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I'd been searching for a decent frame for a build, and for the life of me I couldn't find a frame that a) was within a reasonable price point or b) I wouldn't mind completely modifying. I suppose I'm something of a purist, and I couldn't bring myself to do a complete modification to a Dyno or something pretty like that. Then, I stumbled upon the Huffy Cranbrook thread here in the forums, and it was on.
That very afternoon, I stopped by Wally World to pick up one of these cheap, sweet (chweet?) rides, and later that evening I stopped by Lowe's to pick up the rest. That's right, Lowe's.
One of the things I was bent on getting was a rear rack with a wood deck, but everything I found online was too expensive and too boring. I figured, what the heck, if I'm making a "beach" cruiser, then I might as well make it interesting and give it a cool, vintage longboard look. Taking that and running, I figured I'd go ahead and make a "tank" with the same technique, and this is where I begin my build.
The Cranbrook: A Blank Canvas
My starting supplies: Some glue, slats of poplar wood and red oak, and clamps. Not pictured here: A new buscuit join cutter, wood biscuits, wood stain.
Creating a pattern
Doing a size test. Turns out I needed four slats instead of three. Good thing I bought extra!
Biscuit cuts complete! That was fun, learning how to use the biscuit cutter for the first time.
I am literally watching the glue dry.
While that was happening, I tried two different stains I'd bought. One was "Red Oak" (bottom) and the other was "Natural" (top). The Red Oak stain hid the colors and quality of the wood, and all but obscured the grain. So I tried the Natural wood stain, and that guy, well that guy is the chicken dinner winner.
So, while I wait for glue to set enough for me to set the jigsaw loose on the plank, I'm off to the local bike shop to look at some rear racks and finger the cruiser goodies.
Last edited by PabloAntonio on Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
So I couldn't make myself stop today and have gotten more done with the woodwork than I had initially thought. After a quick trip to two bike shops and then to REI, I settled on a rear rack from REI. This one was wider than the others (and cheaper, too!) so it made sense to pick that out. While I was poking around at REI, I stumbled on some solid-looking pedals, and had an idea about that spot where the reflectors go...
When I got back home, the newly-glued plank was set enough that I could get to cutting and gluing the rear rack, and then cutting and shaping the tank pieces. The tank is still a little rough and needs some more tuning before I can be satisfied with it, but it's coming along nicely.
After I finished working with the tank pieces, I went back and started messing with the rear rack plank, and got it pretty much done. I'm probably gonna router the edges to radius them and make them a bit nicer to look at. I'm also thinking about putting a radius on the two rear corners, as well. Just wanna give it a more finished look.
I also cut and drilled four pieces of wood to create an inlay for the pedals in place of the reflectors. Pretty easy job, except for when one is a novice woodworker and tries to use a chopsaw for ripping a slat. Silly me.
After all the woodwork, I took a quick trip to Ace Hardware to pick up all the nuts, bolts, and spacer sleeves I'd need, and got back to it. Now I've got the bike mocked up, and after some farting around with the wood pieces over the course of the week, I'll get to putting a finish on that wood.
Enough of this long-winded post - let's get to some pictures!
Those upright pieces are no bueno on the final mock-up. For shame, I thought it looked cool. I'll see about trying to make it work, though.
No gravy with these biscuits!
Ahh, watching the glue as it dries again. This is the easiest part of the build, no doubt.
I might try and prettify this up a bit more...
The novice's signature touch - the long red oak slat is a bit proud of the adjacent poplar slat. This required a lot of sanding (something I call "the idiot tax").
Aww, nuts! And some bolts, too. A few washers, to boot.
Spacers and couplers are the cat's meow.
Mock-up. Since I just recently moved, I couldn't find my open-end wrench set, so the stock pedal is gonna have to stay for the time being.
That's really cool
Thanks, guys! I had a feeling that I could count on you all to be positive and helpful.
I had some social things to do today, so I couldn't devote much time to the woodwork. But while I was out, I did decide that I'm now calling this project The Longboard, and with that in mind, this wimpy little rear rack I made isn't going to cut it.
I've opted to make it a bit longer and give the aft end the shape of the back end of a surfboard. That meant axing this plank that I made, buying some more wood, and starting over. Right now, that plank has been cut to rough length, biscuit joined, glued, and is clamped and drying.
I've redone the wood inlays in the pedals to make them fit more snugly, and they're now stained and got a coat of lacquer on them. At the moment, the inlays are drying. Pictures when I've got more time.
I'm really looking forward to the finished product, but I'm enjoying myself so much that I half don't want to complete the project.
Some of the woodwork I'd done was sub-par, and the rear rack needed revisiting. As an effect of renaming my build to "The Longboard," it just made sense that I'd have to do something to give it more of the longboard look that it deserved and needed in order to garner the moniker. Wow, that was a mouthful.
First, however, I had to do something about that janky workbench I was using. So, I built one. Boo-yah!
Last night I built and cut a new plank down to a rough length and let everything dry overnight. After building the workbench, I got back to the rack, and using a template I created using GIMP, I cut the aft end of the plank to resemble the aft end of proper surfboard.
This new bench, by the way, is everything I hoped it would be, and has already made this build so much easier.
Now, what's a surfboard without a fin, right? So after making measurements and getting it wrong each time, I finally got around to cutting a groove into the plank using the same biscuit join cutter I'd been using. I also used a piece of 1/4" thickness red oak to fashion a fin. The fin was much, much thicker than the groove was wide, so I had to carve and sand down the top portion of the fin to make it fit inside the groove.
Here's how it looks mocked up on the bike:
I also put the finishing touches on the wood inlays on the pedals:
The wood I used for the inlays was soft enough that I was able to countersink the screws by just tightening the screws a bit further on the nuts. Good times were had by all.
Oh, and here's a concept of the rear rack that I drafted up on GIMP, also.
That graphic is the sun from the Philippine flag, a nod to my heritage. I had originally planned to create the graphics using water slide decals, but I'm giving more and more thought to actually burning it into the wood. When I get to the step where I put the finish on the wood, I'll see where I am on my budget for this build and decide if I want to buy the kit.
As always, thanks for your input and positive remarks!
Lookin’ good, Paul! Nice work with the wood.
And I can guarantee that you will NOT miss the original Cranbrook pedals!
When you find yer wrenches, don’t forget the left-hand threads on one of the pedals.
Watchin’ to see what’s next!
My Intro <((><
Jesucristo es mi Señor y Salvador!
Cool idea for the rack I can tell you've put a lot of time into this build, keep up the great work
cool.now build a UKELELE.
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