Bicycle Wire Frame Model





Introduction: Bicycle Wire Frame Model

About: I'm a carpenter/brewer/woodworkshop-teacher/musician from switzerland. For as long as I can remember, I was making stuff. Due to my professional education as a carpenter I have a lot of background knowledge ...

I was trying to come up with a good exercise for soldering and working with wire. I have a lot of welding wire lying around and started tinkering around with it. Seeing a bicycle passing by, i realized that this was a perfect idea. I made some samples and came up with a project that is not too difficult and looks quite ok in my opinion.

Step 1: Plan and Materials

My "plan" was a hastily sketched side-view of a bicycle. As you will see, I didn't build everything to match the sketch, but it worked out well.

I used 1mm welding wire. It has good strength and is still bendable. The coppery look just adds to the finished model.

As tools I used mainly flat and side cutting pliers, a soldering iron and its accessories. The whole thing took me about 1 hour to finish, since i stopped getting carried away by adding ever more details.

Step 2: Bending All the Parts

I started off by bending all the wanted parts from the 1mm welding wire. Using the plan as a template proofed to be a very easy way of getting the dimensions right. The biggest hurdle was to get the wheels as circular as possible, but it is achievable (bending the wheels mostly by hand without tools).

The frame, wheel forks, handlebar and saddle were a straightforward bending exercise, for the gear wheels I used round pliers.

Step 3: Soldering the Individual Parts

With all the parts bent to the right form and size, i started closing the gaps in all individual parts. I took care, to not have different solder joints in the same place, so the whole thing is a lot simpler to assemble in the end.

It pays off, to apply tin-flux (well, it's actually a necessity) and to use very little tin-solder. Not only does it look better, but it is easier to spot bad solder joints this way.

Step 4: Assembling the Bicycle Wire Frame Model

With all the individual parts ready, I started to assemble the whole thing. Since I don't have a soldering aid (yet), I had to use pliers to secure some parts. This way I was able to use both hands to solder the parts in place. Some of the joints were a bit tricky to get them right and straight, but I'm very happy with the result. I forgot to make the pedals at first, and the "chain" was an afterthought.

I cleaned the joints with a piece of cloth as best as I could and got most of the excess tin-flux off.

Step 5: Mounting the Bicycle

To showcase the model, I decided to mount it on a base. I have some spare laminated plywood lying around and used a piece of it to create this base. I roughed the connection points on the wire with abrasive paper and glued the bicycle in place using superglue.

I hope this wire frame model will inspire some people to build something similar or completely different! It sure is fun and looks good...



    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest
    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest

    23 Discussions

    What a fantastic guide! Bicycle Blue Book finds the value of all types of used bikes, but we've never seen anything like this before--so I guess you could call it priceless!

    This is a great project you should enter it into the homemade gifts contest.

    thanks for the comment and the idea! ;-) one present less to worry about!

    This is awesome! I definitely need to try this. I wonder if an old wire clothes hanger would work?

    1 reply

    Thank you very much, spockish! yes, go ahead and try this! ;-)

    maybe the old wire clothes hanger will too flexible, but give it a try. In case it doesn't work, the kind of straight welding wire I used isn't expensive. the model contains probably about 30 cents worth of material.

    thank you! I don't have a proper diagram, but maybe this view with the grid below it will help.


    Thank you, JackANDJude

    These straight wires are available in different diameters and lenghts. The ones I used for this bicycle are 500mm long and 1mm in diameter. You will find that kind of wire by looking for "TIG welding wire" (tungsten-inert-gas). There are all kinds of suppliers and products.

    Hi, Nicely made!
    I was just wondering how strong the straight welding wire is? I am building a lamp thing at the moment and have been looking for straight wire that can be bended if you put enough presure on it, but that retains it's shape as it has to hold some weight, and I don't want it to bend out of shape every time someone bumps into it... Maybe this could be it?

    3 replies

    hi siobhanm

    this 1mm straight wire is probably not the perfect choice; I guess larger object would start to sag. I tried to make the frame out of 2mm straight welding wire (it didn't look the way I wanted it to in the end), but it is quite a lot stronger and sturdier and at the same time not too hard to work with. I'd recommend something like this. Will you weld it?


    no, I've just moved country again so my supplies are pretty limited on the tool front. I have a soldering iron and a glue gun...

    I am building a photo lamp shade so almost like a normal lampshade just with long wire pieces sticking out that I can attach photo to at the end.

    The frame of the lamp shade is already made, I made it with some wire meshing and some metal rings (no idea what their original purpose was) I then covered the mesh in a kind of light material... The plan is to stick the wire pieces through the material, bend the ends and feed it back through, and then secure the wobbling with a dab from the glue gun.. I don't know if any of that made sense, but anyway, I've tried it and it works, kind of. The problem is that the wire bends just by looking at it. So what starts off looking sleek and cool just starts to look sad and crooked. Here's a link with a picture of the kind of thing I am making

    ok, now i got it. i think this 1mm straight welding wire will work just fine for your project! good luck and i hope to get a glimpse of it when its done...