I made this scooter in response to Charles’ creation way back when. I started mine soon after he released his to the internet actually, and yea…so its taken a while…but here it is in all its 2-part-blog-entry-photo-filled glory!
I live in a place where people leave their tree clippings in a pile by the curb once a week for the tree clipping truck to pick up (I think it gets turned into mulch?). Anyhow, if you live somewhere where people do that, you also have free weekly piles of material if you care to poke around a little. (Obviously, if you take something, leave the pile neat!)
I actually hadn’t decided yet to make a whole scooter at this point, but I really liked the way the handle bars looked, so I decided to follow through.
Starting to make the fork:
I first drilled one half on a drill press (with the sawn flat face down), then clamped the two halves together, and drilled all the way through. A bolt keeps the two halves together for when they are trimmed. This bolt hole is also the axle hole.
Next there was more hand-sawing for the scooter deck. The deck angles up at the back, so I used a 1 1/4″ bit to drill out the corner of the angle transition so I would have a nice radius.
The 2 x 4 is screwed into the log because a square thing is way easier to clamp.
I only have flat chisels and a dremel, so I tried to drill out as much material as I could since its so much faster. Here is the beginning of the rear wheel well.
Back to the fork:
As you can sort of see below, my plan was to have the fork pivot off a 1/2″ bolt.
This is where the woodworking gets less elegant. I wasn’t very satisfied with how the fork looked, since it was just a bunch of blocks slapped together with glue. So I thought I would add some filler blocks that could then be shaped into fillets that would transition between the blocks. It sort of worked – you be the judge.
Meanwhile, I started thinking about how to connect the deck to the fork.
In the picture above you can sort of see that the grain runs the whole length of the part. This is important for the part to be as strong as possible.
To join the neck and deck, I decided to use a mortise and tenon joint. Below is the setup for drilling the mortise in the deck.
The spade big I was using was really dull, so I tried to use a smaller drill to remove some material and make things go faster. It didn’t help that much…
The tenon is about 2″ long, hopefully that’s long enough. I couldn’t have made it much longer since the deck is already the minimum length.
My idea was to pot bushings into the neck and a 1/2″ bolt would pin the neck and fork pivot block together. I started by drilling a pilot hole in the neck, drilling with a step drill from both ends, and then drilling through the whole thing with something just a bit larger than 1/2″. That way, the minimum wood is removed. Also, for the record, this is not a nice way to use a step drill, since there is so much surface area contact, so if you choose the same way, go slowly.
Back to working on the fork:
Around this time I acquired a bandsaw off Craigslist. Cutting things became much faster.
I decided to put some dowel pins through the whole fork assembly. I don’t know that this actually makes things stronger, but I figured it couldn’t hurt. I made the dowels out of the same wood as the rest of the scooter. For a quick and dirty way to make your own short dowels see this other post.
Stay tuned for more on finishing the handle bars and folding/locking mechanism in Part 2!