Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Homebuilt roof for under $60

They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery. This is my homebuilt version of the Flavobike roof. The Alleweder has a large opening so it required 2 x 4' aluminum rods, a short piece of 1/4" derlin rod, a sheet of blue foam camping pad, a 2' x2' piece of polycarbonate, some nylon nuts and bolts and two tubes of liquid nails extreme outdoor glue.

I used a fiberglass flag wand to figure out the shape of the curve so that I could just see out to the sides from under the roof then traced it on to a piece of cardboard. I then used the cardboard as a template as I bent the aluminum tube to create the desired curve of the roof. Then I cut an inch long slot in one end of each tube. I cut a similar slot into a short piece of derlin rod. Once that was done I drilled a hole through the aluminum and darlin perpendicular from the slot. This way its the darlin not the aluminum tube that touches the vertical connection to the velomobile.

I then fired up the BBQ and heated a sheet of blue foam camping pad (Walmart $5.95) and stretched it over an empty propane tank to put a curve in it. Next I cut a piece of 1/16" polycarbonate to the proper size. Then I put it all together by cutting some 4' long strips of fabric about 2.5" wide and glueing them to the blue foam with liquid nails. It was a lot easier when I glued the fabric to one side of the foam and let it dry. The next day I used a short piece of the 3/8" aluminum tube as spacing guide to glue the fabric around to the other side of the foam. This created a sleave on either side of the foam. After the glue dried I slid the aluminum tubes through to give the roof its shape. Then I drilled holes along the edge of the windshield and poked coresponding holes through the foam. Finally I secured the windshield to the foam using nylon nuts and bolts from McMaster-Carr.

All of that was fine but the back end was kind of long and didn't match the roof line of the turtle deck so I cut a V out of back.

Then I applied some Liquid Nails glue to the edges.

And finally I stitched up the incision from the inside so that it can't be seen from outside.

And voila a sub $60 roof (sub $50 if you count the cost of the individual nylon nuts and bolts rather than the cost of the bags of 50).

Here's a view from the front.


Foam Roof said...

Great man. Amazing thing. 60$ is really considerable. Thanks for sharing your blog.

Merrill Gay said...

I have since discovered that contact cement works even better than liquid nails.