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I need your suggestions for my upcoming iBle!!!

I was deciding on whether to let y'all know what I'm working on, and since I don't know much in the area I'm working in, I decided it would be best.

I am working on an amphibious bicycle that can operate efficiently on land and water. There are just a few on the Interweb, and they are for sell at high prices ($500 bucks at least.)

I am trying to do this with as little cost and as much recycled materials as possible.

So far, I've decided that:

My propulsion mechanism either has to be a prop like your average boat, or a paddlewheel. Both would be powered by my back wheel.

I am considering wooden pontoons filled with 2 liter bottles or gallon milk jugs, reminiscent of this iBle.

I want to stay as high as possible, but I want to be able to go straight from land to water and vice versa. Basically, no assembly required to change terrain.

If anybody has any ideas at all, please let me know!

Thanks much,

Bran!

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Couple of suggestions. Get a couple of cheap bathroom scales, set your wheels , one on each, sit on the bike and have some one note the load on each scale so you can properly distribute flotation. I'd build the floats out of "doorskin" plywood, it's 4mm and available at most Home Depots. Fill the floats with expanding foam, and seal with polyester resin (also at HD), be sure to take the density of the foam into account in your flotation calcs. Wear a lifevest, you're one of the non-annoying younger members here, and we need you ;-).
Bran (author)  Tool Using Animal8 years ago
I'd build the floats out of "doorskin" plywood, it's 4mm and available at most Home Depots.

How is the "doorskin" plywood different or better than marine plywood?

Fill the floats with expanding foam

I suspect you mean the type you pour? Would HD sell this in the pour type?

seal with polyester resin

If I knew the cubic ft of my foam, would I be able to figure out how much resin I would need?

Wear a lifevest, you're one of the non-annoying younger members here, and we need you ;-).

Aww, shucks. ;-)
It's cheaper ;-) Marine plywood has two characteristics, it's void free and it can survive x period of time boiling without de-laminating. Since lakes aren't usually boiling my personal test is, if I put a piece of wood in a bucket of water until it sinks, does it delaminate? The doorskins I got at HD did not. (doesn't necessarily mean yours won't) Yes the expanding pourable foam, HD probably not, thou in desperation the cans of "Great Stuff" they sell would work, but West Marine would have it and there are a boat load of stores in Ga. you can't apply the resin to the foam directly it would probably melt it. So let's say you determine you need 5 cubic feet of flotation, build the floats from wood, fill with foam and seal the wood with resin. the bottles of expanding foam will have a chart on the back telling you how much you need to mix per cubic foot, and the polyester resin will have a the same for per square foot coverage (Trebuchet03 has A LOT of experience with resin).
Bran (author)  Tool Using Animal8 years ago
It's cheaper

Good. Any idea on the cost per sq. foot?

West Marine would have it and there are a boat load of stores in Ga.

That there is.

So let's say you determine you need 5 cubic feet of flotation

It's a bit less than 4 cu ft actually, unless I calculated wrong.

Would you happen to know any way I could power a screw prop by my back wheel or from a second chain on my cluster. I have two sprockets from a busted derailleur if that's of any help.

Thanks again!
A 3x7 foot sheet is $8, I know cuz I just bought some for the boat I'm building ;-). A prop? hmmm maybe a right angle drive for an electric drill could be adapted?
Ooo, how about using a right angle drive with a friction wheel turned by your main wheel, and throw in the natural paddle wheel effect.
Bran (author)  Tool Using Animal8 years ago
Eh, you mean a screw and a paddle wheel? I'm sorta lost here....
Bran (author)  Bran8 years ago
From what I've researcher, paddle wheels are very inefficient compared to the screw prop.
Sure they are but his suggestion of using the already rotating rear wheel as a propulsion system isn't bad, though not as easy to implement... So the screw sounded ok to you in the end? Also foam could be a better idea, unbreakable in comparison and the plastic is buoyant in it's own right, adding the air...
Bran (author)  killerjackalope8 years ago
The foam is more buoyant: a cu ft of air would support 28.3 lbs, while a cu ft of foam would support 60 lbs.

I will almost definitely be trying the screw first.

I didn't know he meant to add paddles to the rear wheel. I was thinking of doing the same, like this guy.
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