View Full Version : First zombie build

10-24-2009, 02:52 AM
I have been a member for some time now but... this is my first post, so I thought I would start off with my first build the warrior. I bought the plans at the weekend and printed them out and started on my lists, as we all do. I thought I was going to be able to do this very cheap as we have loads of 1.5 square box steel at work around 200 meters but it all turns out to be rubbish and not square so I had to go and buy some :( but it was a lot cheaper than what I thought and its nice to make things out of new metal anyway :)

Just a bit about me in the mid eighty's, damn that shows my age, I used to build all my own motorcycles or chops and I also built a few trike's out of old beetles so I have a bit of experience but I haven't built anything since the early ninety's so I am a bit rusty.

Anyway on with the build, I cut all my lengths of steel and made the back forks, I did have to brake them apart a couple of times as they were slightly out. How close do you guys get your tolerances ? as I may be worrying too much with mine the forks were out by 1.5 mm so I had to redo them, would this amount worry you as these trike's are not powered by car engines ?

Rear forks


As the rest of the steel was cut up I did the joint for the seat back and middle frame and welded them up then put the front on and then set about lining it all up.




So this is as far as I have got, the frame is welded and on the ground

10-24-2009, 02:53 AM


Todays jobs as to cut up a bike for the head stock and work on the BB brkts, I am also going to look at making a formed plywood seat as on some of the other bikes here.

The only difference I am going to have is at the moment I am not going to be able to get the disc hubs and discs so I will be making the brakes as the streetfox.

Anyway off to work now to get a little bit more done :)

10-24-2009, 09:01 AM
Looks like you're doin' great so far, Kevin!

Wow, what an incredible place to work! I'm SOOOOO jealous! :jester:

Welcome to the Krew! :)


10-24-2009, 09:17 AM
1.5mm on the forks wouldn't have been that critical ... because it would have been compensated for when you welded the dropouts on. Since they are bolted to the wheel and you are eyeballing the centering of the wheel with the entire frame ... then tack welding the dropouts into place. But it is good that you did it "right." :-)

great-looking build so far!!

10-24-2009, 10:29 AM
nice job, I am also waiting and watching learning all I can I'm assembling a frame I bought first then I'll try my hand at a High wheeler.

10-24-2009, 10:56 AM
Great job so far Kevin. Welcome aboard.

Do you find it difficult to work in such a tiny shop? It looks like you could build full scale dirigible in there.

10-24-2009, 11:05 AM
Thanks for the comments, todays build went well again, I finished of the welding on the main frame than filed and cleaned all the welds and gave the frame a quick coat of primer for protection really. I then started work on the BB I first had to cut it out of this frame, its a python that just didn't build correct too long for a start and 26" are too big I believe, nice seat ?


once cut out and cleaned up I mounted it to the brkts




Then mounted it to the frame, its amazing how quickly time goes when you are building I had plans to do a lot more :) and of course at this point you just have to sit on it.


10-24-2009, 11:06 AM
I then made the seat and the frame extension behind the top part of the seat, its yet to be cut to size.


So thats it for today I will probably do some more tomorrow.


10-24-2009, 11:10 AM
I have to say Trikeman that it is a bit cramped :) the down side is that the more room you have the more mess you make. My boss is very good and has always let me use the place and the equipment, I used to have all the equipment myself years ago but I had to move into a very small place and in the end it all had to be sold :(

10-24-2009, 11:12 AM
Another interesting jig, and made from simple materials. I love the creativity people show in assembling the jigs while they build.

You have good boss to let you use that workspace. We are all jealous. By the way, I always find the steel to be the cheapest stuff I have to buy for a bike. Its those things like tires and brakes and other bits that kill yer budget. Thank Heaven for donor bikes.

10-29-2009, 01:12 PM
A few more bits have been done to the trike I have made and fitted the seat brkts,


Added an extension at the top of the seat and also made the middle and top part of the seat wider.



I have cut and filled a mech holder, once the bike is near completion a set screw will be added to keep this in place.


10-29-2009, 01:13 PM
And I have started on the steering system, this is all tacked in place at the moment until I get the front wheels fitted then I can finish it off. The handle bars are made from a pair off a kids bike and some tubing I had left over from my bike trailer.


This is my trailer before a base was added, it's made from a double child trailer, that has been narrowed.


11-04-2009, 05:08 PM
A few more bits done today I finished of the kingpins and cleaned them up and also welded the steering tubes into the steering arms.


Then came the part I have been dreading the most, connecting the steering arms to the main frame. I have spent hours setting up the frame and wheels and making a jig to hold the wheels at 90 degrees to the floor. After tacking the arms on I have noticed that the wheels are slightly leaning out, which I am going to alter but that was enough for today better to start again tomorrow evening than get too carried away.

