AZ inspired trike build starts!

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Picked up some new rod today- 7018 and 6013 3/32". Tried out the 7018 and had some fun getting the rear frame finished up. It wasn't without a comedy of errors, blowing holes, sticking rods.

Grind, Weld, Repeat.

I hit it with the wire brush grinder attachment to clean it up some and got a picture of the complete-for-now assembly:



Slow progress due to a pretty hefty learning curve, but I'm loving every minute of it :)

Oh, and here's my new welder!

Try some 7014, it is a contact rod that you can hold against the metal and go right along. You may have to turn the heat up some, basically the same as 6013 but contact rod.
 
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Try some 7014, it is a contact rod that you can hold against the metal and go right along. You may have to turn the heat up some, basically the same as 6013 but contact rod.
Thanks. I think 7014 is what I used on my first build, although I couldn't find it, only 7018, and thought I just mis-remembered the rod number. 6013 is working great now. 50-60A with 3/32" 6013 is proving really easy to weld, and I can get it without any difficulty :)
 

SirJoey

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Man, that's lookin' good, dude! It's coming along nicely! (y)

Now you're at that exciting "rolling frame" stage!
That's where I always got really excited! Happy for ya! :)

***
 
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@curtisfox indeed, I'm sure I could get some at such a place. If I lived near one, I'd just run across town and get it. But it's 30 miles away. Right now my supply runs are done by my daughter when she's doing other things and can run to Harbor Freight for me.

@SirJoey Thanks! Yes, rolling frame... it happened a lot faster than expected. I've been building for just under a month. I was hoping to get it to painting stage before the weather turned cold, but that ship has sailed!
 
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No pictures tonight, because I don't have any major progress to report. I spent the afternoon and some of this evening going over my welds, grinding down anything that has slag in it, and re-welding it. This took some time! I also cleaned up the sides of the head tube welds, and the sides of the front tube/main tube junction. I boxed the front and back of the main tube, and just got done tack welding tube that mounds the seat back. For now I'm mimicking the seat I had on my first Meridian.

And since I am now saying this is my second Meridian, because essentially, it is... I've decided to name it accordingly! And what trike can be named without an appropriately Web 1.0 logo from FlamingText.com? Not mine! I present to you:








The logo isn't real, but the name is. I really feel like I should give due credit @Radical Brad for the inspiration and much of the design itself. The rear end is all me, but the front end? That's all Brad. :)
 
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OK, I lied about pictures. I also left out that I made rear seat mount brackets. I mocked them up with some c-clamps. The seat tube is intentionally long. It's going to be cut short and capped before it gets welded to the main tube. That work is a lot easier to do before it is finish welded to the main tube :)

 

Radical Brad

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A good amount of progress in a short time.
Thanks for all the pics, always great to see a build come together.

Just wanted to comment on the welding rod discussion...

7018 is a great rod if your rig supports DC. Run with the electrode on positive, which is called "reverse polarity" in welding terms.
Running that will will offer the cleanest possible weld with little spatter. You can almost just drag along!
Running 7018 with rod negative will not offer a nice looking weld, and you will suffer from "arc blow".
You can run 7018 on AC, but there is no point in doing that, and might as well switch to 6013 then.

6013 has been the best "all purpose" rod that I have found for AC, and have used it exclusively for over 20 years.
As for brands, the only problem I had was with the more expensive Hobart brand. It ran like absolute hell!
I actually tossed a $50 box out and went back to the budget Prostar brand... instant difference!

Cheers,
Brad
 

SirJoey

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Man, for only a month in, you're really movin' on this thing! WTG! (y)
Tri-Meridian, maybe with a hyphen? Just a suggestion. Good name! I like that! :)
***
 
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A good amount of progress in a short time.
Thanks for all the pics, always great to see a build come together.

Just wanted to comment on the welding rod discussion...

7018 is a great rod if your rig supports DC. Run with the electrode on positive, which is called "reverse polarity" in welding terms.
Running that will will offer the cleanest possible weld with little spatter. You can almost just drag along!
Running 7018 with rod negative will not offer a nice looking weld, and you will suffer from "arc blow".
You can run 7018 on AC, but there is no point in doing that, and might as well switch to 6013 then.

6013 has been the best "all purpose" rod that I have found for AC, and have used it exclusively for over 20 years.
As for brands, the only problem I had was with the more expensive Hobart brand. It ran like absolute hell!
I actually tossed a $50 box out and went back to the budget Prostar brand... instant difference!

Cheers,
Brad
7018 is also a "low hydrogen" rod and MUST be kept dry in order to perform properly. 6010,11 and 13 are much more forgiving.
 
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Man, for only a month in, you're really movin' on this thing! WTG! (y)
Tri-Meridian, maybe with a hyphen? Just a suggestion. Good name! I like that! :)
***
Thanks! I had added the hyphen and it looked funny, but yes- it needs one :) (Edit: I added it above) I'd have made more progress if I had started with a better welder, and already knew how to weld. A second one would take much less time, I am sure.

I also appreciate the discussion about welding rods. I'm sticking with the 6013's for now. I live in a high humidity area not too far from the ocean, and so I know those 7018's have got to be trouble. I need to build a small rod oven if I'm going to use those!
 
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You prob already know this but a box big enough to hold the welding rods with a say 60 watt regular light bulb works pretty good as a rod oven
Yep, I just need to make one- or keep using 6013's. I'll probably do the latter.

