This instructable will show you how to use basic power tools to secure wire bicycle baskets and how to add artistic flair to your basic cruiser. This will be indispensible if you live in Boulder, CO, and plan on strutting your bad self about the town on Thursday nights.
I bought this Schwinn single speed bicycle off a dear friend and former roommate when I lived in NYC. I'm now in a biking town and average 14 miles/day. Because my current weather conditions can average 20 degree F climate shifts from day to night, I decided I needed some on-board storage for sweaters and the like. The bicycle came equipped with wire saddle bags, but to ensure my security and prevent monsoon damage to agents stored in said saddle bags, I decided to add locking lids and fabric linings.
If you already know how to use a sewing machine and jigsaw, much of this will be redundant, though potentially inspirational (why make hinged basket lids when you could make butterfly hinged basket lids?!). However, this tutorial is designed to introduce explorers and neophyte DIYers to new skills. Part 1 involves the woodworking bit, part 2 involves the sewing bit.
Step 1: You will need...
- Drill Don't have one? A screwdriver will suffice, as your screws are probably too small to drill pilot holes. However, a drill will speed up the process and save your wrists from overuse injuries. I speak from experience on this one.
- Jigsaw Again, a power tool is not necessary, but will spare you the headache and tedium of cutting your butterfly wings out with a hacksaw or other small handsaw.
- Clean 1gal milk jug This will be cut down to make hinges. Obviously, this is not a secure method as anyone with a penknife can slice right through them. Because I'm poor, it's a temporary solution and a way to reuse recycling refuse. I will eventually replace my milk jug hinges with real hinges, but if you're not as interested in security, they will probably last a good while and are cheap and easy to replace.
- Sandpaper (100 & 220, depending) I used a coarse 100 grit to sand the edges off before painting. If you are using a finer wood than scavenged plywood, you may want to take the time to sand it further and make your wings nice and smooth for precision painting. The way I figure it, they're meant for outdoor weather--no need to get too polished with this one.
- Ruler / Measuring Tape I used both, but one will probably suffice. If you don't have a measuring tape, you can always use a spare bit of string. Stretch the string across what you need to measure, mark it, then measure the string with your ruler.
- Paint brushes
- Paint selection I had leftovers from painting my kitchen and doors and such. It wasn't much, but it's enough for wings. And if you're really serious, consider a paint made specifically for outdoors.
- Template paper Scraps paper and/or newspaper works great.
- Screwdriver You'll need this and the wrench to get your baskets off your bike.
- Crescent or socket wrench
- Wood (duh) salvage, salvage, salvage! There's lots of free wood in the world!
- Bike with baskets (also, duh)
For Part II, the lining:
- Fabric This will take a couple yards if you want a liner to your liner. You could always just use one layer of fabric and put the seams on the inside. I'm a stickler for finished edges, so I line damn near everything. I had a heavy duty non-natural fiber fabric laying about and used that, assuming it will wear well outdoors.
- Tailor's chalk or fabric pen I used a felt tipped pen because A) I knew my serger would clip those inked lines off and B) I didn't care if it had pen marking on it anyway. If you think you don't want pen marks, use something that will wash out easily.
- Sewing scissors These are much sharper than your average household scissors. If you plan on doing any kind of sewing in the future, invest in a pair of fabric scissors and use them ONLY for fabric. If you use them around your house, you'll find you'll be making that investment repeatedly.
- Seam ripper Because no matter how experienced I am, I still screw up.
- Lacing cord Just about any ol' cord will do. I had a giant spool of natural coloured twill tape and so I used that. Jute cord? sure. Hemp? Of course? Satin cord, lace, whatever!
- Safety pin This will be used to feed your cord through the casing.
- Iron & ironing board Don't have an ironing board? Put a towel on a hard, and preferably hardy, surface. Antiques might not be the appropriate surface for this technique.