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!

Schwinn

A while ago I was given an old Schwinn Collegiate. I loved the idea of building that thing up, but at the same time I had no real need for it. I live in a suburb and this kind of bike really needs to stretch its legs in a more urban area. So it has just sat in my basement for quite a while. Recently more and more bike paths have been going in, more access is available and I have found myself riding bikes around to the stores. If only I had something that would be made perfectly for around the town riding… WAIT! I do!

So I dusted off the Schwinn and clamped it up in my workstand. I acquired an internally geared rear hub, a front hub and decided to replace the original rims with 700c rims, so I can get tires for it easily. I did some looking around and came across Velocity Blunt rims. These are 29er rims, but more importantly they came in Teak. Yeah, you read that right. TEAK! They look like they are wood. What’s better than a nice classic bike with Wood rims? So I bought them… Unfortunately it wasn’t that easy since it took 3 months for them to arrive. I was pretty damn excited to get them in and finally they arrived. When they arrived I laced them during my lunch break and one of the wheel builders finished them all off after he was done for the day. That night the bike was finished. Yes, it didn’t take long.

schwinn collegiate

schwinn collegiate

schwinn collegiate

Now, “Done” is a relative term i guess because it does need a few things. Some resistance in the shifting is going to be solved with particular ferrules that I need to get my hands on, I need a half link to shorten up the chain just right and of course… this needs a rack!

Fortunately I have an idea for the rack. My friend John Grimberg tore down his old shed and found tons of High Explosives boxes. I am going to use those to build up a rear rack for this bike. Check back, I’ll post up some photos when that is all finished up.