So here are the latest pics, handle bars are on the wrong way around :rolleyes4:



As a note I also picked up a mtb last night with rear suspension and disc brakes so its either the delta wolf or Marauder next I'm not sure, I have enough steel for a Marauder ........:)

11-04-2009, 05:25 PM
Dang, dude, u r SMOKIN' on that thing! :punk:
You'll be ridin' that bad boy in no time! :)


11-04-2009, 08:12 PM
....I have spent hours setting up the frame and wheels and making a jig to hold the wheels at 90 degrees to the floor.
Really nice work Kevin. You're making the Warrior look so easy!

Any photos showing how you jigged the steering arms and frame?


11-06-2009, 02:03 PM
Thanks for the comments

Hi Danner I had the main frame heald between the two box sections to keep it straight and vertical, I then made a jig to hold the wheel at the correct angle as well, the angle iron is for the other measurements that have to be taken into account ( I dont want to give these away for obvious reasons :) ) This is just quickly put together for the photo so things are not in line but I should think you get the idea.



After breaking a couple of tack welds it came together pretty good, you just really need to read and understand Brads instructions and it works well.

If I can get hold of some longer box, cheap enough I will make a proper jig for future projects.

11-08-2009, 03:29 AM
I got to work on the steering yesterday, I had to pick up some pulleys and the same shop happened to have some rose joints they were strange sizes but I will change them at a later date. I also didn't have any round tubing but I do have loads of 10mm box so decided to make the steering system out of that.

Here are the latest pictures, as you can see I have not gone for the disc brakes at the moment they just worked out too expensive :( but I hope to upgrade to them next year :)




This is all tacked together at the moment but I think its all correct so I will weld up fully today (sunday) I also added the cable stops and the cantilever bosses for the rear brake again these will be fully welded today. I will probably have the rear brake lever under the seat and fix some kind of ratchet to it so it acts like a hand brake as I will be towing a trailer with the trike.

11-08-2009, 03:34 AM

I also hope to fit the chain and take it for its first quick ride today, after all the welding is done all I have to do is mount the pulleys, and join about three chains together to fit :) to make it ridable, I have coasted it down the warehouse but that's only about 15 yards and has no corners :)

11-08-2009, 12:19 PM
Today I finished off the welding on the steering parts and also the rear brake, I then mounted the pulleys and fitted a few different chains, this is one loooong chain :) And then I took it for its first ride around, I was surprised how easy it is to ride considering I only had top gear and it turns quick and easy as well. I hadn't fitted any controls at this point so couldn't go far as I had no brakes !!

here are the latest build pictures.



I am pleased with the rear brake as its really tucked away and can not be seen, so it keeps the back of the trike really clean.


And yes thats water and mud from the first test ride. I have also just ordered the chains that are needed, so I am hoping that by next weekend I will be able to have a proper ride on it.

Radical Brad
11-08-2009, 01:28 PM
Your machine came together nicely... great work!


11-12-2009, 03:38 PM
Well I have been busy on the trike, yesterday I had my first proper ride, with brakes this time. And I do have to say its fantastic ! it rides straight even with out holding the bars !! and feels very fast, I only had the one gear yesterday but it still felt great. Today I fitted the chains, yes chains it takes just under three chains for the trike, to set it up I tried Sheldon Browns method around both large sprockets without going through the dérailleur, it didn't work for me so I started adding links until the chain was correct I ended up adding an extra four links.

I have also set up the front and rear mechs, all three brakes are now working all the cable stops are on, and the rear rack is fitted.



These pictures were taken yesterday so they dont show the new chain and rear brake. I am hoping to finish the build on saturday and then paint on saturday afternoon then rebuild it monday. I also have some other bits to make, light brackets, rear mudguard and finish the seat and the trailer hitch. I will take some more pictures when its on the road, I can not wait to take it for a proper ride :)

11-16-2009, 01:05 PM
Well I have spent the last three days working on the trike and I am proud to say it is finished, and I have been out and done a 10 mile ride and its fantastic. I was a little worried that as this is my first recumbent that I would find it hard going, but in fact didn't find it that hard at all, just a little different.






As you can see I didn't cut the front boom off as I needed somewhere quick to mount some lights, I just wish the weather was better as then I could go out again.

11-16-2009, 03:10 PM
Beautiful job. If you didn't say anything, we'd never think it's you're first build.

Radical Brad
11-16-2009, 04:18 PM
Just great, thanks for showing!
Kat will have to steel some gallery photos for sure.


Odd Man Out
11-16-2009, 05:31 PM
Just gorgeous -- great work -- congrats and safe riding :punk::punk::punk::punk::punk:

11-16-2009, 06:04 PM
Very nice work. Enjoy the Fall riding.

11-16-2009, 07:33 PM
Way to go. It looks like you did an excellent job on your Warrior. Now for a winter project. It seems that nobody can build just one. Enjoy your new ride.

11-17-2009, 05:43 AM
Very nice. Lovely job.
As a first build it is absolutely outstanding.

11-17-2009, 06:08 PM
Brad go ahead and steal the pictures if you need it would be great to see it in the gallery.

