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!

I’ve been workin’ on the railroad…

I have at least been working on a train. In 2008 my soapbox team “Team Save Ferris” installed our first soapbox car in the Forney Museum of Transportation. Since then we put in our second car the Mach 5. Well, the Forney is a pretty cool place so some of us have done a little bit of volunteer work. I have to say that I haven’t done a whole lot there, but I got the bug the other day and headed down to the Forney to see what I could help them out with.

When I walked into the museum I talked to the Volunteer director and he went through a list of projects and asked me what I’d like to work on. Well, I figured I would work on whatever was most important to him so I left it up to him. Turns out I ended up working on a 104 year old train car. This train car is pretty beat up. The whole thing is wood (with the exception of the chassis and wheels) and all the wood is definitely in rough shape. If I had all the time and money in the world I’d say that pulling all the wood off, planing it and re installing only the good stuff would be the best plan, but for now they are replacing just the really bad parts. So I was provided with wood, a handheld jigsaw, some sandpaper, a hammer and a cordless drill. The initial project was to replace the outer boards around an oval shaped window.

I was able to replace the boards and get the shape pretty close on the window without butchering it to bad with the limited tools that were available. but I am going to go back and finish it up with a bit more sanding and some primer and paint.

I will take some better photographs when I get a little farther on the project. For now the iPhone pix will have to do!