Motorcycle with Sidecar

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Project by stefang posted 12-26-2017 02:26 PM 3764 views 2 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finding the plans
I wanted to make some Christmas gifts for family members. I was searching the web for something the men in the family might like and I found this website where I found this motorcycle with sidecar puzzle. I loved the somewhat retro look of it and the fact that even though it is a puzzle it looks like a model too that could be on someone’s desk at work or wherever as it makes for a good conversation piece. The downloadable plans can be purchased for CNC cutting or the scroll saw. I chose the scroll saw.

Materials and scale
I made six of these including one for myself. I had to increase the scale of the plans to 133% because the plans call for 3mm thick Baltic birch plywood and I had only 4mm. The reason you have to increase the scale is because the assemble slots have to be wide enough to match the thickness of the ply. This makes the MC about 7 or 8” in length.

Printing the plans
I printed out the pattern in the right scale from the PDF plans. This was very easy to to do, but a little difficult to explain at length here. If you do buy the plans and you need some tips on how to do this efficiently please contact me and I will help you with it.

I chose to cut to stacks with 3 layers each. I did this to get an optimal turning radius using a #5 blade. If I had it to do over again I would probably make a 6 layer stack and use a #7 blade. The cutting would have to be done differently and probably a lot slower, but the extra time would be well justified to get 6 puzzles out of one cutting. Here is the first stack. I cut out each part so I could glue them up as close as possible to save wood. I had to cut the long boards into smaller sections for cutting. I used double sided tape between the layers.

Cutting, Separating layers, sanding, and painting
The actual cutting is not difficult, but it has to be accurate for a good result. It’s a good idea to cut within the lines and adjust the assembly slots with a small fine file during assemble. This is an easy and quick job. Most of the boring work was in separating the cut out pieces and removing the tape. I pried the pieces apart carefully with a thin knife. Then the residual sticky stuff was removed with the already removed tape strips. I used 3 containers to sort each part into. The next job was to sand the fuzzies and to get the rest of any residual glue. After that I painted the edges of each part to hide the ply layers using a water-based acrylic paint in a matching color. After the painting I glued the fender pieces together and the outer layers of the tires onto the wheel part with the spokes. These were the only parts that were glued up, the rest is just a friction fit with the slots. Below is a pile of the approx. 120 parts for one motorcycle.

Somewhat challenging, even with the assembly instructions that come with the plan, probably next to impossible without them for me. I am of course now an expert at it after putting six of them together!

I highly recommend this puzzle. It is very well designed and makes a nice model as well as a puzzle. Thanks for reading.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

16 comments so far

View johnstoneb's profile


3182 posts in 3413 days

#1 posted 12-26-2017 02:39 PM

Looks good. I bet that takes some time to put together.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View hunter71's profile


3558 posts in 4426 days

#2 posted 12-26-2017 02:41 PM

Great addition

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Woodbridge's profile


3751 posts in 3658 days

#3 posted 12-26-2017 02:53 PM

looks great – a nice gift idea.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View shipwright's profile


8751 posts in 4038 days

#4 posted 12-26-2017 03:06 PM

Well done Mike. A good re-entry project.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 3907 days

#5 posted 12-26-2017 03:12 PM

Mike that is a great puzzle and gift.
Hats off .

-- Kiefer

View PaulDoug's profile


2623 posts in 2943 days

#6 posted 12-26-2017 04:23 PM

Looks like a lot of fun and a very nice gift. Thanks for the link.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View Ivan's profile


17004 posts in 4107 days

#7 posted 12-26-2017 05:23 PM

Realy great gift, nice bike set.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View peteg's profile


4438 posts in 4063 days

#8 posted 12-26-2017 07:00 PM

That is a really cool project, gotta get you head around it ;) very well done

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 4035 days

#9 posted 12-26-2017 10:04 PM

Hope that no one loses a piece of their puzzle. Nicely done Mike.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8277 posts in 4593 days

#10 posted 12-26-2017 11:30 PM

Makes a nice gift Mike! Thanks for the link!
Happy New Year!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View LittleBlackDuck's profile (online now)


8097 posts in 2061 days

#11 posted 12-27-2017 07:28 AM

Nice job stefang, I tip my hat to your manual undertaking. I have bought several of their patterns for laser cutting and even doing it that way I shudder in trepidation when I try to imagine undertaking one of these “manually” (as opposed to laser or CNC). Well done and your bulk effort gets you extra brownie points and that extra glass of beer (or whatever is your favourite alcohol… and if you don’t drink… start… so you can have that extra glass).

If you are new to the site and like their stuff, may I suggest you subscribe as they sometimes have some really good offers.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4574 days

#12 posted 12-27-2017 11:24 AM

Not really too difficult, and I did get the advantage of cutting several at a time.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View splintergroup's profile


5848 posts in 2462 days

#13 posted 12-27-2017 02:46 PM

You have a lot of patience Mike! Great that you made yourself one too. Again, welcome back 8^)

View crowie's profile


5014 posts in 3191 days

#14 posted 12-27-2017 09:17 PM

Beautiful puzzle Mike though I’m very poor at puzzles so while I can appreciate the detail and build I’ll leave the assembly to others…

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4106 days

#15 posted 12-30-2017 03:05 PM

Mike, you did a beautiful job on this motorcycle and side car. It has lots of nice details and craftsmanship.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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