garden. I will keep it there and will post on this blog how it behaves in the Dutch winter.

This is it, all dressed up as Captain Kirk, just before being beamed into the garden.

I've also started a new test piece yesterday. This one doesn't have any corrugated cardboard underneath, I hoped that it would get some straighter lines this way and again I haven't been disappointed. Here you can see it drying the 6th layer of paper.
The down part of this piece is that it probably won't have the rigidity of the piece with the cardboard. Again I will have to wait until I know how it comes out. I've also used a different kind of glue on this one: extra strong wall paper glue.

My third and last experiment includes these two little bowls.
Both of them consist of three layers of paper held together by the same wall paper glue as used in the second test piece. I've spray painted them with some left overs from the workshop. I've used two stainless steel bowls as mold, the yellow one has been made on the outside of the bowl, the red one has been made on the inside. Again, no beauties. Apparently I should have let them dry out on the mold, but I wanted to get the job done. 
As soon as they are completely dry I will fill them up with water and stop the time until they start to leak.
If they survive that experiment I will have two interesting crisp bowls.

That's it for today, keep an eye on the blog because there will be more posts about the cardboard project in the coming days.
If you have any comment or know a better way of doing it, don't hesitate to write it down.

vrijdag 11 januari 2013

Vrijwiel goes cardboard

For some people a velomobile is the essence of tree hugging, but if you consider what most of the super chique and super expensive velomobiles consist of you can wonder wether you would have to say "tree hugging" or "oil bathing".
Personally, I don't consider myself much of a tree hugger but I guess there are always people who would have a different opinion on that. However, when I was contemplating about new materials that have to be cheap, easy to get, sturdy, light weight and fun to work with, cardboard popped up in my mind. Usually one wouldn't think of a water dissolving material for a velomobile shell that should, besides other things, protect you from the elements, but why not?
I've already tested normal spray paint as a method of waterproofing the cardboard and today I've tried my hands on a test piece for cardboard laminating. As you can see on the pictures, it still has to dry up and "de-rimple" a bit but the shell on the picture already stands on it's own as a hollow form without the mold.
I'm still prototyping and far from the serious business but I'm positive that I've got something here.
Don't hesitate to leave your opinion.