We borrowed some Flintstones costumes for Halloween last year and i felt we weren't really contributing to the holiday. So i made this vehicle and was super surprised how well it turned out. The final product was to have shoulder straps so you can stand up and "Drive" just like Fred use to. All you'll need is a huge stack of ribs on the side and you'll be all set.
I pieced the entire thing together over a few weeks with what i could scrounge up around the house and what my friends had. There might be a easier way, but it work with what i had. its completely open to alterations and improvements. Pictures, short of the final product, all were taken post dismantlement. But that also gave me a chance to rethink some of the frustrating steps i took. also my first instructable. sorry for the over explanation.
Materials Needed- (various screws, washers and clamps not included) most materials can be found at Home depot or lowes hardware.
- 2 2'x8' pieces of foam insulation. I had 2" thick pieces. Used for side "wood" pieces, front and back seat rests, steering wheel.
- 2 4'x15" cardboard cement tubes for the front and back tires.
- 2 Large wooden dowels @ 1.5-2" diameter x48" long - Axles
- 2 long pieces of pencil rod or rebarb at least 6'.
- Scrap plywood or additional insulation foam for the wheel caps. (your choice, read below)
- Bamboo pieces- ~30ft used for the canopy. various lengths. Dried out works best because its lighter.
- White table cloth for the canopy.
Step 1: Front and Rear Wheels
Its easiest to cut all your pieces before you put the wheels together. a mistake i made since i was totally winging the whole project.
TUBE SIZE-Take the two cardboard cement tubes and space them out for desired width and length of the car. I took my little family and sat us side by side to make sure we'd all fit inside. My measurements were 4' wide and ~4' long from the centers of each tube. (axle to axle)
- Cut the tubes to width - I drew an even line completely around the tubes, then used a carpenters hand saw to stay as straight as possible.
WHEEL CAPS- choose your material to cap the ends. I used a scrap piece of
plywood, cut circles that fit the interior circle of the tubes and secured them inside. but thought later that insulation foam would have work well to keep the car lite. You'll need to make 4 Caps that will fit inside the tubes.
If you have a small section of the intact tube, use the inside edge to trace your wheel caps on your material of choice to get a better cut/fit. If not, you can use the outside edge, but you'll have to lessen the diameter by double the thickness of the cardboard tube. (make sense?).
- Find the center point of the Wheel cap circles and cut out the diameter of the axle on each
AXELS- The length of your 2 axles should be the width of the wheels+width of the insulation foam x2 (for each side)+ 1" - 2" for that log look. (i actually took a sharpie and drew swirls in the end of the axes to make it look like a little log).
- Drill the holes for your pencil rod into the axles. Use a drill bit with the same diameter of the rod. Make these holes on each axle the distance of the wheel + 1/4" on each side and level with each other. You won't be happy if the rod is too tight to the wheel (the pencil rod will support your wheels and extend up into your canopy support. i thought about using rebarb, but i had pencil rod, re-barb seemed to heavy. The pencil rod did bow a little from the weight of the canopy at first, but i fixed that. read through the entire instructable and decide what material you'd like to use.)
PUT YOUR WHEELS TOGETHER:
- Put the dowel through the tube and place the two caps onto each end of each wheel. Make sure the two dowel ends stick out evenly. I used a nail gun to secure the caps to the end, but a staple gun might work as well, or small nails w/ a hammer.
- I used the metal "hammered" look spray paint for the tubes and caps. The same paint on the seat front and backs. it took a couple cans worth.
You should now have the two complete wheels.
Step 2: Wood Sides, Seats and Steering Wheel.
Time for some foam work-
SIDE WOOD PIECES and front and back "ROCKS"
- I took 1 piece of 2'x8' piece of foam insulation and drew the wood pattern as close to the bottom of the piece that i could. notice in the cartoon that the front and back end are a little different.
Making sure that the "axle" holes/curves in the drawing are your desired distance apart. mine were 4'
- Cut out the first piece- a jigsaw which worked pretty well.
- Flip the piece over and trace it onto the remaining section of the foam. Shift the piece over to conserve as much of the foam as possible. You should be able to use it for the steering wheel, or even one of the wheel caps if you decided to use foam instead of plywood.
- Cut out the second piece.
- Front and Back Rocks- 2nd piece of 2'x8' foam- the two pieces are both 4' wide(width of wheels) I made the front rock shorter then the rear, and added a seat separation line to the back.
- Steering wheel- Circle. that simple. I painted it Orangy/Brown.
I used a dremel tool to shave out the details.Curve the outside edges of the wood, and dremel some lines for wood grain.
Spray paint the wood with an orangy brown color and the seats with stone or "hammered" paint. Spray paint melts foam which actually adds to the rustic detail.
All your pieces are done. All were secured after the canopy is set to the wheels, us long wood screws with large washers. Screws will just bust through the foam. Washers will hold them in place.
Step 3: Wheel Support and Canopy
I wish i had taken pictures as i went along to keep this from getting wordy. Next time. This picture has a bunch of notes and after thoughts. Halloween came too quick for me to fine tune the car.
This section was the hardest part, keeping the structure of the car, while giving support to the canopy. It will take some tweaking to get yours just right.
Pencil Rod- will go from axle to axle then bend up just past the rear axle for the canopy. I curved the pencil rod because i was nervous to break the metal with too much angle.
- Keep a few inches of rod in front of the front axle so it can be secured to the tire. I though of bending the end to secure it, but it made it more permanent, so i used a small metal cable clamp used to secure coax to walls.
- The Angle of your bend/curve at the rear is important because this is where the Bamboo fits on for the Canopy. The angle is a little bit fwd if you look at the cartoon image. My angle was 90degrees, but the wt of the fresh bamboo pulled it down to the right height. Lucky.
Material- Bamboo worked best for me because its sturdy, natural, and you don't have to paint it.
Amount- about 30 ft.to be safe. Broken down into 2x5' pieces(height), 2x4' pieces(top front and back). 2x3' pieces(top sides), 2x2' pieces (supports). All are estimates and depends on how high and long your car, keep things proportioned. Thicker pieces for the uprights, and slightly thinner for the top worked well.
- decide the height you want to make your canopy. We're a short family, i kept it at about 4.5' with planning to make shoulder straps to stand up with the vehicle. And you are supposed to be sitting down in cars.
-Depending how much pencil rod sticks up from the back of your wheels, you might have to break through the little inner segments if you use bamboo. A very long drill bit works too. This next part is much easier if you have a helping hand to hold the pieces while you measure, cut and screw.
Make a square using the 2- 4" and 2- 3" pieces. Attach them to your 2 height Pieces-once they're slid onto the pencil rod. Have a friend hold the front up while you add the angle pieces for support.
Screw all the pieces together, then add twine around the joints to give it that authentic look and hide the screws.
- My car lived outside for a week and delt with the elements. to help with the "floating" canopy, i took a thin curtain rods, the ones that curve at the end and slide into each other to adjust. I pulled them apart, cut to size and slid the curved end into the bamboo and the pointed end into the foam of the wood at the front of the car. Painted black.
- Cheap White Table Cloth- cut it to width of your car, cut the front fringe and see where the back hangs. I used Thumb tacks in the bamboo to hold it in place, then cut the rear window at the right height. I also Thumb tacked it to cardboard tube when it got windy.
- I planned shoulder straps to the four corners to walk around with it, but again, didn't have time.
That's it in pieces. Put all together and you've got an awesome accessory.