You are on page 1of 7

Man! This is it! Cost? $125.

Does 75 miles to the

96 Mechanix Illustrated
By R. J. Capotosto the fork. Let it protrude about 1/8 in.
then weld securely. Alignment is impor-
D ESIGNED and built just like a com-
mercial model, the MI Scooter fea-
tures an all metal frame covered with a
tant as steering efficiency originates at
this point.
Cut the post to the length indicated
wood body. The metal chassis provides then grind a flat to act as a seat for the
the necessary strength. Angle iron was handle bar. Position the flat so that it is
used because it is inexpensive and parallel to the axis of the wheel. Bend
readily available at large hardware the handle bar from a piece of rigid con-
stores. Powered by a Clinton A 490 en- duit and braze a shaft collar exactly in
gine, the scooter has bicycle type hand the center. The setscrew hole should
controls for both the gas and brakes. face the rear so that it lines up with the
Construction starts with the frame. flat on the steering post.
Notch the angle, then bend cold. To pre- The kick stand is fashioned from a
vent buckling at the bottom of the V, piece of 3/8-in. bar stock. To obtain the
drill a 1/8-in. hole at the bottom of each small bends, it will be necessary to heat
notch. Make a test cut on a scrap piece the rod to a dull red and bend in a vise.
first to determine exactly where to drill Drill the three small holes in the rod
the hole and also to check the bend al- after bending. Two of these are for cot-
lowance. If you find after bending that ter pins to prevent side movement and
the frame is warped, straighten it by the other hole is for the return spring.
bending the legs in the opposite direc- To keep the drill from "walking," grind
tion. Check for levelness on a flat sur- a small flat spot, then center punch. At-
face. After cutting and bending all tach the stand to the frame by means of
pieces, remove all burrs and bevel the small brackets cut from waste pieces
edges slightly for a better weld. of angle. Be sure to use lock washers
To weld, clamp the sections together or locking nuts when fastening the
as a unit and check against the drawing. brackets. This applies to all other nuts
If okay, weld all joints. The front fork where cotter pins are not used.
bushing must be perfectly aligned when The rear axle supports are made of
welded to the frame. Tack weld at sev- 3/4-in. steel cut as illustrated. The blocks
eral points, check and continue the may be left "square" if you like, but
weld. After finishing all welding, clean rounding them off will look much
the joints with a chipping hammer to neater. To shape the piece without diffi-
remove all slag and scale, then give the culty, drill a series of small holes around
entire frame a coat of aluminum paint the perimeter, overlapping the holes
to prevent rust. slightly. If any "ties" are left, cut these
The front fork is made by heating a with a hack saw. A hole is drilled and
1/4x2-in. bar at two places and bending tapped at the bottom of both blocks to
as shown. Align both legs of the fork take a hex head setscrew. A correspond-
then drill 3/4in. holes for the axle. Start ing flat must be ground into the axle end
with a small hole gradually increasing to keep it from turning. The mounting
the size to % in. The steering post is in- holes for the brackets may be drilled at
serted into a hole drilled at the top of this time but the matching holes in the

PLYWOOD SCOOTER
gallon and has a cruising speed of 30 miles per hour.

97
frame are not put in until later. Tempo-
rarily attach the wheel to the axle, then
space with shaft collars. The wheel
should be centered over the frame and
the bracket temporarily held with small
clamps. Adjust so that the wheel is
parallel to the frame, then transfer the
hole location from the block to the frame
and drill. Mark the blocks to identify
them so they will not be switched later.
The sprocket and brake assembly
are attached to the rear wheel as shown

1. Kick stand is formed from cold rolled 2. Partially assembled scooter showing the
rod. Brackets are angles bolted to frame. angle iron chassis. Note the kick stand.

3. Rear axle supports are shaped by drilling 4. Hole for steering rod should be cut
series of holes. Hack saw for final cut. before bending and gluing the mud guard.
98
Mechanix Illustrated
in the diagram. The brake shoe bracket plate to take up the slack. Adjust the
is welded to a shaft collar which in turn position of the clutch on the shaft by
is welded to the axle support. If you use leaving the clutch setscrew loose. Rotate
the Clinton A 490 engine as we did, drill the rear wheel several times by hand
the holes in the frame and mount as and the chain will automatically slide
shown. If other engines are used some the clutch assembly to the proper posi-
changes may be necessary. With the en- tion. Now tighten the setscrew.
gine in place, install the clutch with Since the engine is mounted in a
sprocket side in and connect the roller "downhill" position, it will be necessary
chain. Allow a little play in the chain. to mount the gas tank so that it will be
If the linkage is such that it is too loose, in a horizontal plane. To do this, remove
place shims under the engine mounting the bolt holding the front gas tank lug,
then carefully bend the tank upward. chassis and attach the left one to the
Add the flat bracket to hold the tank in brakes and the other to the throttle. A
this new position. simple bracket is used to attach the
The only other change on the engine cable assembly to the engine. Attach
is to direct the exhaust fumes out the cable to the swivel clamp on the
through the rear. The stock muffler throttle linkage.
which comes with the engine will dissi- The engine may be stopped by the
pate the exhaust fumes into the body shorting clip or by use of a toggle switch
area and naturally this is objectionable. connected to the low voltage side of the
A length of flexible gas pipe (the type magneto and ground. To actuate the
used for gas ranges) is ideal for this clip from outside the body, attach a
purpose. Connect one end to the present short length of throttle control cable to
muffler and run the other end out the clip. When the control is pushed
through the rear. Drill a hole in the side in the plug will be shorted out. The
of the muffler to take the pipe and plug toggle switch method is neater. Run
up the original holes. The ridges in the one lead from the switch to the low volt-
pipe will help deaden the engine noise. age side of the magneto and the other
The control lines are added at this lead to ground. Do not attempt to run
time. The transmission for hand brakes a switch from the plug and ground as
and the three-speed hub is used for this the spark will jump the gap and you'll
purpose. Run both cables along the get a shock to boot.

