Building the rotor tower

The rotor had to be mounted high enough above the rider’s head to prevent accidental contact with the rider’s head or hands. And, of course, the tower had to be strong enough to support a spinning rotor.

I did not want to weld the rotor tower to the trike frame because I wanted to be able to mount and unmount the entire assembly (tower and rotor) when desired. So, a bolt-on tower was necessitated.

The Torker Trike has four pre-drilled holes through it’s rear frame (shown in the photo above).  These holes are provided to mount the trike’s rear basket, however they also support installation of a rear canopy structure.

I chose to use these holes to mount the rotor tower.

The simple design of the rotor tower (shown in the photo above) consisted two open rectangular frames (a top and bottom) welded to four corner supports. Keeping the bottom frame open allows for the drive system’s chain to run up and down through the middle of the tower — lending a cool steampunk aesthetic, as well.

For the top and bottom rectangular frame material I used my go-to source of steel — repurposed bed frames (leftover lengths from previous projects pictured above). Used bed frames can be found very inexpensively off of Craigslist or at your local thrift store. I have even found them for free in Craigslist’s “Free Stuff” section.

For the tower supports I used my other favorite go-to material — EMT Conduit. For this project I used 3/4″ diameter EMT Conduit. 10′ lengths of this material can be purchased for less than $4 a piece at your local hardware store.

And, yes, I considered using the steel bed frame angle iron for the tower supports as well, but I felt the use of EMT conduit would look better as well as reduce weight.

I sized the tower’s bottom and top frames to match the depth between the trike’s two rear cross members.

Use a corner clamp (shown above) to hold the pieces in place for tack welding.

Pictured above is the rotor tower’s bottom support frame. Make an identical 2nd one for the top frame.

With the EMT cut to length use magnetic 90-degree welding supports to hold the EMT in place for tack welding.

Pictured above is the completed frame for rotor tower. Strong, Sturdy, bombproof.  Now to construct the rotor mount.

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