By Micah Toll
August 8, 2021
While building and riding electric bikes takes up most of my time, woodworking has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. And perhaps that’s why I was so excited when woodworker Evie Bee reached out to share her impressive looking wooden electric bicycle that combines these two fascinating yet divergent fields. Evie’s passion for woodworking expands beyond just the crafting process to encompass the lifecycle of the wood.
As she explains: “My interest in this area grew as I volunteered as a ranger with the National Trust at Osterley Park and while working with a tree house builder in India who was so knowledgeable about trees, ecology, and silviculture. This experience made me feel much more connected to the woods and I found I enjoyed being out in them much more than I did being in a workshop!”
The bike became known as the Electraply, thanks to its incorporation of multiple styles of sustainably sourced plywood laminated together. Poplar makes up the bulk of the center of the frame, with more visually appealing Birch plywood added to the outside of the frame. Many sheets had to be cut using a CNC router to achieve Evie’s design.
Stainless steel was used in a few areas for extra strength, such as the dropouts (where the rear wheel connects to the frame). For electronics, Evie used a 36V and 12.5Ah battery with 450 Wh of capacity, pairing it with a Smart Pie electric bike motor that houses an internal controller. That helped reduce the number of external parts mounted to the bike and simplify the wiring.
The design and construction of the Electraply bike forced Evie to rely on many of her non-wood skills as well. She built the frame for the seat using brass piping and sewed her own faux leather seat cover using hand stitching. To share the design with others and teach people how to build their own Electraply wooden e-bike, Evie has written two free e-books that are available on her site.