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.
This bike needs a tailbox.
Pete starts marking out the requirements for the main part of tailbox from 2400x1800mm 3mm sheet
Pete explains the principle of bending corflute across the grain to Michael Priest.
A pattern was cut out beforehand to locate all the required holes for stays, supports and wheel.
Using the pattern to mark out along the centre line of marked out sheet.
Starting to heat and gradually bend the corflute along the marked out pencil lines.
Take it slowly, heating a section at a time and gradually encouraging the sides to bend up.
Do it too fast and the corflute will crease.
Heat until the corflute just starts to bubble, then it's time to start bending.
One side done, now the other side.
Again a gradual process
Done. that's about the final shape of the base.
Starting to cut out the slot for the wheel
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.
Fitted on bike and seat re-installed.
Four screws and washers used to attach to bidon eyes welded to seat frame
Making sure the bottom of the box is about level or slightly sloping upwards.
Flaps left in place for now to be bent and cut later to wrap around riders flanks and keep things a bit more aero.
Measuring up for the rear panel.
Marking out rear panel allowing extra for side tabs
Scoring the Corflute for the side tabs to bend.
A tin can make a good stencil for the curved bit at the bottom
More cutting of tabs.
Checking for fit
Using the "Pete Method" for joining corflute using zip ties without going through the outside thickness of the corflute.
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..
Initial zip ties in place and loosely attached
Drilling through inside skin with a 3mm drill by hand
You need to make sure you line up where the holes are going to go with the two pieces held together.
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.
The zip ties are inched up tight and Pete is holding the pieces together while the hot-melt goes hard.
A bit of a touch up with the glue gun welder"
It's Stanley knife time. trimming the excess.
Remainder of sheet will be used for lid and inside floor panel.
Marking out the inside floor.
More side tabs to join to main base
Another wheel cut out.
This little box will sit on top of the wheel to seal things up.
Pete doing some of the delicate drilling and zipping for the floor
Floor in place on aluminium support frame
Quite some time later the floor is in place
Sun getting low on horizon, workshop attendees gone home, Pete battles on.
Using 5mm pop rivets and stainless washers as hinges for the lid. Pops not drawn up all the way. Central pin sawn off later.
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.
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!
As you can see, I have built a few of these boxes previously. This was number six, I think.