Hello! Welcome to a project that took many elements, much thought, and an enormous amount of FUN

The direction of the project changed throughout its construction and it ended up being an award-winning Kinetic Sculpture in the 2015 Baltimore Inner Harbor Kinetic Sculpture Race (KSR)

A kinetic sculpture is self-explanatory: it's a human-powered vehicle that is dressed up to look like art and has to navigate different obstacles like mud, water, and hills. Some sculptures are much more fantastic than others, but the event is a great time and I wouldn't miss it.

There are races throughout the country every year, but the races aren't the only places you will see these silly things; they can be found at the Burning Man celebration, in High schools, and in tinkerers' back yards

This tale begins with the idea to build a big, reverse recumbent tricycle that had nothing at all to do with Kinetic Sculptureism. There was no direct, clear-cut plan as to what the trike would look like when it was finished, but I can say that it had inspiration from this splendid instructable as well as bikes and bike parts I had lying around my little workshop.

The trike then transforms from a working recumbent to a even better-working Kinetic Sculpture after more people started helping with the construction. Our vehicle was then redesigned to be able to go up hills and through the water.

Things to keep in mind while reading/seeing this instructable

• This was my first project that involved welding (I bought a very cheap stick welder (Never failed me!)) so don't expect pretty welds that look professional
• I will purposely not cover every detail of the construction because I don't want people to build exactly what I did (make your own, unique version!)
• I probably didn't have enough mechanical/bikeanical knowledge to dive right into a big project like this, but I did anyway
• If you notice the surroundings of the vehicle are different in the later pics, that is because it was moved (not easy!) to a different, better equipped shop
• There are probably better Kinetic Sculptures out there

Step 1: Materials and Tools

This project will require a pretty extensive array of tools as well as materials. Keep in mind I have no clue what the final cost of the Sculpture was.

Warning: This project requires welding, grinding, lots of saws, and probably other notably dangerous devices. If not used properly, you could get hurt. Be careful but have fun.

I will try to put together a rough parts list of what I used, just keep in mind to make your version unique and different!


1. A welder of some kind (I used an AC arc welder as well as a MIG welder when we switched shops)

2. Power tools like a grinder, jigsaw, abrasive cutoff saw, power drill, the works

3. Basic workshop hand tool assortment (screwdrivers, sockets, wrenches, sand paper, hacksaw, files)

4. Welding hammer/ wire brush

5. Bike chain tool


1. A couple lengths of 1" black steel pipe for the frame ( very heavy stuff, maybe not such a great idea)

2. Several old bikes (I think I used 3, bought them at yard sales for around $10 each

3. 2 solid-tire wheelchair wheels and the bolts to use as axles for them

4. We made spindles out of these, I don't know what they are supposed to be used for, but they had "U" shaped pieces in them and thats what we needed

5. Many, many lengths of 1/2" CPVC to make the frame for the fish's body as well as "T" and 45 degree connectors to make connections in the ribs

6. A big roll of plastic mesh net

7. A bigger roll of thin, rubber mesh net to make the scales and face of the fish (it is blue and works great as a semi-flexible shell for Kinetic Sculptures)

8. 3ish cheap table cloths

9. Pink insulation foam to use here and there (fins and jaw)

10. A completely ridiculous amount of various colored spray paint (we must have gone through 30)

11. A few lengths of 1/2" EMT conduit was used to make some strong, "key" ribs as well as the tail

12. Pool noodles really come in handy when adding the art factor of Kinetic sculptures because they can be used as many different things (our fish's lip is made of them)

13. Whatever you wish to make your seat out of

14. A chain idler

15. A couple sheets of 1/4" plywood to make fins and the tongue out of

16. Various types of hardware (we used a combination of brass and galvanized nuts and bolts)

...Plus whatever you need to make your Kinetic Sculpture unique!

<p>SWEET can you buy em online</p>
thanks, I doubt it, these things are born from creativity
Great! Sounds like you had fun building it, and having fun using it, too! Congrats on a completed build. (I'm painting my Three Wheel Bike Car orange, too.)
<p>Thanks, I did have a lot of fun building and racing the fish. Thanks again for posting such a detailed instructable that inspired this one</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: four tires and wheel? you've got yourself a deal
More by OogieMustBoogie:Restoring a Classic Boston Whaler/Learning Adventure Convert a Hobie Cat from Sail to Power (Cheap Pontoon Boat) Paper Mache Ship Models 
Add instructable to: