General Brainstorming Ideas
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This page is dedicated to any idea that doesn't fit on other pages
14/04/2014 Alternative Building / Car Construction.
A few weeks ago I visited Southwold Pier on the east coast. A great arcade called Under the Pier Show had some home made machines. One of interest was a type of Bathyscape made from fibreglass. I guess this was over a foam core of some sort or possibly chicken wire. The outside was rough as was the inside but it looked great. This would make an ideal method for constructing a shed or even a car body. I haven't seen a rough finished car body, but it would look really cool, require minimal sanding and be quick to do. Perhaps the core could be done using foam board, cut and glued then covered with a few layers of roving.
18/10/2013 A Geodesic Garden Shed
Garden sheds seem to be such a mundane and uninteresting shape so I thought there must be better designs out there. Searching the net I came across Geo-Dome.co.uk which detailed all different designs for geodomes and the calculations for them. I quickly designed up a simple geodome based on a 5 metre diameter base.
The conclusion is that for a large base there is very little height and work area and no real edge space to put in benches. On the plus side construction could be relatively easy using plywood, or separate beams covered in GRP or Dupont Tyvek type material. One design on the website was very interesting. It uses a 50p base shape with flat sides. This seems to overcome many of the problems of the above design and still retains a nice interesting roof design. The design is very reminiscent of old iron age or neolithic houses which were common in the UK many centuries ago. I also have an idea for a base design which uses no concrete but simply lays on the soil. By using a structure similar to a GRP flat roof but inverted this could make a strong waterproof and easy to make base. Further stiffening could be obtained by using timber decking screwed inside on the floor beams. The floor could be further protected by placing it on a shallow bed of pea shingle.
16/10/2013 VW Beetle "Drag Buggy"
As a general rule short wheelbase beach buggies look much better than long wheelbase ones. The original Meyers Manx buggy had a chassis shortened by 14.5" Unfortunately shortening a beetle chassis in the UK means that any vehicle where this is done requires a long winded and difficult to pass SVA / IVA test. If the standard chassis is retained, only a simple check of vehicle identity and a change of document is reqired.
As many hard core off road baja bugs have extended wheelbase as does a volksrod, I thought I would do some CAD work to see what a short body on a long chassis would look like. As luck would have it a Meyers Manx Buggy CAD model is on GrabCad, so this makes the task much easier.
Body set correctly over rear wheels
This is a sort of Volksrod setup where front wheels are 14.5" forward from correct position. Steering, pedals, handbrake and gearstick would need relocating quite a long way back
Body set between wheelbase
This is a sort baja setup, a baja often has 3" long trailing arms at the rear and a new coil over setup at the front. a 7.25" move of controls may be easier, Handbrake and gear stick might not need relocating. For example, an extended gearstick with a bend might be suffcient. Pedals could be replaced with a kit car hydraulic unit.
The best looking setup is probably somewhere between the two. Plcing the driver further back could also mean that the windscreen could be tilted back for a better drag profile. Here is the second design from another view.
Slight modification of the front wings and apron might be necessary.