Introduction and PVC Fender

  • New owner and poster here. I have had my OW for 10 days now. Have averaged about 9 miles a day and of course having a great time. Didn't actually intend to buy a OW, but I was up at a motorcycle dealership discussing an older dirt bike I was going to sell, and, long story short I ended up trading it for a new XR.
    So I mean no disrespect, but the OW is actually kind of not in my normal experience. It's is soo... nice. And soo... high tec. And soo... well.. Not home made.
    To understand this You have to understand that I am by nature a tinkerer. It's not that I dislike nice things, I just really like things that I have made myself. Think steampunk without all of the silly steam and costumes. I love to take old stuff and make it into new toys. So you can't buy a really good pencil sharpener. No problem, behold the bender/pencil sharpener.
    So for the last 10 or so years I have been making ghetto electric skateboards from assorted powered child toys. Long before boosted or Mepo made their slick setups. My garage is littered with there remains
    (Which by the way is how I first saw a OW.)
    So now I have one, and well it just needs a little ghetto-ing up. Since it was making a mess of my back leg it seemed like an ugly homemade fender would be a good place to start.
    So a little measuring and geometry tells me that 18" of 3" SCH40 PVC should do the trick.
    A few years back my kids and I had a great time making a variety of things from molded PVC. It started with bows and them moved on to all kinds of things. (PVC bows are worth a Google)
    After splitting, flattening, shaping, and molding around appropriately sized pot Here is what I got.
    ow3.jpg OW1.jpg
    I have ridden it in the dirt, gravel, rain, and it seems to be doing it job quite well. Many people have mentioned that fenders add quite a bit of noise. I haven't noticed much at all. I think the thickness of the Sch40 PVC keeps that down.
    I think I will take it off and do a little more shaping still. It is about a 1/4" wide at the base, and I would like to add a little "roundness" to the sides to shape around the wheel.
    And of course it could use a few stickers.

  • @Sponge315

    Nice work! What technique did you use to heat & shape the PVC, heat gun, oven, other?

  • Basis steps:
    I made a "long" cut with a portable skill saw.
    I used a heat gun and a couple large flat blade screwdrivers to start opening the pipe.
    Then lots more heat gun, my feet and a couple of cinder blocks to finish the flattening part.
    I did a rough cut of the shape with a hand held jig saw.
    Then a little finer shaping with a bench grinder. The grinder makes quite the mess of plastic "salt". I will likely be blowing that out of my garage for weeks.
    More heat gun and and large (about 12") pot for the large curve, then the mounting tabs.
    The mounting bolts are 5x20mm, w/5mm washers, and the spacers are 8mm nuts. The PVC was $6 at an Ace Hardware. I had the nuts and bolts laying around but I would guess another $3 if you had to buy them.
    Back when we were doing a bunch of PVC molding I build this 6' oven from scrap aluminum and heating elements from an old toaster oven.
    The reason it has two plugs is so that I can separate it into two 3 foot zones.
    It was great for Bows and other stuff, but the 3" pipe was to big.

  • Looks like shit! Lol..but taking the time to do this weird never heard before thing, blew me away there for a minute..

  • @Sponge315

    I've never tried it with PVC, but with acrylic sheet, you can heat it in the oven at around 200 degrees, then bend it on a form.

    You might want to investigate bending it after doing the initial unrolling with a heat gun from pipe-form to sheet-form, then heating in an oven, then re-bending over your form.

    Not sure concerning the risk of fumes off-gassing from PVC, so do a little research, and use good ventilation (when the wife's not around).

    I am totally down with anyone thinking outside the box, pioneering new techniques to make new things, more efficiently, more cost effectively.

    No matter how sophisticated the science, it all starts with 'some guy' getting his hands dirty in a kitchen/basement/workshed/laboratory, with trial and error - it really is how progress gets made . . . like making sausage, or a OneWheel.

    Take your time and do your research.

    Awesome job, keep it up dude!

  • Tried that exactly once. The wife "FIRMLY" informed me that there would be no more heating of PVC inside the house.
    It does out gas some rather unpleasant chemicals. Best to keep this an outside activity.

  • @Sponge315

    I agree, keep the wife outside . . . preferably, out of town.

    This is safest done late at night with a 12 pack of beer, the windows open, and the dog as your lab assistant.

  • This was met with about the same enthusiasm as I got when I put a cylinder head in the dishwasher. (and it wasn't even a big one, little motorcycle head)

  • @Sponge315

    Dude, it still amazes me how butt-hurt they get over the littlest s##t - I mean, it's not like you loaded the soap dispenser with Gunk or something . . . am I right?

    It's all totally chill, with endless love and nookie, right up until the time you sign on the dotted line.

  • Pulled the ugly fender off the board last night and did a little more trimming and molding. I took about 1/4" off both sides trimming up the width and then rounded over the edges.
    So now I have version 1.1
    While not any better looking than before, it is a bit more functional. The issue that I was running into with the ver 1.0 was that as I carried it around the 1/4" edges that were hanging off the side rail and the square edges of the rest of the fender would often rub or catch my leg. Not painful of anything, just annoying.

  • @Sponge315 please for the love of god, paint that thing... shape is looking good though

  • @Sponge315

    Dude, that schedule 40 is strong enough to support a keg - I think you may be on to something here.

  • @TyDie said in Introduction and PVC Fender:

    @Sponge315 please for the love of god, paint that thing... shape is looking good though

    ... at least a few stickers would help.

  • It isn't quite right just yet. So there is still a little heat gun in its future.
    So the stickers will have to wait just a while longer.
    I do have a few already waiting.

  • @Sponge315

    Quit yer whining, and get a pony keg mounted on that puppy!


  • Pretty good idea. I thought about making my own fender out of plastic sheeting or an old trash can but decided against it as I didn’t want to spend the time and effort. Easier to just buy a pre-made fender off Amazon.

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