Instructables

Building a Recumbent Trike Seat.

Featured
Picture of Building a Recumbent Trike Seat.
IMG_2102.jpg
IMG_2094.JPG
This instructable outlines the steps required to build an inexpensive wooden recumbent trike seat from 1/8" plywood.  Any thin sheet of wood could be used but I found 3-ply birch plywood bent quite well.   I purchased the plywood from my local Rockler Woodworking store.  The finished seat is comfortable and very sturdy.  I am 6' 1" and this seat fits me very well.  If you are much taller you might want to make the seat a little longer.

If you want to see how I build the bamboo trike frame, check out my instructable:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Building-a-Recumbent-Bamboo-Trike-Frame/ 
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Making a template

The first step is to make a template of the curved seat.  I downloaded a PDF printout of this curved seat at http://ia700209.us.archive.org/9/items/RibSeat/Rib.PDF.  I've included a copy of the PDF below.  The seat outline prints on four sheets of paper and can then be taped together on your wood.  I used a 1/4" plywood scrap for making the template.  Transfer the outline to the wood and cut it out on your bandsaw or with a jigsaw.  Make the cut just a bit bigger than the outline and sand it to the line using a sanding drum on a drill press (pic 2 & 3).  

In the first photo, you can see the final shape of the template after cutting and sanding.  Take your time making the template since it will be used to make all the other pieces on the router table with a flush trim bit.  
st_indigo made it!3 months ago

Success! For my seat I used 2 pieces of birch plywood and 2 pieces of mahogany luan plywood, and ran them through the planer until they were nice and flexible, which ended up being about 1/8" thick and 2 layers per piece, making the final seat 1/2" thick and 8 plys. I layered the birch on the faces and the two mahogany pieces in the center, and glued it up with Dap 00203 Weldwood Plastic Resin Glue, which I have read is the best adhesive to use for laminated bent wood projects.

I used your PDF template to cut the form out of 3/4" MDF sheets on my CNC router. The whole form is glued and nailed together with a pneumatic nail gun. I found that the bars that span across the form (see the 3rd photo) are essential to keep the form rigid and provide clamping pressure in the center where the clamps can't reach.

The final seat is rock solid and has the weight and feel of a skateboard deck. Thanks for your instructable!

bent-ply-seat.jpgseat-form.jpgclamped-for-glue-up.jpg
kentdvm (author)  st_indigo3 months ago

Fantastic job! Super nice form. Glad it was helpful and thanks for sharing yours!

arthurpl1 year ago
In fact you don't need the steamer nor the seat press at all. I've build very similar seat (based on the same rib jig) using 4 sheets of 2mm plywood glued together with wood glue and put on the same craddle (before the glue dries) and held together only with clamps. Visit forum.atomiczombie.com/showthread.php/6620-Warrior-by-Ducati-D
stewarma2 years ago
This is a great instructable, thanks for sharing. The seat looks great.

I made a steel version of the warrior and would like to make a few of these seats for future builds. The link you provided for the seat template seems to be dead? Would you perhaps have the file?

Thanks.
kentdvm (author)  stewarma2 years ago
Thanks! Try this link. I was able to get it to work. I will also try and add a PDF to the instructable just in case.

http://ia700209.us.archive.org/9/items/RibSeat/Rib.PDF
kentdvm (author)  kentdvm2 years ago
What do you know? I was able to add the PDF and it was very easy. Hope this helps. Have a blast on your Warrior!
Thanks!