Monday, July 23, 2012

New trikeport

The shed / trikeport I had built years ago for the cargo trike had to be moved, as my ground-floor landlord was going to build a deck off the back of the triplex. The 'port was relocated to the back of the parking area against the rear fence, and was easily moved, as I had deliberately made it light and transportable in case it ever had to moved for building maintenance or whatever. But, the landlord had also requested that I rebuild the thing to look a little less, well, trailer park. Can't say as I blame him, but the old one looked as it did because it was fashioned, as many of my projects are, from found materials, and also in a bit of a hurry when I'd moved in.

As compensation for the hassle of rebuilding it, my landlord would pay for the finishing materials (covering boards and roof) so that it would match his deck and the adjacent dumpster enclosure. During demolition I was very glad I had constructed the old trikeport with screws instead of nails, as this meant for an easy take-apart and allowed me to re-use most of the wood and even most of the screws! Along with some wood from my stash plus a few boards from the old deck the landlord was demolishing I had nothing to purchase aside from a new pair of door hinges and a box of screws.

I forgot to take photos of the demolition, and even of the first aspects of (re-)construction. Below shows it all framed in, with some temporary thin plywood sheets on top to keep any rain off. The long bottom 2x6 was originally the top board for the old 'port, and the new top one is from the landlord's old deck. Stacked at left are the new siding boards. Also note that this new 'port has a floor, unlike the old one. This is to get it up off the ground for winter access, something I could not do with the old one because its door pretty much scraped the driveway as it opened.

You'll notice that this trikeport is a fair bit larger than the old one (which had to be kept low to stay under a window and still have a slope for water drainage). The old one was also made just wide enough for the trike itself. I don't have a full photo of it, but this should give a general idea. (Say Hi to Jett the cat while you're at it.)

This new one is higher mainly to let rain water drain over the rear fence, as having it drain to the left would just mean water seeping under the trikeport following the slope of the land. While the trike goes into hibernation once salts hits the roads in winter, this 'port was made wider to allow me to stuff the red trailer alongside (with the trike budged over a bit), which will save me having to drag the trailer in and out of the basement during winter use.

Leaning against the structure is one of the double doors being built. The big green tarp that acted as a roof cover and side cover for the old 'port was kept as a temporary roof and front cover during construction. (It has gotten a little worn out in spots after five years but I plan to cut it down into a useful smaller one.)

Adding the siding boards went quite quickly, and the whole thing went from ghetto to nice in short order, even though it was not yet complete. The metal pole in the ground is to mark for the left-side parking neighbour how much room I need to get the trike out, as the adjacent dumpster enclosure (just out of sight to the right) means a hard swing to pull the trike past it. This pole will soon be removed once the various bits of construction fun are over and he can move his car further away.

The roof consists of thin plywood over 2x4 framing. Instead of using the usual asphalt shingles the landlord and I agreed on roll roofing, which is essentially peel-and-stick sheets of asphalt designed for these sort of low-slope applications. I decided a drip guard over the door opening would be a good idea, and fashioned one from a piece of L-shaped metal trim I had lying around and stapled in place. A piece of wood moulding was set against it, and later the gap was caulked.

Along the wide top of the fence I laid down a strip of used coroplast (corrugated plastic) to keep any standing water from collecting, though the run-off should dump it right over. The roll roofing will just tuck over it.

Here's the roll of roofing stuff. It was very heavy...

I lucked out with the roof dimensions, as I had built the thing not knowing how wide this roll stuff was. The roll was 3'3" wide, and the roof was 6'3' wide (also happens to be my height!), so this meant only two lengths would have to be cut and I'd still have the correct amount of overlap between the sheets. Doing so was a bit tricky, as once the plastic was pulled from underneath the sheet stuck rather quick to the plywood. Once I figured out the technique it went fairly smoothly. Also, I had to be rather careful not to tumble off the low side, as the neighbour's yard on the fence side is two feet lower than our property, and falling would also mean crashing into his net of carefully planted squashes! That probably would not have hurt all that much, but would have been very embarrassing...

Once the roofing was on I added a length of the siding boards to cover the top edge of the higher side.

A pair of eye-bolts were inserted into the doors, and fitted through is a surplus bicycle U-lock for security. Also note wheel ramps made from pieces of the same boards used for the doors (door boards were 5-footers, same as side boards, but cut down to 4 feet).

Given that I don't build things like this very often I must say that it looks pretty good! And a shout-out of thanks to friends Rob and Paul for the loan of their respective power tools (circular saw and chop-saw).

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Wheel Art

Hey, where did I go? Sucked into Facebook land with my photos, mostly. And otherwise just busy. But time to get back to the blog!

I've always liked bicycle related art. A few months ago my sweetie and I noticed an upside down fork with front wheel in someone's yard, spinning in the wind due to some tape or plastic put between the spokes. I took that idea and ran (cycled?) with it.

As usual, the re-Cycles shop was the source for all the bike parts. I started with a road bike handlebar, with one fork/wheel in the usual position, then jammed a sawed-off straight bar into the top (well, bottom since it's upside down) of the stem to go into the ground as an anchor. I originally added a fork to each upturned end of the road bar but the wheels ended up too far apart. So I added some inboard mtn. bike stems and then used straight handlebars to extend the outboard forks. The wheels are each held in place with the usual axle nuts but I also added some old-school wingnuts (vintage quick-releases) for decoration.

There was then the usual fussing over angles and height (sort of like hanging a picture on a wall), but the general idea was for it to resemble a flower.

Nothing yet has been added to help catch the wind and make the wheels turn. We'll get to that eventually...