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In this instructable I'll go over how I made a pretty nice bicycle luggage rack for free. The whole thing is made with scavenged parts and is easy to make with little more than a drill, hammer, and hack saw. Not a weld in sight. If you don't want to shell out 20-50 bucks for such a rack and can scrounge for the parts it's a fun and useful project.

Step 1: Find Materials

This is the key to making a free bike rack. As any good Instructables citizen you should already be well-versed in the ways of dumpster diving, so get out there and look for metal rack material from shopping carts, BBQ grills, or if you're lucky like me, a big dumpster full of tossed out news stands. These are nice and rigid, already come with a nice plastic coating, and otherwise lend themselves to reuse. Behind home stores and industrial/business parks are likely places to find these.

The other main material you'll need is flat steel. I got mine from a metal shipping frame. You might be able to get these from construction sites or motorcycle/scooter shops. This material is sturdy enough to hold up under pressure, but not too hard to shape or cut with a hack saw. You might also be able to cut down some thicker sheet metal or fold thinner sheet metal into a usable thickness here as a substitute, just be careful of those sharp edges. My foot has a 4 inch scar from when I wasn't once. Wear shoes and gloves.

As for fasteners, you'll want to keep an eye out hose clamps, nuts, bolts, and zip ties. These don't have to be of matching sizes, though it's nice if they are. You can likely hit a dollar store for these if you need to, but that would be going against our $0 cost. Don't hang around in a dumpster with an angry owner around trying to free up a couple bolts though. Do whatever works best for you.

This simple design also lends itself to subsituting parts if you can't fine one or another. You could hammer some metal piping flat for your frame metal, use bamboo and bailing wire to make a rack deck if you can't find a metal grate, wrap the arms and U bracket together with hose clamps or tape and/or baling wire in lieu of being able to drill holes or find bolts to hold them together, and obviously you can replace zip ties and hose clamps with anything from baling wire to string to nearly whatever you have handy that'll hold it down steady. The beauty of doing things yourself is that you don't need to play off of someone else's materials list if you can substitute in something you have that'll work for your needs. I highly encourage it.
the good thing about it is that is quite large <br>
why do you paint things i looove nice and junky.
i was going to build this then i went to get metal for building it but when i was at the scrap yard i found a pergectly new reckand i bought it and it looks and preforms well
What program did you use?
vinyl dipped ubolts and washer plates can also be used as mounting clamps and are available at hardware stores or can be made with ordinary ubolts and&nbsp; poly (icemaker supply) tubing.&nbsp; I used them to mount road bike panniers to a mountain bike's fattie fork tubing.&nbsp; I avoid drilling holes and try not to crush the tubing tightening the clamps down.<br /> <br /> heavy wire grid as seen here is most often seen on store displays, check around the dumpsters.
Great idea. Now I wish I hadn't thrown out our old dishwasher racks I replaced this summer. Oh well, time to go dumpster-diving. :o)
Thanks, this is what I was looking for, I'm building one now.
Cool. I'd be interested in seeing it when you're done.
WHOA! This is what I've been looking for! Brilliant!
Glad to help. Post some pics if you get one made.
For attaching things to bike frames I like to use pipe clamps, as you can also undo them. Nice 'ible.
Thanks. I prefer using bolts when possible since they give a sturdier hold, though when used right pipe clamps can hold like a weld. I used small pipe clamps on the rack itself. If your bike doesn't seem conducive to bolting through existing parts then pipe clamps can make this design work with a little modification.
This is great. My kind of engineering. I'm a little surprised that you didn't include a fender in the design, but then again, I don't know how much/if you ride in the rain, nor do I know your availability of materials that you were working with. All in all though, very impressive.
Mainly I was just going for cheap and made of available materials. I wanted to make it so someone it required as little machining as possible and made use of materials anyone who's resourceful could get or get substitutes for anywhere in the world. Actually you've just made me think that I should add a "possible substitutions" note in there. Thanks I'm not sure what would repurpose well for a good fender, but I don't ride in the rain much, so it's not a big concern for me. If anything I would probably just attach a solid deck to it if I needed to use it in the rain.
This looks like a reasonable base to add a motor to a bike. nice and sturdy. good job.
It is indeed sturdy. I hadn't thought of that even though I've toyed with the idea of motorizing a bike before. You could definitely use this basic frame as a place to mount a motor with a little alteration.

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