A new season for Bicycle Astronomy…

While my blog has been quiet, my life certainly has not. I’m definitely in a new phase of the Bicycle Astronomy project, hunkering down to take care of business and gear up for a more active spring and summer season. I will still do Bicycle Astronomy events throughout the winter, but they’ll be a little farther between and, I assume, a little more sparsely populated. Though there are always folks with down parkas in the closet that they don’t get to wear enough!

I have a lits of blog entries I want to write, as long as my arm. I have to change the inner tube on the back tire of my Yuba Mundo. I have most of the Kickstarter rewards made…I just need to find the time to get the packages together and start delivering them and mailing them out. I have a cargo pannier to make (and write about) and, or course, the Veloscope to design and build.

That’s moving forward, by the way. I got some new files from Danny (the 3d designer) last week. Here’s a screen shot of the autocad layout. Most of it can be cut on a 4×8 1/2″ thick bamboo ply (or other plywood) sheet. The clamps that will hold the truss tubes are at the moment designed to be cut from 3/4″ ply.


And here is a glimpse of how the base of the telescope (what we call the mirror and rocker boxes) will look when assembled:


Danny is tweaking the design a bit so we cut the truss clamps out of the same 4×8 1/2″ plywood sheet. For strength we’ll have to double up the clamps to 1″ thickness (instead of the 3/4″ shown above), and that means the dimensions of several of the scope components will increase by about 1/2″ overall. So progress continues…but we are getting there.

Once I have the “final” file from Danny, I’ll start ordering the other parts, will journey out to the archery shop to buy 8 carbon fiber arrow shafts, and we’ll get the Veloscope into proto-production. I’ll have a lot more to say about this soon, I hope!


4 thoughts on “A new season for Bicycle Astronomy…

  1. Hey Doug – we used bamboo plywood on our retail counter tops at Commuter Connection. On the plus side, they are hard as maple and beautiful. On the negative side, we had some delamination on some pieces and with the silicate, it’s tough on cutting tools & doesn’t sand well on the edge. I’d stick with Baltic Birch Ply, or go with a marine ply if you’re worried about voids. Just my two cents. Love the project.

    • Dan,
      I have been warned about the voids, but not the delamination. I’m just going to put my hands over my ears and go La La La with that one! I am hoping the laser cutting will minimize the edge sanding, as it should cut pretty smooth and also should caramelize those edges, too. Dunno. With the voids, we should have ample leftover so anything in the first part run through the laser that has a void can be recut on the leftover ply. I know it’s risky, whereas baltic birch is a pretty known quantity, but i would really like to see if the bamboo absorps vibration better than BB does. It’s actually a pretty important consideration, especially for lightweight designs that are also not that rigid. So I am doing it for the materials science. Anyway, what did you finish the counters with?

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