Motorcycle with Sidecar

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Project by stefang posted 12-26-2017 02:26 PM 1193 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


2819 posts in 2108 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


3130 posts in 3122 days

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

Great addition

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Woodbridge's profile


3535 posts in 2353 days

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

looks great – a nice gift idea.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View shipwright's profile


7939 posts in 2733 days

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

Well done Mike. A good re-entry project.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View kiefer's profile


5618 posts in 2602 days

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

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

-- Kiefer

View PaulDoug's profile


1487 posts in 1639 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 majuvla's profile


11893 posts in 2803 days

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

Realy great gift, nice bike set.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View peteg's profile


4255 posts in 2758 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


1735 posts in 2731 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

5839 posts in 3288 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


1634 posts in 756 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


15878 posts in 3269 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 (online now)


1935 posts in 1158 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


2323 posts in 1886 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 (online now)


30543 posts in 2802 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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