No Weld Truck Roof Rack

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Introduction: No Weld Truck Roof Rack

I've always wanted a rack for my pickup buy didn't want to pay the high price and thought I could build my own out of electrical conduit. I've used this material before for lots of things and wanted to give it a shot. I don't own a welder so that was out of the question. I settled on a straight forward design with 2 horizontal rails, uprights and diagonals and a wood slat floor. I also wanted to keep the cost around $100. in materials. It took me several weeks of a few evenings in the shop to fabricate it. Let me know what you think.

Step 1: Step 1 of 6 - Concept and Finished Rack

I wanted a rack that would bolt to my existing roof rack. It's a Dodge accessory and just 2 horizontal bars that run in a track bolted to the roof so it's a good strong base to start with. If you don't have one, get one as your base. THIS RACK IS NOT MEANT FOR SUCTION CUPS.



Step 2: Step 2 of 6 - Making the Verticals

This step describes the fabrication process for all of the tubing connections involving cutting, bending and grinding. I used a 4" cutoff wheel on my hand held grinder because it was faster and easier than a hack saw. In terms of the vise, you'll need the biggest one you can get because smaller ones won't hold up, and use a length of pipe for leverage.



Step 3: Step 3 of 6 - Making the Horizontals

On to the horizontal frame. When formulating the design, I wanted a clean corner that just wasn't some bent tubing and I found these cool pull through connectors that provided function and clean design.



Step 4: Step 4 of 6 - Joining the Frames With Verticals

Here we see the horizontal frames joined using the vertical pieces. Again, 3 pop rivets to each connection. I found a deal at Harbor Freight on a box of 500 rivets for $3.



Step 5: Step 5 of 6 - Adding the Wood Floor

The floor is made from redwood fence boards that I ripped in 2 pieces and planed down to 5/8" thick to minimize the weight. Each is attached with 4 1/4" bolts and special nuts that don't come loose. I found the hardware at the local home center.



Step 6: Step 6 of 6 - Completion and Mounting

Finally finished, it's time to mount it to the truck and test it out for weight. I drilled holes in the existing bars and bolted it down. If you look close, you can see a piece of 1/2"plywood that attaches to the bottom rack rails and the existing rack bars.



Several steps left to do like:

Disassemble the wood floor and give them another coat of exterior varnish.
Paint the rack black.
Remount the floor.
Remount the rack to the truck.

Let me know what you think.

emailthetoolmanshow@gmail.com  or emailthetoolman@gmail.com

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    user

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    39 Comments

    Nice Rack! lol, all kidding aside my brother and I came across this conduit about a year ago and love it. I bought a conduit bender and the possibilities are endless. I do have a welder, it really opens up the amount of projects you can make. A real bonus is the fact the conduit is galvynized so it is very rust-resistant.

    user

    Just make sure you don't go welding any galvanized pipe - that's a sure way to poison yourself.

    True, good point, as the zinc used with galvanized creates a toxic fume which results in a fever. Weld it outside and use a very good fan to direct the fume away. Otherwise, you'll feel like crude for a few days. I like using conduit, too, and am considering to fabricate a 38 foot truss bridge with the stuff.

    Yeah, I love conduit, I don't have a bender so this is the way for me. Thanks.

    What is its weight bearing capacity

    Great job! Could the metal be painted black?

    No it is against the law.

    That's an ultimate roof rack :). What is the weight of that one? I'm looking for an idea of a good but lightweight rack and probably yours is going to be too heavy for my suzuki xl7 :)

    You did a nice clean build. That took time with the recessed bolt heads and all. Your corners were ingenious. Very nice work.

    Thanks I spent a ton of time on it. but you know these projects are labors of love.