I have already start thing and planning the next build, it will probably take a little longer this time as its the deltawolf :)

Thank you all for the great comments about the trike :)

11-17-2009, 06:43 PM
Could one put a metal cutting blade like they sell for circular saws and use it on a mitre saw, a radial arm saw or a table saw to get the angled cuts perfect?

11-17-2009, 07:33 PM
I had one in an old 10" Delta mitre saw for a while, but the hot chips and sparks eventually ate up the plastic housings and deflectors. Our friends at Harbor Freight have a very inexpensive 14" metal mitre saw. It won't do compound angle cuts, but also doesn't melt. you can always ask Santa! :xmas:



11-17-2009, 07:51 PM
How about one of these? It comes with a manganese steel saw blade. I assume the blade can tilt because it gives the maximum depth at 90 degrees. And it looks like it comes with a mitre or whatever it's called so one could theoretically make compound angle cuts.


Phooey, it only cuts up to 3/4"

Does the Warrior even HAVE compound angle cuts?

11-17-2009, 08:24 PM
Could one put a metal cutting blade like they sell for circular saws and use it on a mitre saw, a radial arm saw or a table saw to get the angled cuts perfect?

Yes you can, just make sure you get a miter saw that is all metal. Mine is a craftsmen 10" compound miter saw I picked up at a pawn shop. The red part on the base is plastic, I removed it since it was not needed. :jester:

11-19-2009, 05:37 PM
Myself I wouldn't put a metal cutting blade in a wood chop off saw as the ones we have run at different speeds the wood ones are a lot faster than the metal cut offs. Plus if you are using a cutting disc rather than a blade it will melt anything that is plastic or not covered well.
If I was in the states I would buy this one for small projects http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=44829 It will last you years, just remember to not trust the angle marks on the saw and set the blade with a square.

11-19-2009, 05:50 PM
I'm sure KevinP is right about the speed, but I think a lot of us hackers have done it anyway, it just dulls the blades faster. I think I went through 3 blades, doing a lot of 45's and straight cuts on 1-1/2 x 16 tube for my project. At $5 a pop, a few blades are a lot cheaper than buying a dedicated cut-off saw!

11-19-2009, 05:55 PM
Here in OZ we can get a cold cut saw, which is a dedicated saw with tungsten teeth for cutting metal, a lot better than an abrasive cutoff saw


11-22-2009, 03:34 PM
I had my first real ride on the warrior yesterday, even though it was raining hard I couldn't wait any longer. It rides well handle the corners great. My legs aren't used to riding a recumbent up the hills yet but it climbs pretty good. I do need to fit some mudguards to it as I got covered in mud, its been raining a lot here and the roads which are single track in places are covered in mud. Here are a few pictures....

Taking a brake from the rain under some trees.



This was quite a long climb.

But when you go up there's always a down


11-22-2009, 03:34 PM
and its still raining

I also trimmed the front boom and relocated my lights, makes it look a lot better.

There ar e a few other little jobs I need to do, like trim the axles, mount some front lights near the wheels so car drivers can see its not a bike and give me a little more room and I have to find a flag and pole.

All in all I love it :) now to the next project......... a deltawolf :)

11-22-2009, 06:42 PM
Love the Trike! Great job, my friend!..Also thats a beautiful and quiet country road to ride!
I look forward to your DeltaWolf! Have fun!

11-22-2009, 08:01 PM
Looks great indeed!
but you have chosen wrong time of year for test rides :scooter:
What amazes me is the speed with which you completed this project !

Radical Brad
11-22-2009, 08:26 PM
Yes indeed - great work and a wonderful scenic route to ride.


11-22-2009, 09:26 PM
I was looking at the photos and thought "Gee, that looks just like England" then I noticed where you are from.
The weather reinforces my reasons for leaving the place for some sun.
Still an excellent build.
Should have some pics showing how I finished off the axles later this week.

11-24-2009, 01:50 PM
Hi Kevin - you've just made another Brit very jealous :punk:

And not just the trike - those lanes look a little flatter than the ones near here lol.

I have the same panniers as you (a proper bargain) but found the hooks no good when carrying a lot of weight. If you have any problems with yours, Ortleib QL catches fit with a bit of tweaking and never come adrift.

Well done :sunny:

11-24-2009, 01:52 PM
And thanks for the video Brad - just seen it on the Warrior page :)

11-25-2009, 08:50 AM
Thanks everyone, I really enjoyed the build pretty easy although a little nerve racking getting the angles correct.

Savarin yes wet and hilly England, you dont know what your missing :)

Thanks Swizz, I think the panniers are great for the price they dont leak or anything, I've also had no problems with the brkts

John Lewis
11-25-2009, 08:57 AM
Hi Kevin,
Don't know how I missed this thread. You have done a great job there and built a very nice trike.
I liked those pictures of the ride. Pity about the rain though.

John Lewis