Wood Hinges

One of the design challenges for this go kart is the method by which we are going to bend the wood covering over the vertical, curved block sections.  I talked about it a bit in the last post.  We’ve been doing some testing on the geometry to see which methods work best for what we want.  We started with some 1/8″ wood testing.  Here are three examples of our tests:

So what worked best?  The first example was probably the closest to what we were looking for.  The material was just stiff enough to hold a nice shape without warping.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture before we, um, bent it a liiitle bit too far, but here’s what the second example looked like:

This test worked as well; however, it didn’t take much torsional stress and tended to bend into itself (the wood edges touched as you bent the wood).  The third example was an effort to modify the first test with strengthened edges, seeing as that part would be hanging off the edges of the wood block.  Unfortunately, it was way too stiff and did not bend very far without splintering.

At this point, we are thinking about using this method sporadically along the wood cover to relieve some of the loads to the 1/4″ wood. The wood itself is pretty flexible, so I think we can get our desired shape by cutting into the wood where we have more extreme curves like at the bottom of the seat and the top of the block.

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