Picture of Laminated Wood Bicycle Mudguards
This instructable will teach you how to make a set of beautiful wooden mudguards/fenders for your bicycle.

Its a work in progress. I will finish the mud guards in the next week or so, updating as i go along.

My inspiration came from this guy.

Earlier this year, i built a bamboo bike from this instructable, although mine is a fixed gear . Now, i am planning to do some bicycle touring on it, so i need to outfit the bike in an appropriate way. 

Why make fenders?
Because nice fenders are expensive. Because my bike is home made so standard fenders wouldn't mount easily. Because i like making things. 

Why make wood fenders?
Because wood is beautiful, and will go well with a bamboo bike. Because i love working with wood, and am well set up to do it.

My fenders are 1.5 inches wide, and approximately 1/4 inch thick. they are designed to cover 3/8 of the diameter of my wheel. they have an inside radius of 14 inches, which is perfect for a 700c wheel with size 23-25 tires.

They are laminated (a process of gluing several thin layers of material together to form a thicker piece. this also allows the glued up wood to be bent around a form or mold and clamped until the glue dries, leaving a laminated piece that will stay curved) from three layers of wood. the top layer has a "racing stripe" pattern made by alternating light and dark wood across its width.

These plans are simple to adapt for, say, chunkier mountain bike tires.

Lost Moai4 years ago
I'm thinking of doing this minus the plywood form. For the sake of scrap wood preservation and laziness, I was contemplating using the bike's wheel for the form. I don't know if I'll leave the tire on or not, but either way I'm going to try clamping it down using a tie-down strap wrapped around the entire circumference. Think it'll work?
I've made a version (not quite as nice as these!) of wood fenders using the wheel as a form, leaving the tire on the wheel and taping down a spare length of bicycle (or motorcycle for more room) chain along the length of the tire between tire and wood to build some space while keeping the correct shape. It takes some finesse while clamping but worked like a dream!
adie.mitchell (author)  Lost Moai4 years ago
I think thats a great idea...simplifies things a lot. make sure not to get glue on your wheels! and I would use clamps...not tie downs, as you do need quite a bit of force. By the way, i have now used these fenders on a two month, 3000 kilometer bike tour of france and spain. I had the fenders on the bamboo frame i built. check out my blog


Datum3 years ago
I was making my own set based on your directions, and I found a novel way to clamp the wood down while it dries. I ran out of normal clamps about halfway through, so instead I found a ratchet-strap in my garage and figured out how to secure it around the whole mold. Once around, I tightened it as much as possible, so instead of multiple clamps providing localized pressure I had a single strap providing equal pressure around the whole thing. Worth a shot if you're building more!
adie.mitchell (author)  Datum3 years ago
yeah thats a good system.
Ezra at fastboy cycles (s\check out his fenders, they are sweet) has a system that uses a long metal ruler, which is bolted down at each end, giving similar pressure through tension.

hope the fenders worked out.
nduetime4 years ago
How did the parallelogram pattern strength hold up once finished?
adie.mitchell (author)  nduetime3 years ago
strengthwise it seemed ok, it just didnt end up very tidy, i never used them because i had enough of the normal pattern.
What are you using for fender stays?
adie.mitchell (author)  sparta.rising3 years ago
i used 3mm thick stainless steel rod that i got at a metalworks/welding place. i drilled through the fenders, threaded the rod through, bent it 90deg on either side of the fender. then i got some 1mm thick stainless sheet metal, and cut rectangles, about 20mm by 15. towards one end i drilled a 3.5mm hole for the end of the stay, towards the other end, a hole that matched the bolt holding my rack on. i threaded the rod through the hole in the plate, cut it to approximately the correct length, bent it 180deg back onto itself so it couldnt come off, then bolted it to the rack braze-on. to fine tune the stay length, you can just rotate the plate around the mounting bolt.
I realize that's quite wordy. if you are actually making these, and are confused, i can dig up some photos.

BAMBOOBIKER4 years ago
Hey, thanks for the link over to my instructable. It makes me wonder how many others have built bikes? I'm about to dig into your fender instructable to throw some fenders on a coulple of my frames. These look nice, and easy to do! I'm probably going to go Carbon and Wood laminate, just for something a little different! Not sure how it'll work out, with such different materials, but worth a shot! Thanks again for the link, and for this well written instructable!

adie.mitchell (author)  BAMBOOBIKER4 years ago
hey, the fenders are really great, they go great with the bamboo. thank you for your instructable! I built mine fixed/free and took it on a two month bike tour of france and spain, the frame held up really nicely!
I've spent the last hour or so reading your blog from the trip, and it sounds like an absolute blast, but also incredibly difficult on a fixie! Good job! Are you still riding the bikes?
adie.mitchell (author)  BAMBOOBIKER4 years ago
Yep, I ride about 20 miles (commuting to work) 4 or 5 days a week. Doing it on a fixie was definitely tough! Although the tour was great fun, all the most dificult and least enjoyable bits (hills, lol!) would be so much better on a geared bike!
Leemister4 years ago
You know what this reminds me of? A body of a long bow. If you make an instructable on how to do that, tell me. Cuz I've been trying to find out how to make a long bow.
What kind of elasticity did the finished product have?
adie.mitchell (author)  plasticpopcorn44 years ago
its pretty damn stiff, id say. you have to actively try in order to make it bend.
hassi4 years ago
Just one quick question (after the following compliment). Looks grand!

Now the question...How did you calculate "spring back?" That is to say, when one removes the final laminated piece, there is invariably a degree of relaxation wherein the final piece does not retain the exact curvature of the template. How did you calculate that or did it just work out? Inquiring minds want to know...

To reiterate, great job...Looks grand!
adie.mitchell (author)  hassi4 years ago
and i didnt make any calculations. i just used the radius of the tyre, knowing two things. a) that it would "relax" when taken off the form, as you said. b) that i would mount my fenders with approx .25 to .5 inches of clearance, so the "springback" would approximately match the effective radius i was after. it wasnt particularly scientific :)

Many thanks for your reply and explanation...I must try this...

Again, good job on an excellent project...
Hiroak4 years ago
Wood these be strong enough for a motor cycle?
adie.mitchell (author)  Hiroak4 years ago
well, the nicke thing about laminating wood is that you can do as many layers as you like, and it just gets stronger and stronger. as it is, with three layers of wood, they are very inflexible, and if you had a sturdy mounting system im sure it would work!
allbeef4 years ago
this is amazing, i was just cleaning out my work space and stumbled on some walnut and mahogany veneer, i also happen to be in need of fenders haha! im excited to see how you mount them.
good luck!
adie.mitchell (author)  allbeef4 years ago
I'm excited too! heh, i think i have a system that will work. we shall see :)
Archergal524 years ago
Whew! I am VERY interested in how you do this, so I'll stay tuned for updates! Thanks!
adie.mitchell (author)  Archergal524 years ago
thanks! i hope i dont dissapoint :)
Archergal524 years ago
Did I miss something? This seems incomplete.
adie.mitchell (author)  Archergal524 years ago
correct. i will be adding pictures and more staps as i get to them. i was surprised they featured it given how incomplete it is!
f3rg4 years ago
Yep, definitely not a complete project. I'll stay tuned for the rest, though.
adie.mitchell (author)  f3rg4 years ago
yeah, i just started yesterday, should finish this week. ill be updating as i go along.