Making Wood Fenders- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Making Wood Fenders

    Has anyone had a go at making their own wood fenders? I work at a small design/build studio (custom millwork) and have started thinking i'd like to try and make some wood fenders for my fatbike. I use to build longboards on the side and am familiar with cnc'ing molds / laminated compound curves but fenders take a little more of an aggressive shape. I've been trying to find some good references for how people press their veneers into shape. I have a cnc at my disposal (i do 3d modeling and cnc programming), and am thinking that a male/female mold would likely work. I'd like to have it curve around the width of the tire rather than being a flat plane following only the diameter of the tire.

    If anyone has any resources that give more information than just a picture of the final product i would appreciate it! I'll update this thread as i go.

  2. #2
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    Sorry cant be of any help but wish you good luck!!

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    I seem to remember somebody getting a real aggressive curve to the fender by using a vacuum bag, but can't locate the post (if it was even on this site, at all), the advantage with a vacuum bag being that you only need to build half of the mold.

    If you are not planning to give it a heavy poly coat, it is a good idea to cross plies in the final product, to resist warping with changes in moisture.

    Of course, without using a steam box to saturate the veneer, it would splinter almost immediately along the grain while trying to conform it to the compound curve of the fender...

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyle_vk View Post
    If anyone has any resources that give more information than just a picture of the final product i would appreciate it! I'll update this thread as i go.
    Why not use (typically very thin) wood veneers and maybe a layer of carbonfiber? You could cnc the edge curves on the male mold and use a vacuum bag instead of a female mold.

    If you found a motorcycle fender that fit your dimensions, maybe you could skip making the mold altogether.

    Refer to woodworking techniques for veneering complex shapes.

    Mike

  5. #5
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    boiling/steam the wood to make it flexible and put it in a form. the form will be the difficult part. You could get some fiberglass for auto body work and make a female side form. Get your aired up bike tire, place a piece of 1/2" thick foam over it (or whatever size you want for clearance), put on clear plastic wrap, and then start putting on the fiberglass/resin. Remember to add a wood frame support to make it strong. Once the resin is dried up, remove pressure from the tire and pull off the form.

    Steam/boil the wood veneer, place in the female mold, put on a piece of foam the same thickness you used earlier, then sit it on the tire. Use clamps and a ratchet to tighten it down till the wood dries and is formed. If you want special flares, have to re-boil the wood in those areas and cut/sand for the shape you want.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  6. #6
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    I decided to keep it simple this time and just go with a flat plane following the radius of the tire, as opposed to a compound curve. Made a male / female mold and pressed up attempt number one. It came out pretty good, had a little spring back but I half expected that as I kept it thin. I only had time to give it a rough shaping but it should work nicely once I figure out how I'm going to mount it (where to mount and what hardware). I have number 2 in the press right now so I'll pull it out when I get to work in the morning. The layup is 1/64" white oak > 1/16" hard rock maple (cross grain) > 1/64" white oak. The white oak veneers were made by me as shown in the pics, the maple is left over from making longboards. Here's some pics up to where I am now.









  7. #7
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    Look good. I could see some old school black wrought iron type or 1930's stainless steel industrial type metal hardware. Due to the width, I think getting a curve would be a heck of a challenge after seeing that thing.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

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    Looks awesome. Will probably need to be very well varnished to keep humidity from creeping in the wood.

    And how are you going to mount them to the frame? Or rack?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclingdutchman View Post
    Looks awesome. Will probably need to be very well varnished to keep humidity from creeping in the wood.

    And how are you going to mount them to the frame? Or rack?
    We produce a line of butcher block table tops, many of which go to restaurants/bars and we use a 2 part conversion varnish on them which can stand up to the abuse of a bar crowd, i'll probably use this for the fenders.

    I have absolutely no idea how i'm going to mount them. the rear i'll probably try and rig up one mount which comes from the skewer and maybe another which mounts near the cross brass on the seat stays (i'm thinking i could maybe hide some electrical c-clamps pretty well?). For the front i have no idea either, i've got water cage mounts to work with but i haven't thought to hard about it yet. Probably going to wander through the hardware store and see if anything clicks.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyle_vk View Post
    Probably going to wander through the hardware store and see if anything clicks.
    This is something where you don't want to re-invent the wheel. Look closely at what other fenders use and how they do it. Getting a large wooden paddle stuck in your spokes could be the consequence of not getting it right.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    This is something where you don't want to re-invent the wheel. Look closely at what other fenders use and how they do it. Getting a large wooden paddle stuck in your spokes could be the consequence of not getting it right.
    no doubt. I don't plan on doing anything to "different", however i haven't seen a place that sells fender mounting kits yet so i'll be look to imitate what they do with other items. It won't leave my garage unless i'm happy with its looks/structural integrity.

  12. #12
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    Those look cool! Fun to have access to that kind of shop.

    I'd consider using fender struts from an existing pair of fenders, and then just tweak the way they attach at the fender end.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyle_vk View Post
    no doubt. I don't plan on doing anything to "different", however i haven't seen a place that sells fender mounting kits yet so i'll be look to imitate what they do with other items. It won't leave my garage unless i'm happy with its looks/structural integrity.
    Buy a cheap pair of SKS fenders, and rob the hardware from the fender itself. It's actually pretty straightforward, and all you really need is the drawnuts/stays, which they sell separately as a package. You can make the fender attachment points with thin aluminum/heavy pipe-hanging tape and rivets, for example.

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