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How do I build a dune buggy or sand rail?

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#1 h3ae86


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Posted 11 March 2012 - 07:38 PM

Hi, I'd like some help as to how to go about building a dune buggy/sand rail. Mainly the tube chassis and cage. like what size styrene tubing to get and how to bend it to shape and anything that you think could help me.

This is what I'm loosly basing it off of

.Posted Image

#2 Jantrix


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Posted 12 March 2012 - 12:44 AM

Well lets scale it down. Those tubes are about 2 inched in diameter right? So that would require tubing around 2mm or 3/32. Check your local hobby shop for Plastrust or Evergreen tubing or round stock in that size. The Plastruct catalog code would be TB-3 I believe. As for bends, thats trickier. A little heat at the bend is what most people do. It usually requires a candle and some practice.

#3 crazyjim


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Posted 12 March 2012 - 02:36 AM

Try using brass rod and solder the joints. The brass rod would bend better than styrene.

#4 VW Dave

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 03:21 AM

I agree with Jim that brass rod would be easier to work than styrene. If the OP isn't a confident solderer(not sure if that's a word, but I'm rolling), 5-minute epoxy applied with small disposable brushes works well too. I used that method on my '56 Beetle's roof rack:
Posted Image

Under the in-progress rack is a small strip of wax paper - epoxy will not stick to wax paper, so there's no fear of gluing your project to the bench if you lay down a sheet on your work surface first.

If brass tubing is deemed more realistic than brass rod, I'd recommend inserting the corresponding-size brass rod into it to prevent kinks when bending it and 'fish-mouthing' the ends with a round file and/or Dremel for a more finished appearance.

www.berrienbuggy.com and www.larrysoffroad.com are a couple of sites I'd recommend for good reference pics of bare frames

Edited by VW Dave, 13 March 2012 - 03:23 AM.