This afternoon my goal was to cut the seat tube to length, cap it, add the seat mounts, and weld it to the frame. Mission accomplished:



The list to completion is pretty long yet. Here's the things I can think of off the top of my head:
  • bottom seat mount
  • install seat
  • bottom bracket
  • jack shaft and mounts
  • derailers for jack shaft and rear wheel (the plan is 3x5x6 gearing, eventually)
  • brake mounts
  • remote steering head tube, handlebars, riser, tie rod
  • brake/shifter cables
At that point I should be able to ride the trike around, but it won't be done. The plans include:

  • Front/Rear fenders (it rains a lot here)
  • Enclosed cargo boxes to go between the wheel stays and the center tube
  • Lighting front and rear with LiPo power (the winter days are short)
There are probably other things I'm forgetting. I also need to cut and shut a hole in the main tube- something is rattling around inside it and it's certainly going to drive me crazy!

These wheels are not disk braked, so I'll be using V brakes; it's not my first choice but it's what I have and can afford right now. I'm going to build or buy a dual brake cable adapter so that I can run them both with one brake handle.

If anybody has suggestions for any of the above items, I'm all ears.
 
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I got bored tonight and went back out to the shop for a little bit, intent on starting on a seat mount. I saw some 1.5" tubing that I'd torn off the sides of for the sake of capping the main tube and seat tube. I thought "If I flay out those two tabs, it'll look a lot like a seat mount!" and so that's what I did. I used the cutoff disk to score the outside of the bends and they bent right over on a straight line. Then I laid down a couple of beads on top of them to impart strength to it. It's obviously too long, but I'll cut it down when I know what height it needs to be. It needs holes for screws of course. This sucks because all my drill bits are duller than George Clooney's "Batman"! I'll need to remedy that. But it's a wee bit of progress.



I also took a look at the width of the brake mounts. I'll be using 3/16" mounts to put the brakes on the wheel stays, and I am going to try to space them up enough so that they can be on the top side of the bike instead of under it. I hate the underside mountings. If they aren't spaced up some, then the front crossmember will be in the way.
 

Radical Brad

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The humidity and temperature concern is also a good point.

My rods sit around outside, often getting wet each morning, but never had an issue at all.
The box of 6013 I am using right now actually had snow on it all year, and the rods were encased in a block of ice!
So that is proof that they are not all that fussy. used half of them already, and welds are smooth as silk.

When I once had a DC rig, I do remember having a lot more variances in my weld, depending on weather, humidity, and even the wind!

Brad

I also appreciate the discussion about welding rods. I'm sticking with the 6013's for now. I live in a high humidity area not too far from the ocean, and so I know those 7018's have got to be trouble. I need to build a small rod oven if I'm going to use those!
 
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It's Saturday night and I haven't touched the project since I last posted. I haven't had much time to work on the build, but tonight I finally had a couple of hours to put into it. It took some thinking to decide what to work on, but I want to nail down the seat position and while I find a suitable seat bottom, I need to get the bottom bracket in place. I purchased some drill bits at Harbor Freight on the way home from an event, and intended to put them to use tonight to build the clamp part of the adjustable BB. I didn't get that far, but that's alright. I tore apart the Huffy fat tire bike frame that I got from the scrap yard. The BB axle was shot, because somebody tried to remove the crank with what appeared to be a cutoff disk, but stopped. I finished the job since a puller was not going to do any good at that rate. I was able to save the BB shell, cups, and bearings. I cut down the frame and cut the BB and seat tube out.



I spent the rest of my time cleaning up the BB shell, welding the holes, and welding the seat tube to it where the manufacture didn't because two tubes came together. My welding skills aren't what I want them to be, but it's not a structural piece- it's just holding the derailer. Here it is:



I've got to order some flap disks so I can make it purty, but that's good for now. Tomorrow I'll get the side plates done and welded to it, and get it drilled and ready for installation.
 
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It's good to take a break. Building should be enjoyable, not a job. What happened to me with the side plates was i could never get them tight enough to clamp the bottom bracket to the boom tight enough. I'm sure it was an error on my part but nevertheless the bracket moved when bearing down on the pedal's on my Warrior trike. Finally I just welded the bracket to the boom and voila it never moved again. That worked but it could not be adjusted. Then I built the 2 wheel high roller from atomic zombie. It uses the same type of bottom bracket. But for the high roller I welded 2 strips under the boom roughly 6" long by about 1" high and drilled 6 holes on each side using the side plates on the bottom bracket as a template. Held on by 2 - 1/4" by 3/4" long bolts per side and it never moved. Note it can only be welded on the inside and not near the holes to allow clearance for the bolts.
 

SirJoey

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That doesn't look bad at all. As you said, a little touch-up with a flap disc, & it should look great!

Seeing that big pile of hacked up bike parts makes me nostalgic for all those times I traveled that very same road.
Never really thought I'd miss it as much as I do, especially when I see someone else doing it! Keep it up! :)

***
 
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Thanks guys I appreciate the feedback. @SirJoey it's been 11 years since I could build. Patience paid off, was finally able to again :)

As for the time off, it wasn't voluntary. Had some stuff going on that I wish wasn't. Such is life.

Today I spent more time on the parts for the BB bracketry. I've never used a drill press and properly drilled holes in thick metal, so this was new for me. I kept the RPM down to the lowest setting and then used automatic transmission fluid as lubricant. It worked great! My wife had a box of syringes that were too big for her needs, and one of them worked great to move the lubricant around :)

Of course the first thing I had to do was make the brackets:



Then the drilling:



My new drill bits worked great and because I went slow and didn't get things hot, the bit remained sharp. While I could have done this with a regular power drill (and I have done so in the past) having a drill press was awesome. And to think I only spent $15 or $20 at a garage sale!

I was going to get the bracket welded up, but my friend Ron was home and was up to helping me with the seat bottom. The seat back was already going to be a cut down skateboard, but he had another idea. We glanced at the Meridian plans and went with that style seat, although the back is much taller.



After that I turned in for the night. Tomorrow I'll finish up the BB bracketry and work on the seat mounts more.
 
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