Introduction: Homemade Bike Repair Stand

About: Architect

I've seen a lot of homemade bike stand and bike repair stands on Instructables as well as other places on the internet over the years and have tried my hand at a few.

I used to have a Park repair stand, which I consider the top tier. I should never have sold it since I bought it cheap on craigslist. But, I had to make room for more bikes and more projects.

What I have not seen on any homemade bike repair stands is the kind of quick-release clamping feature that you find on the Park stands as well as a clamping mechanism that can be rotated to hold onto a sloped or horizontal top tube as well as a (vertical) seat post. I also threw in height adjustment. The only thing it doesn't have is fold-ability. I could add that later by changing out the base.

So that was my task to investigate with this Instructable.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Materials include the following:
  • 10' length of 1 1/2" EMT (electrical metallic tubing) - $12.45 from Home Depot electrical dept.
  • +/- 3' length of 1 1/4" EMT - left over from previous project (a 10' length is $10.25)
  • 1" x 12" black steel pipe, threaded both ends - $7.66 from Home Depot plumbing dept.
  • 1" steel cap for above pipe - $2.84 from same
  • (2) 3/8"-24 x 2" grade 5 bolts and nuts - $1.34 from Home Depot (I used the 24 thread bolts because I figured the shallower thread would give better torque when tightenng down for clamping)
  • (2) 4" pieces of 1.25" x 1.25" x 1/8" steel angle- left over from previous project
  • 11" swivel pad locking pliers - had them for welding clamps - currently on sale at Harbor Freight for $4.00, reg. $6.99
  • (3) 1 1/4" PVC pipe caps - $0.86 each from Home Depot plumbing dept.
  • 8" of 5/16" steel rod - had from previous projects
  • Miscellaneous scraps of small steel plate
  • Pipe cutter
  • 4" Angle grinder with grinding, cut-off and flap wheels
  • Welder
  • Files
  • Hammer, pliers, miscellaneous hand tools

Step 2: Clamping Mechanism

The clamping mechanism consists of modified locking pliers welded to the 1" steel pipe section.

Steel pipe was selected due to its stiffness. The 1" pipe was selected because it was the smallest size that could accommodate the width of teh locking pliers handle.
First step is to cut down the pipe as shown in the photograph so that the handle of the pliers fits into the end of the pipe. I eyeballed the cut which I made with the angle grinder cut-off blade and then used the grinding wheel to further finesse the cut-out. The pliers fit loosely  so I hammered the pipe to close in around the pliers. Then I welded the pliers onto the pipe.

I cut (2) 4" lengths of 1.25" x 1.25" x 1/8" steel angle for the clamp pads. The bottom clamp is fixed and the upper clamp swivels to accommodate variations in shape of bike tubes.
I cut off the swivel pads from the locking pliers by cutting the rivets.

I cut the bottom pliers arm in a "V" shape to accommodate one length of angle which was then welded in place.

I cut small pieces of steel plate with "V" shaped cut-outs to accommodate the 2nd angle. These two pieces were clamped together with spacers to match the width of the pliers arm and then welded to the 2nd angle. 5/16" holes were drilled through both of these plates for the swivel bolt. The upper pliers arm was cut down and a 5/16" hole drilled through it for the swivel bolt.

I cut two pieces of rubber matting I had laying around for the clamp pads to protect the paint finish as well as providing a non-slip grip on the bike tube. These will be trimmed to size and held in place on the clamp angles with 3M double-sided tape.

Step 3: Rotating Clamp Mechanism Support

The support for the clamp mechanism allows the clamp to rotate 360 deg.

The 1" steel clamp pipe fits loosely into the 1 1/4" EMT. I cut a 4" length of 1 1/4" EMT to hold the clamp pipe. I cut a slot down the length of the 4" long EMT with a cut-of blade in the angle grinder and then made the slot a little wider. This 4" length of EMT was then welded to the top of a +/- 24" length of 1 1/4" EMT post. (NOTE: Grind galvanizing off of EMT in area of welds, BEFORE WELDING. Failure to do so can make you sick!) 
A 3/8" hole was drilled through this clamp support post about 8" from the bottom.

I laid out (4) small tabs in a piece of steel plate and drilled 3/8" holes in each tab, then cut out the tabs with the angle grinder. The tabs were then welded onto the 4" long EMT, (2) on each side. In order to make this a little easier, I bolted two tabs together with washers as a spacer before welding in place, using the 3/8"-24 bolts. This insured that the bolt holes lined up. At this time, I also welded the nut onto the tabs. I put the nuts on opposite sides of the slot.

I ground grooves into the tops of two 3/8"-24 x 2" grade 5 bolts, then cut two 4" lengths of 5/16" steel rod and welded them onto the bolts to make T-shaped clamp screws. These clamp screws are threaded into the nuts which are welded onto the tabs. I purchased some 3/8" x 1" long steel spacers so the T-handle sits beyond the side of the clamp support tube.

Step 4: Base Stand

The base stand is made of 1 1/2" EMT.

I cut a length about 4' long for the base post. and drilled (5) 3/8" holes about 3" apart near the top of the post. The holes allow for height adjustment of the clamp support post.  I then cut two other pieces about 30" long for legs. The two legs project to the front at about 45 degrees on each side. These were cut and ground to fit before being welded in place.

The clamp support post fits into the base stand and a 3/8" bolt is used to hold in place at one of the (4) holes drilled through the base post.

I cut slots in the bottoms of the two legs and the main post and hammered the ends of these tubes to allow them to fit into 1 1/4" PVC pipe caps which act as feet. 

Step 5: Ready for Paint

I ran into some issues during painting due to cold, humid weather, so am posting the almost finished pictures for now.

As you can see in the photos, the repair stand works for holding the bike by the top tube as well as by the seat tube.

Step 6: Final

Painted the whole thing blue.

After paint I added the 3M heavy-duty double sided tape to each side of the clamp angles and adhered the rubber pads.
I cut the pads so that they slightly overhang each edge of the angles.

You can see how the placement of the T-handle bolts and the addition of the 1" steel spacer help the handles from interfering with each other and the side of the clamp support.

All done. Works great.