Making a Rack

I built up a Schwinn a week or so ago and I just simply need something to carry my groceries on the back of it. There are lots of racks out there but… well I can’t leave well enough alone. So I had some extra steel at the shop and I also found a 1950’s High explosives box that John Grimberg gave me for this project as well.

Today I headed down to the shop to get started on this one. I don’t have all the parts that I need just yet but it is a great start. I started off with some 3 inch rings that I bought for this project. I could have bent the material, but it was definitely cheaper to buy rings and make corners out of those than it was to buy an Oxy-Ace torch!

Cruiser Rack

With the rings I just cut down some material and sanded it down to get a proper fit to my dimensions.

Cruiser Rack

In an effort to make this thing as square as possible I took my time and welded up each side using a template that I made in order to make sure they all end up at the same dimension. There is nothing quite as frustrating as getting some arbitrary pieces that aren’t square or matched in size. So these are all matched up and ready to go.

Cruiser Rack

With that done I measured out the dimensions on our welding table and tacked some ends down in order to make sure the dimensions stayed accurate then I cut the ends and tacked those in. I had the bike down there to keep an eye on things as well.

Cruiser Rack

Once the first ring was finished I clamped the sides of the second ring directly onto the finished first ring then tacked up the ends on that as well, it left me with two matched rings that will form the bottom and top of the rack.

Cruiser Rack

I called it a day after that. I need to get a 3 inch diameter tube soon in order to finish this project or I need to roll some sheet metal to a 3 inch diameter. Then I just need to weld up the top and bottom of the rack, set it up on the bike and fabricate the connections to the bike. I have some ideas for how that is going to work but I think I will cut a cardboard template in order to get it right the first time. Once all of that is done and welded I will then finish the steel and inset some wood on the sides. Hopefully it will finish up nicely and give some good character to the bike!

Cruiser Rack

Check back soon for the final product!

Installing a Hitch on the Mini

Matt Fisher stopped by the other day. He just got a new (to him) Mini Cooper S. This is quite a change for him since he is used to rolling around in a Mini-VAN that has more room to store everything than you could actually need! So part of his deal with himself about getting a mini is that he knew he would need to have a nice solid bike race for it. Hitch mount was preferred. If you are familiar with the Cooper S, then you know the tailpipes are in the center of the car which makes a hitch a bit tough to put on there. Well Matt did a bit of looking and found a nice hitch that fits behind the bumper and utilizes a factory cutout. It is nice, it is clean and it is completely undetectable unless you remove the cover.

I know this seems mundane, and most of these projects are a bit more interesting, but here’s the thing… I obviously have a need to take either photos or video of everything.. This time…Timelapse. The video is great and I particularly like the fact that the first half of the video there is very little going on until you see us read some directions…