Monday, August 3, 2009

Into the Void

Hey folks! We've been pretty busy putting the Tour of Destruction together, and we'd like to show you some of our progress! First up is our wooden prototype - we're constructing a first pass of the bus out of 2x4s (which, contrary to what I initially thought, are not actually 2 by 4 of any measurement), nails, bolts, and good intentions in order to test the stability of our design, as well as make sure we're working with the correct proportions before committing this bad-boy to a welded metal frame.

Here are some of our intrepid builders (from left: Sean, Luke, and Andrew - myself unpictured) brewing over the design from our top secret construction facility. Note the furrowed brows and looks of deep concentration!

Andrew created a mock-up of our idea for the frame using Google SketchUp. It's a pretty handy tool for prototyping in 3D, especially if you're looking to create more man-made, symmetrical objects. We got all of our measurements from there, and after a few tweaks to the proportions, we got to building!

Here are some of our supplies - 2x4s as well as some 18" golf cart wheels from Northern Tool and Equipment, and a big old bag of building accessories from good ol' Home Depot.

Originally we were going to use these rubber longboard wheels for the front pair of tires, but they wound up being a bit too small for our frame to comfortably clear the ground (which we discovered once we had Sean sit on it). It didn't accurately match the proportions of front to back wheels in the original bus design as well, so we have since moved onto slightly larger wheels, rolling in at 6" also from Northern Tool.

After much cutting and nailing, we find Andrew and Luke discussing how to effectively attach the supports for the back wheels, while Sean (unsuccessfully) attempts to break our front axle.

Sean works on attaching the rear wheels once the main body is put together.

The moment of truth! The frame withstood Sean's weight, though not without some very creaky complaints. That, however, is why we're building the frame out of steel.

We certainly learned a lot about what we need to consider in the future of this project, and we're feeling pretty good about where this cart is going. Stay tuned for more updates! Up next is some body prototyping, and the real deal - committing our frame to metal!



  1. Wow, Christine. You certainly know how to capture the moment! Particularly that last moment...

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