Join Date: Oct 2009
Bikes: -1973 Motobecane Mirage -197? Velosolex L'Etoile -'71 Raleigh Super Course
Good idea. But don't use tuba fors.
3/4x3-1/2 clear, vertical grain doug-fir porch flooring is superior lumber in almost all regards. Its strength-to-weight ratio exceeds aluminum in many ways; it's widely available, easy to work, and looks attractive.
You want to watch your ring count-- the tighter the growth rings, the stronger the wood-- and simply for appearances' sake, you'll probably want to plane off the groove and maybe the tongue.
It's probably worth noting that 'spar grade' wood-- that is to say, 16 or more growth rings per inch with a slope to the grain of less than 1 in 15-- is suitable for use in aerobatic aircraft, to withstand up to 8Gs. Cabon fiber is all well and good, but wood is in a lot of ways better. Not surprising considering the Original Designer.
If I may suggest, you may want to study up on boatbuilding and aircraft building techniques. I'm not saying you need to know everything about the subjects, but boatbuilders have a lot of experience in maximizing strength while minimizing weight; obviously, aircraft builders worry about weight too; and these concepts translate well to bike applications.
An excellent resource is the Building and Repair sub-forum at http://forum.woodenboat.com
. There's a guy who posts there as well as at Sawmill Creek, his name's Bob Smalser. He's a total PITA to deal with but knows more about Doug-fir than most men living. James McMullen on the WBF is more approachable and knows like 98% as much.
At the end of the day, it goes back to good technique: Tight fits and careful work always produce a superior result.
Good luck! Post pics.
Last edited by Captain Blight; 02-17-11 at 10:24 PM.