Every bike worth its salt has some way to carry cargo, and I am not the first to think of using cat litter buckets. However, I am the best at it. I say this not because I'm egotistic (although I am) but because I have had several buckets fall apart on me, and the next incarnation is always built to remedy the problems of the last generation. What you are about to see is the culmination of years of Cat litter bike buckets, perfect for groceries, bike camping or anything you can imagine.
Step 1: Buy Your Cat Litter
Start by gathering your material.
Most of the work is done by the cat litter manufacturer, it's hard to mold your own plastic bucket. In my experience, use one of the buckets that comes with a full lid, not a screw on cap. As well, square sides makes it much easier. My preference is Scoop-Away, but that's more for their quality litter than anything else.
Cut 2 pieces of pipe strap 8 large holes long. Well, 4 if you want to make 2 buckets.
Gather 8 bolts and matching nuts for each bucket. Ideally they should fit snugly through the holes in the pipe strap.
Pannier hooks, whatever you find works best. I have tried a lot and get the best results from 1 3/4 inch L brackets pounded into shape with a hammer.
Eyebolt and corresponding nuts and washers
A drill, screwdriver, and blade makes the work go quicker
For best results, leave a PBS cooking show on in the background while you work.
Step 2: Break Out the Drill
Line one of the 8 hole segments of pipe strapping on the top of the cat litter bucket. Drill through the 3 outer holes on each side. Now would be the point to enlarge the holes to fit your bolts.
Step 3: Start Bolting Things On
Take 4 of the bolts you have accumulated and sandwich the cat litter bucket between two bits of the pipe strap.
Step 4: Add Mounting Hooks
If you took my advice and used 3/4 inch l brackets pounded into shape break them out now. They work better than any other homemade alternative I've tried, and better than some commercial products.
align the bottom hole of the hook with the empty hole in the pipe strap and bolt away. If you need to cut away some of the plastic for a better fit, now is the time.
If you've followed my instructions each hook is now hold on by 4 bolts. 3 of those bolts are hold together with the pipe strap. No way those are going to pull out, like most other designs.
Step 5: Eyeblt
Mount the eyebolt on the bottom of the bucket. You can use a few washers if you want, but it isn't under tremendous pressure so it can make due. Attach a bungee cord to the eyebolt that is just long enough to make it to your dropouts when the bucket it mounted.
having the bungee mount this much lower gives it a lot more leverage in holding the bucket on. I have never had a bucket mounted like this bounce off. I've lost too many bags of groceries that way.
Step 6: Decorate
It still looks like a cat litter bucket, it's time to change that. Decorate however you like, duct tape, spray paint, sharpie.
I do suggest a nice reflective tape pattern though.
Step 7: Final Improvement
IT has just recently come to my attention that some of the nuts can wiggle loose with use (a lot of use, but it still happens), so in my attempt to create the ultimate cat litter bucket, I now suggest Nylock nuts, or a thread locker. Or just tighten them once and a while, if absolute perfection isn't your goal.