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Aussie Kev

Skirt - Complete Metal Chassis From Top To Bottom

12 posts in this topic

Starting this topic for an alternative way to building a skirt frame.

Will be including the skirt top, the skirt bottom, and the vertical struts.

Traditional build method ways are :

Timber working method - with chipboard / particleboard / MDF / plywood / marine ply.

Fibreglass build method - using GRP.


Now attempting the metal working method with metal square tubing.



Still a work in progress.

Look me up here

A lot of information and pictures to follow my progress.

Today, I'm at least 1 or 2 posts behind in my builders diary.

This is skirt frame No1.

Have ideas of making at least 3 skirt frames with this build method.

On going topic, because I can post more as my progress increases.


Mad Kev's version  of a skirt stack shot.




Edited by RepeatedMeme
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Verry cool, Will be a tank, hope your feling strong to lift if needed.


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Back to the skirt frame.

What can I say.

This is a difficult and time consuming build method for the skirt frame.

Takes a lot of time and effort, looking at, thinking about, marking, cutting and hand filing each skirt strut as a custom fit.


But it is possible, if I believe that I can do it!



Still more work to be done. Weight's in at about 4.0kg (9lb).



The timber lower skirt template weight is about 4.5kg (10lb).





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So whats plan for pannels, metal or plastic? 


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About the panels.


Hey phoenix, did have some ideas of using aluminium.

This 3mm thick aluminium plate would have been too arkward to use.



This aluminium flashing, at 0.5mm to 0.75mm thickness is too thin. It has too many dents in it. Going too thin in the sheet metal has its negative side, because the sheet metal doesn't have enough strength in it.



Using 1.5mm thick sheet metal  would be ideal. Doing 1 fold is hard enough. The skirt frame has too many sides to it. Would have to buy 1 of those cheap sheet metal benders from ebay. Then a lot of practice, measuring, marking and bending. Good idea, just too expensive to make the idea work at the moment.



Using 3mm MDF.

With 11 panels to do, there will be 22 struts. Each panel will have square tubing on the 4 sides.



Each join / seam, will be reinforced with 2 struts.



Do have 5mm and 7mm MDF to use, if the 3mm boards don't work out.


The hard part to do, is trying to keep the weight down as low as possible, but still just being strong enough to get the job done.


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Are you going to be OK with the twisted front panels? I've no idea how that works when cladding a frame.


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Don't worry repeatedMeme, when you use the bigger Record g-clamps with the fine thread, the metal struts are made to twist to fit the skirt bottom and the skirt top. The square tubing might look like it is straight, but it is not. The timber panels will follow the twist in the metal struts. Had a lot of trouble to achieve this, but I think I have it worked out now.


Back to the skirt metal chassis.

With 8 struts, the weight is about 4.0kg to 4.25kg, about (9lb).



Struts 9 to 11.



With 11 struts, the weight is about 5.0kg, (11lb).



Already done a lot of writing in my builders diary.

So I will do a highlight of photos about fitting strut No12 up to strut No22.



A lot of welding was done on the outside and the inside of the skirt frame. Just showing a highlight of some photos.



A lot of grinding, sanding and filing work to be done.



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The skirt - complete metal chassis from top to bottom is not finished just yet. At the moment the skirt frame is just a static frame that sits there on the concrete floor.



Still have to work on the metal brackets to fit some castor wheels, to get the skirt frame mobile.

Also, still have to work on the base.

Also to try and get the base to be removable from the bottom of the lower skirt frame and the castor wheels.



Tubing that was used.

Square tubing normally comes in a standard 6.5m, (21 feet 4 inch) length.

This 13.0mm X 13.0mm (1/2 inch X 1/2 inch) galvanised mild steel tubing comes in the longer 7.3m (23 feet 11 1/2 inch) length.

Got each length cut into 2 X 3.25m, and 1 X 0.8m to fit into the car and bring back from the steel yard.

Used 3 lengths X 7.3m = 21.9m (71 feet 10 1/4 inch).

Offcuts left over was 2.1m (6 feet 11 inch).

So I could say that a skirt frame built this way, will use about 20 metres, or about 65 feet/foot of tubing.



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So far the weight of the skirt metal chassis is between 7.5kg to 8.0kg, about (17 lb).



The weight of the 2 timber templates for the skirt frame is about 9.0kg to 9.25kg, about (20 lb). Boards used were 16mm thickness.



It takes 4 to 5 metal struts to weigh in at about 1.0kg, about (2.25 lb).



Weight of the skirt top timber template is about 4.5kg, about (10 lb).



Now to cut out the centre of the skirt top timber template to make some timber struts.



Note - This is proving to be a difficult and time consuming way to go about building a skirt frame,  compared to a timber frame.

I believe in it, and I am getting results to prove it is possible.

Sort of quietly hoping to get the metal skirt chassis down to a similar weight to the timber skirt frame.


Over the weekend, and hopefully by next week, I will have a timber skirt frame built out of the timber templates.

Going to try and give an exact weight comparison between the metal chassis and the skirt timber frame.



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Building the temporary timber skirt frame.



Weight comparison between the metal skirt frame and the 16mm thick timber skirt frame.


Metal skirt frame is about 7.5kg to 8.0kg, about 17lb.



Timber skirt frame is about 8.0kg to 8.25kg, about 18lb.



The timber skirt frame bottom also includes the 1.25 inch extra board for the base, and an extra 1/2 inch clearance for the template. Taking the extra 1.75 inch of timber board off the skirt bottom would make the timber skirt frame lighter in the overall weight.



Buffy is supervising.

The metal skirt frame has the reinforcement for all the 11 seams of the panels already built into the frame.

The timber skirt frame would have to have the reinforcing timber strips or fibreglass added to the 11 seams. This would add extra weight to the skirt frame.



Over all - The 2 different skirt frames are nearly the same weight.



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Back to the skirt chassis. Been 1 to 2 months making the base from square tubing. Now I can continue the work on the skirt chassis because I have the base fitted, and also have the little castor wheels fitted, The base is an important part of this skirt chassis design. The swivelling castor wheels are partly inside the base. The castor wheels are then tek-screwed through the base and into the bottom of the 1/2 inch square tubing of the skirt frame. Without the base fitted, it has been impossible to exactly know where to fit the swivelling castor wheels.


Onto the skirt.

Minimum of 4 castor wheels to get the skirt frame mobile.



Now have 9 X 2.5 inch swivelling castors fitted. There is space for 11 wheels, but I only have 10 wheels.



With 9 castors fitted, there is a lot of available floor space to work with.



Now I know where some of the castors will be placed, I can work on the reinforcement pieces of 1/2 inch square tubing to fit the skirt chassis.



No photos left. Till next week.


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Progress so far.

Have the 3 reinforcing pieces of square tubing fitted for the 3 castors in the front half of the skirt chassis.



Some photos of some ideas that I am working on.



I have said some rude words, and insults about these mobility scooters in the past when not on the forum.

This 3 wheeled mobility scooter is a different story.

With a 6 foot (1,800mm) turning circle, I'm now impressed.



Thanks kindly for the positives about this topic!


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