Introduction: Custom Snapdeck for Xtracycle Cargo Bike
My Xtracycle needed a new "snap deck", which is the flat carrying area above the rear tire. I wanted something a little more distinctive than the stock deck, and also wanted to try a longer deck.
I started by doing some "CAD" - Cardboard Assisted Design, that is. I made a few sample decks using some cardboard, and trimmed them until I found a size and shape I liked.
I considered cutting the deck out on the bandsaw or with a hand-held jigsaw, but decided I wasn't steady enough to pull that off. Besides, I have access to TechShop's Shopbot, and it's way more steady than I am.
Step 1: Sketch Design on Cardboard
I sketched the desgn in cardboard, and test fitted a few ideas.
Once I settled on a design, I translated it into the computer version of CAD, and then created the shopbot file from that.
Shown here is the test piece made from scrap plywood.
Step 2: Glue Wood Together
The piece of Brazilian Cherry I bought for this project was too narrow, so I split it down the center and inserted a 1.5" wide piece of maple for contrast. I used a biscuit joiner to hold it all together - there are several Instructables available showing this technique.
Once the piece was dry I ran it thru the planer until it was clean and flat, then ran my shopbot file on it.
Step 3: Router Grooves in Sides for Pizazz
I wanted to add some zazz to the edges, so I used the table router and a small rounded bit to cut a groove in the edges. Eventually I hope to install some red ElectroLuminescent wire in the groove.
Step 4: Seal Plank, Then Drill Holes for Attachment Hooks
I used Formby's Tung oil t o seal the deck. I applied about 5 coats to each side and let it dry for 8-12 hours between coats.
Using blue masking tape I marked where the hold down hooks needed to be located.
Using the old snapdeck as template, i marked where to drill the holes. I drilled the appropriate size holes and then used a countersink bit to recess the screws.
Step 5: Install Hooks and Secure Deck to Bike
Install the Superhooks and tighten them down.
Now, go for a ride.