In the last year or so I've increasingly started biking around more. From everything from work to leisure, I found myself lacking the ability to cart some things around other then a backpack. Which is of course doesn't have the necessary space for my bike lock, groceries, brewskies and whatever else. I don't have the money to buy a new bike and the local decently priced options were lacking. So I decided to have fun making something custom of my own. After all my area has a heavily focus on bike culture. Bike lanes, beautiful paths and routes are everywhere and some of the largest bike themed festivals in the country are hosted here. It's also chock full of breweries, more of them per capita in my hometown than anywhere else in the country. I wanted all the culture in my state to be reflected in the design; NoCo (Northern Colorado), beer, mountains, 14ers (Mountains over 14,000 feet, Fourteeners), bright colors and the Colorado flag, etc. Learn alot of new things doing this project but follow along and maybe to can make your own with your own twist or just gain some inspiration. :)
Step 1: Tools & Supplies
- Utility Knives and Blades
- Compact Router
- Dremel Micro
- Circular Saw
- Various brushes (mostly foam)
- Rags (for clean-up and wood staining)
- Sand paper (various grits)
- Detail Sander Printer (for printing designs for stencils and cut outs for guides)
- Rulers and straight edges (for making straight marks and lines)
- Pencils/pens (for making marks)
- Math Compass ( for making exact circles)
- Wooden Crate or basket
- Wood Stain
- Wood Conditioner
- Wood Filler
- Outdoor Spar Urethane - Satin, Water Based and Crystal Clear
- Bell Sports Quick-Release Caddy Post Rack
- Spray Paint + Primer - Black and Flat or Satin
- Interior/Exterior Paint - Satin or Flat
- White Acrylic Paint
- Sharpie Oil-base Paint Pen
- Painter's Tape
- 4 Carriage Bolts - 1/2in, 7in
- 12 Nuts
- 12 Washers
Step 2: Design, Logo & Set-up
I spent some time thinking about what I wanted and what I wanted to put on the basket to personalize it more. I knew I wanted something to do with my local state area, Northern Colorado, hence: "NoCo Life". I used Adobe Illustrator to design the logo I had in mind. I printed several different pages for reference and to make cut outs for tracing. I also printed out some pictures of specific mountains for reference when I eyeballed part of the hand painting. I used an X-acto knife to cut out letters and make holes and stencils.
Step 3: The Basket - Carving & Sanding (1 of 5)
After tracing the logo on the back of the basket using the paper cut outs and references, I began to carve it out with my dremel. I used various bits to achieve this including a sanding bit to even it out and curve the edges of the emboss. I went down to about of depth of 1/4 inch. I also used sand paper here with my hands and a block.
In hindsight not enough sanding was done at this step. I just focused around the logo. The wood was still very rough in many other spots on the basket. This probably added to some blotchiness and unevenness of the stain and later bubbling of the urethane coating. Again this was my first time doing something like this to this level.
The picture is after it was carved out AND received its first application of stain. I seem to have lost pictures during this process but you get the idea, looks the same minus the stain.
Step 4: The Basket - Staining (2 of 5)
I first used a bristle brush and found that it didn't seem very effective. I switched to mainly foam brushes and then to a rag to wipe excess stain off and reapply it for a few more coats. I put on about 3-4 coats. Using the rag I focused on parts of the wood where the grain didn't take the stain well in other to even it out.
I learned oil based stain is extremely difficult to clean too with inadequate cleaners, defiantly ruined a few brushes here.
Step 5: The Basket - Painting (3 of 5)
Starting with the back logo first, I painted in the lettering. On the "N" and 2 "O"s I did the white first, using the acrylic paint. I then made the blues lines, sometimes using a small piece of paper, like a Post-It, to keep a straight edge.
I had to use a cut-out of the mountains to do a bit of light tracing to fill those in. The "Life" was not painted in so the wood stain showed through. I used small paintbrushes and applied many coats, which helped smooth out the rough texture of the wood more.
Next I did the sides next. Using painters tape I used two pieces to do the white lines first and get a straight edge. After making several coats I removed the tape and then taped it off again for the blue lines.
On to the Colorado "C" that is in the state flag. Using a cut-out I traced the "C" with a pencil and proceed to paint in the colors.
