This is the first blog I've ever done, so bear with me here. It may be something weird, like Creedthoughts.
I wanted to build a drag/spark plate for the Onewheel that was fairly inexpensive, reusable, and made with basic parts. I ended up finding some pre-drilled ferro rods on Amazon, which are meant for emergency fire starters attached to shoelaces. Here's the final build-
I only have my stock bumpers on, and haven't used any Float Plates yet. I'm assuming this will still work fine with aftermarket skid plates.
-I only have an XR, but the process may be similar on a Pint or +. I'm curious to know, and welcome feedback.
-Before starting, you'll need to order two packs of the rods from Amazon here-
and one 30 pack of 8mm crush washers here-
You'll have six spare washers in case a few magically decide to roll into some far crevasse of your work area. I couldn't find these narrow ones at any local hardware stores, so I just ordered them online. I think skateboard wheel spacers may work in place of the washers, but haven't tried them.
-This is going to require drilling into your rear bumper. I'm using 8 ferro rods because I wanted to spread the weight and force across the board as much as possible. You may use fewer rods if your heart so desires.
-I actually started with my orange set of bumpers, but messed up during the drilling, and had to buy a new set. Luckily I was able to get some new blue bumpers on the cheap.
-If you don't already have one, you're going to need an 8mm drill bit, and for uh, obvious reasons.........a drill. The ferro rods fit perfectly through the holes. A very small drill bit to use as a pilot hole first is strongly recommended. That way your rods will all be lined up and tidy. It's hard to see, but this is the bottom of an 8mm drill bit.
I ended up buying two six packs of the ferro rods, so after installing everything, and breaking one with my vice grips, I had 3 spares. They even send you a nifty tin with each set.
-I had the idea to use washers, tension pins, and cotter pins to keep the rods aligned and in place. Go to your local friendly hardware store for the cotter and tension pins. Bring a ferro rod with you! You're going to need to find cotter pins that slide all the way through, but take up most of the space of the hole. If you use the same amount of rods like I did, you'll want at least 8. A couple more for spares won't hurt in case you break one, or one vanishes to another dimension with your missing 10mm socket.
Same situation with the tension pins. You'll want at least 8, maybe a couple more. No need to be stingy. They need to be slightly wider than the ferro rod, but able to slide easily back and forth in the hole, or "float". They can't be too long, or else they won't fit in the grid slot on the back of your bumper.
It took me a while to decide which would be the best spot to place the ferro rods, but ultimately decided on the furthest rear grid row. The perfect spot would've been right below the rear LED, but I didn't want to risk a rod puncturing through the light bar or other important electronics. The grid squares were too shallow in that spot, anyway. If for some odd reason a cotter pin failed when being slammed to the ground, it would only hit the underside of the rear footpad. No big deal.
Drilling a small pilot hole first makes the job easier. I eyeballed the center of each square and finger turned a starting hole with a tiny bit. If you can measure to make the holes more precise, go for it!
You will get plastic shavings EVERYWHERE. Be sure to pick them all out of the drill holes! Any leftover shavings will make it a pain to insert the ferro rods and tension pins.
Here's where I had to start using images of the blue bumpers. The reason for this is because I bought washers that were slightly too large in diameter, and thought I could widen the holes to help give them all room to fit. Dumb mistake.
After the shavings are picked out and strewn around your garage floor, it's time to insert the rods with the tension pins. They'll all have to be in a diagonal position floating in the square.
Now it's time to install the washers and cotter pins. It's actually much easier to push through one rod at a time- starting on the side, and removing the two rods next to it to give space to work. Stack three washers per rod. You'll need to separate the cotter pins with a screwdriver after sliding them through the rod, and then use two pliers to bend them around. I trimmed off the excess cotter pins with cutting dykes.
It's smooth sailing from here. You're almost at the finish line! YOU CAN DOOO IT!
There you have it! Breathe in that sweet, sweet feeling of accomplishment, you rockstar. All of the parts cost about $25, not counting the bumpers. I did spend more, due to trial and error. If you take your time and don't rush things, you won't have any do-overs. Remember to tighten all your screws when re-installing your bumper, and use blue thread locker to keep them in place.
Here's a link to the Draggletooth in action.
And a slow mo shot.
Here's a pic after a couple days use. I was worried there would be chunking or breaking on the individual rods, but they seem to be wearing pretty evenly.
When replacing the rods, I'd recommend doing all of them at once, and using new cotter pins. I'm also getting some skateboard curb wax to apply on the sides of the bumper in hopes to ease the scratching.
-This does work much better on cement than asphalt, and leaves minimal markings. Have fun, but don't do anything stupid with this, or tear up sidewalks. I rolled my ankle testing this because my XR slid out from underneath me. It's still a blast to use though, especially going downhill. Don't light fires or drag on anything flammable. Wear all your gear. Don't be dumb.
"Whenever I'm about to do something, I think, "Would an idiot do that?" And if they would, I do not do that thing." - Dwight Schrute
Check out our Onewheel section on our store, and if you need anything, just use the code "Draggletooth" during checkout for a 10% discount. We're always adding new stuff.
Thanks for reading!