Building a Curvy Tailbox in Corflute

A photo essay of a method demonstrated by Pete Heal at a OzHPV Canberra workshop in April 2005.
Photos snapped by Andrew Stewart and Pete Heal.
Some of these ideas used are blatantly stolen from others amongst the worldwide HPV community.
I just picked out the good bits and refined them somewhat.
This tailbox built in one day.

SV300151.JPG (209094 bytes) This bike needs a tailbox.

DCP03661.JPG (288147 bytes) Pete starts marking out the requirements for the main part of tailbox from 2400x1800mm 3mm sheet

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DCP03663.JPG (284837 bytes) Pete explains the principle of bending corflute across the grain to Michael Priest.

DCP03664.JPG (320911 bytes) A pattern was cut out beforehand to locate all the required holes for stays, supports and wheel.

DCP03665.JPG (263250 bytes) Using the pattern to mark out along the centre line of marked out sheet.

DCP03666.JPG (233964 bytes) Starting to heat and gradually bend the corflute along the marked out pencil lines.

DCP03667.JPG (226949 bytes) Take it slowly, heating a section at a time and gradually encouraging the sides to bend up.

DCP03668.JPG (254557 bytes) Do it too fast and the corflute will crease.

DCP03669.JPG (242003 bytes) Heat until the corflute just starts to bubble, then it's time to start bending.

DCP03670.JPG (249369 bytes) One side done, now the other side.

DCP03671.JPG (269366 bytes) Again a gradual process

DCP03673.JPG (247956 bytes) Done. that's about the final shape of the base.

 DCP03674.JPG (246387 bytes)Starting to cut out the slot for the wheel

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DCP03679.JPG (252492 bytes) The base is fitted to the bike. Seat is removable on this bike which makes it easy. Others may need to cut a slot along the base towards the front.

DCP03680.JPG (258240 bytes) Fitted on bike and seat re-installed.

DCP03681.JPG (294546 bytes) Four screws and washers used to attach to bidon eyes welded to seat frame

DCP03683.JPG (250438 bytes) Making sure the bottom of the box is about level or slightly sloping upwards.

DCP03684.JPG (302212 bytes) Flaps left in place for now to be bent and cut later to wrap around riders flanks and keep things a bit more aero.

DCP03685.JPG (278494 bytes) Measuring up for the rear panel.

DCP03686.JPG (223248 bytes) Marking out rear panel allowing extra for side tabs

DCP03688.JPG (226522 bytes) Scoring the Corflute for the side tabs to bend.

DCP03689.JPG (232662 bytes) A tin can make a good stencil for the curved bit at the bottom

DCP03690.JPG (214940 bytes) More cutting of tabs.

DCP03691.JPG (217858 bytes)

DCP03692.JPG (219057 bytes) Checking for fit

dcp03701.jpg (260137 bytes) Using the "Pete Method" for joining corflute using zip ties without going through the outside thickness of the corflute.

DCP03698.JPG (286449 bytes)A close-up shot of the zip tie being pocked in one whole, passed along inside the flute and pocking out the second hole. You need to bend up the ends a little so they poke out the other hole when you slide it through. The tricky bit is getting the holes drilled in the inside part lining up with the flutes of the outside part and not drilling through the outside skin..

DCP03702.JPG (218953 bytes)Initial zip ties in place and loosely attached

DCP03703.JPG (226301 bytes) Drilling through inside skin with a 3mm drill by hand

 DCP03704.JPG (238819 bytes)You need to make sure you line up where the holes are going to go with the two pieces held together.

DCP03706.JPG (269751 bytes) All the zip ties in place. Hit the join with the Hi-temp hot-melt glue gun. This stuff really sticks corflute well if used with some other positive stitching arrangement such as zip ties. It is similar to liquid napalm, so be careful not to burn yourself too much.

DCP03707.JPG (253684 bytes) The zip ties are inched up tight and Pete is holding the pieces together while the hot-melt goes hard.

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DCP03711.JPG (307012 bytes) A bit of a touch up with the glue gun welder"

 DCP03713.JPG (250154 bytes) It's Stanley knife time. trimming the excess.

DCP03714.JPG (226211 bytes) Remainder of sheet will be used for lid and inside floor panel.

DCP03716.JPG (228026 bytes) Marking out the inside floor.

DCP03717.JPG (233242 bytes) More side tabs to join to main base

 DCP03718.JPG (250080 bytes) Another wheel cut out.

DCP03715.JPG (244199 bytes) This little box will sit on top of the wheel to seal things up.

 DCP03719.JPG (236153 bytes)Pete doing some of the delicate drilling and zipping for the floor

DCP03720.JPG (196494 bytes) Floor in place on aluminium support frame

SV300011.JPG (293429 bytes) Quite some time later the floor is in place

SV300012.JPG (295747 bytes) Sun getting low on horizon, workshop attendees gone home, Pete battles on.

 SV300013b.JPG (204443 bytes)Using 5mm pop rivets and stainless washers as hinges for the lid. Pops not drawn up all the way. Central pin sawn off later.

SV300014.JPG (234937 bytes) Some sticky Velcro patches along the sides are enough to keep the lid in place. Note: wrap around wings at flanks and shoulders. The small indents where the drill may have marked the outside skin of tailbox will be covered up with a strip of reflective contact.

SV300047.JPG (363645 bytes) Matt on his Lizard with new tailbox at 2005 OzHPV Challenge, Broadford Victoria. So much for being aero wearing that floppy T-shirt! A neck fairing has been added which is just a curved piece of Corflute attached to the lid with cut out tabs and hot melt glue. Finished tail box weight less that 1,000grams and cost about A$30. Bargain!

SV300045.JPG (384010 bytes) As you can see, I have built a few of these boxes previously. This was number six, I think.