Ever since I was little I wanted one of these. A few years ago I nearly started building one. But I couldn't locate anything suitable to make the tires out of. Recently I found a fellow in Ohio that sells it\o/ So work has began.
In case you don't know what a Penny Farthing Bike is here is a well made example from Finland. About half way through there are some nice stills of the pieces that he made.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OptGmDkEwJs
I have steadily been making parts for this project. I have taken design elements from bikes that I've only seen pictures of. The rest is my own ideas of how a Hiwheel bike should be. Since they are mostly wheel I started there. How the heck am I going to make a wheel???
First I needed to make a roll. I've always wanted a roll, but, I've never had a project where I actually "needed" a roll. Now I need both\o/ I found some pictures on the net of some simple rolls and started there. I made some dies to roll 3/4" X 3/4" X 1/8" angle so the pointy part was inward. Nothing fancy. It doesn't even have any bearings. I'll have to take a few pictures of it.
Good news!! It worked
I now have a 48" and a 16" rim. They made them up to 60". But you have to have longer legs than me to operate something like that:o)
I made the axle next. I had some mystery stainless to play with. At first I thought it would go pretty quickly. Wrong!!! I had to take pretty light cuts, slow feed, with oil. Or my inserts would break. But I eventually got through it. I used a N-05 locknut to hold everything together. They require a washer and a key-way milled into the shaft. I'm still waiting for the washers. I'll cut all the key-ways then.
The frames on some of these bikes get narrow near where the rear forks attach. Not knowing how to taper tubing??? I made an insert. It is drilled out so it's not to heavy. The rear step will probably be welded or bolted to this. This will be welded to the frame.
On the axle, hooked to the forks is usually a bearing carrier. This will also let me remove the wheel, by removing two bolts, if needed. I made the round part on my lathe then cut it in half. One for each side. I milled out the other pieces and beveled them a little to prepare them for welding.
I bolted a spacer between the ears and clamped the pieces to my bench and tig welded them together.
A lot of filing and grinding. They are nearly done. When I get them to my liking, I'll have them bead blasted.
I have been trying to find something nice to make the forks out of. I ran across this at work.
That looks like bicycle forks, doesn't it??? To me it does:o) I chucked it in my lathe and cleaned it up with emery paper. Then I marked it out and cut a couple strips out of the pipe. I clamped a straight edge to the pipe that would guide my thin cut blades on my grinder.
Maybe this will look more like forks? They have a nice taper to them. I like how they turned out. I think I'm going to weld a couple of bands on them to make them look nice. They warped a little, but I can fix that.
Here is where I'm at. Today I'm going to try and get the steering pivot made and the hubs turned. The hubs will be bronze.