Mountains came next. I taped a small part off on the bottom for the first one to make a clean line, but I didn't on the second. I mostly eye-balled some tracing using pictures as reference, or just straight up eye-balled the mountain/peak with the paint brushes. 2 of the mountains I focused on the most were Horsetooth Rock and Long Peak (pictured). Other 14ers such as Maroon Bells, Yale and Sneffels were painted or used as inspiration. Mountains were again paint over a bit of the "C" to give it a dynamic look as with the logo on the back of the basket.
On this step I mistakenly didn’t make the second "C" symmetrical with the first. So one "C" is closer to the back of the bike looking at it from the side and the other is closer to the front looking at it from the other side; nothing to important however.
Step 6: The Basket - Final Details & Urethane Coat (4 of 5)
I masked off the insides of the basket so I could use the spray paint using one of the stencils. I also used the stencil with the oil-based paint Sharpie pen on the bottom, as well for the writing too. I used another fine-point Sharpie for a few more words on the mountains on the back logo.
Finally I began the Urethane coat. This was the most laborious and time intensive step. Not sanding and prepping enough in earlier steps I think really had a big, negative, effect. The urethane bubbled ALOT, seemingly no matter what I did. Several times I had to sand down the Urethane, sometimes past the stain in order to fix really unsightly bubbling and areas where the Urethane was white. Again this was my first time staining and trying to get a clean, clear, smooth protective coating on something. I knew my basket would probably go up against alot of tough conditions; the elements, falling over, spillage, stuff getting dumped in there......So I wanted to give it like a 1000 coats to protect it and extend its life as much as possible, also to make it easier to clean. I lost count how many coats I gave it, but I used around half the can. I also went with water based Urethane in so there be less of a chance of it drying/developing an amber hue.
Step 7: The Basket - Attaching Basket to Caddy Post Rack (5 of 5)
Using Hose Clamps I secured the basket to removable bike rack. You could probably secure it a number of other ways too; including screwing it in, bolting it in or using zip-ties. Just make sure it's secure. I used hose clamps because I wanted something strong, but also removable too.
Step 8: The Removable Growler Holder - Cutting (1 of 3)
After taking measurements and
making marks, I cut two pieces (about 11 3/4 in x 8 1/4in) out of the plywood using my circular saw. I made perfect and exact circles on the 2 pieces with a math compass. Using a drill I made a starter/pilot hole in the top piece for the router. Using the router I carved out the circle following the lines. It did jerk a few times so it did get uneven in a few places. On the bottom piece I made marks for the circle a little smaller (about 1/2-1/4 an inch smaller) and carved out the circle to about 1/4-1/3 of the depth of the board. After all the cutting was finished I began the sanding. Using a sanding block and a detail sander I smoothed and curved the edges and took out some of the uneven parts that the router had made.
Step 9: The Removable Growler Holder - Conditioning, Staining & Sealing (2 of 3)
Having learned from previous stages I, along with sanding, prepped the wood with Wood Conditioner. After that was done I naturally started on the staining. Gave it about 2-3 coats, again using a foam brush and working up a rag, especially on the edges. Then again of course the urethane coat, about 2-3 coats. Urethane seemed significantly less prone to bubbling.
Step 10: The Removable Growler Holder - Putting It Together (3 of 3)
Stacking the 2 pieces on top of each other and lining the up, I then drill a hole through both of them for the carriage bolts. I had a worthless drill bit cause I couldn't find my good drill bits so a few pieces broke off on the bottom of the bottom piece. I just glued them back on with wood glue. They would get covered with a washer anyways. The top piece only need a washer and nut on the underneath of it, while the bottom piece should look like such: nut, washer, wood piece, washer, nut. The whole assembly takes 4 bolts, 12 nuts and 12 washers.
Step 11: COMPLETED!
Thats pretty much it! The holder can pretty much fit anywhere in the basket and can even fit 2 of them if you wanted! And with the removable caddy I used the whole thing can come off completely! Now I (or you) have some where to put groceries, brews, bike locks and whatever else quickly, effectively and FASHIONABLY!
Ride safe and thanks for checking out my Instructable! If you liked it, please vote for it in the current Woodworking contest! I'd surely appreciate it!