100 Mechanix Illustrated


Start the woodwork by cutting and
and attaching the floor board. This is
made of 1/2-in. plywood in two sections
as shown. Notch the front end to fit
around the fork bushing support. Drill
and attach the boards with 1/4x20xl-in.
bolts. The body is made next. This is
made by laminating two thicknesses of
3/4-in. pine, gluing the sections as shown
for rigidity. Pine is used because it can
easily be shaped. The inner section
must be set back 1/8-in. to allow for the
thickness of the plywood covering. Lay-
5. Front mud guard fits snugly over the out the outer piece first and cut on the
fork. Check clearance of wheel and guard.
band saw.
Sand smooth to remove all bumps
then transfer the outline to the inner
section. Now with a small divider, set
with the legs 1/8-in. apart, strike off
points around the perimeter about an
inch apart, then connect the lines with
the aid of a curve. This piece is also
cut on the band saw.
Line up the outer and inner sections
carefully and glue securely. When the
glue has set connect the sides by means
of the cross members. Use glue and
screws for added strength. With the
body thus far completed, place it on the
frame and check to make sure it fits
properly. The 1/8-in. "bending" ply-
wood is next prepared. The width to
fit between the shoulders should be ex-
act. Temporarily clamp the piece along
6. Handle bar cover is made ol laminated the bottom edge and, pulling the wood
sections patterned in the manner shown.
tightly, mark off the length needed. Cut
and glue into place. Be sure the grain
runs across so that the wood will bend
around the body. Use plenty of clamps
and leave them on until the glue has set.
If you think you will have difficulty
bending the wood, you can pre-bend it
by wetting and rolling into a cylinder
and tying the roll till dry. If you use
this method, be sure to cut the wood
first as it would be rather difficult to
cut afterward. Naturally the wood will
not be the exact shape you need, but it
will be easy to clamp into place. Use
a waterproof glue. The front mudguard
is made in a similar manner except that
the sides are solid pine instead of built
up sections. Drill the hole for the steer-
ing post after the piece has been cut to
7. Here it is—the completed scooter. A size but before gluing.
thrill to ride and a beauty to behold. The 1/8-in. [Continued on page 128]

101
Mi's Plywood Scooter
[Continued from page 101]
plywood sides are glued to the body last by the brake rod linkage. The head light
of all. Cut the panels undersize so that is from a six-volt lantern housing with a
you will have less wood to trim when clear white fog lamp.
rounding the edges. This also applies to Be sure to use an oil and gas mixture for
the contoured floor section and steering fuel. Do not use ethyl or low grade white
post cover. When assembling the floor sec- premium gas. White marine gas is ac-
tion, cut and fit the pieces directly on the ceptable. Be sure fuel is fresh and mix
part being covered. This will simplify well prior to filling tank. Now, fill 'er up—
construction as it eliminates guesswork. and away we go!
Allowance must be made to pass the con- (MI has made arrangements with the Finecraft
trol cables which are fastened directly to Products Company, Box 7031, Jersey City 7, N. J.
the floor board. Also allow for the short to supply readers with the parts for this scooter.
sections of angle braces. The front of this Write to them for a price list.)
part is made to fit over the steering post
and enough clearance must be provided to
pass the control cables. They must not
bind on turns. The same applies for the
steering post cover. Cut away inside and
give cables plenty of room for turning.
The handle bar cover is shaped to con-
form to the bars as well as the steering
post. The bottom of the cover is left flat
so that it rests on the steering post cover.
When the woodwork has been com-
pleted, round off all edges with a router
or with a rasp and plenty of elbow grease.
Follow the rasping with sandpaper, first
rough them medium followed by fine. The
wood should be finished with a good
undercoating and then at least two coats
of exterior grade enamel.
The cushion is made to fit into the
tapered opening in the body so that it may
be removed easily for starting and serv-
icing the engine. Blue Boltaflex over foam
rubber makes a very comfortable and
good-looking seat. Make a one piece gusset
and staple it to the bottom side.
To keep the engine heat from damaging
woodwork, interior of body is lined with
Fiberglas insulation. It is available at most
auto supply shops and it serves the purpose
well. Use the one-inch material and at-
tach it with staples. Be careful not to ob-
struct the air intake at the front.
Laws vary from state to state so check
with the local authorities regarding lights,
horn, signals, etc. For lights, use dry cells
which can be stored in the engine compart-
ment. The switch can be placed on the
control panel. If stop lights are required,
use an automobile replacement switch at-
tached to the frame so it will be actuated

128 February, 1963