DIY Roof Rack Fairing

I have started my DIY roof rack fairing after seeing that fairings cost $80+ for a piece of plastic. Its nuts! I know I can make one for cheaper

Tools List:

-Table Saw or Dremel

-Belt Sander or Dremel

-Torch (to heat up metal brackets)

-Vise

-Pillars (2 pairs)

-Masking tape (only if using a table saw)

Parts List:

-Piece of plexiglass

-4″ L-shaped brackets (found in hardware isle of Home Depot) – 3 or 4 brackets

-Carriage Bolts

-Fender washers

-Nuts (non-locking)

-Strip of door trim plastic (or something to keep the bottom of the fairing from scratching the car) (found at AutoZone or O’Reilly’s)

First things first… I measured out how long I wanted the fairing (would have liked 40″ but the piece of plexiglass I bought was 36″ long so that will have to do). Next was to make a cardboard model of the fairing.

Note: this make take some trial and error in order to make this correct. Make sure this is just how you want it as this is what it will be shaped like!

Once the cardboard model is complete, trace that onto the plexiglass. Now cutting. If using a table saw, put two strips of masking tape (thinly overlapping) on the cut line (this will help prevent from cracking). Remember to cut slowly and TAKE YOUR TIME! Plexiglass is not cheap. Once cut into a square (if using table saw), slowly sand off the excess to get to desired shape (Just about to start doing this, this weekend)

Brackets:

For the brackets, take the L-brackets and place into vise then start heating the bend. This may take some time.. Once heated, take a pillars and bend/work the metal into desired angle. This again is trial and error to see what angle works best for your roof rack. Repeat these steps to get the desired angles for all 3 or 4 brackets.

L-Brackets before bending

L-Brackets after bending

L-Bracket with hardware. My hand is where it will attach to roof rack.

This is as far as I have gotten so far. I will be continuing this project this upcoming weekend (time allowing) and hope to have it done and ready to roll! I will post sizes for hardware (I forgot sizes currently but will measure and post). I of course will post my steps as I go…

DIY Bike Stand Tray

So as I was looking at the bike stands online, I came up with another idea… A bike repair stand tray

 

Mechanics use trays to hold tools, parts, coffee, anything they need really.

 

Here is how I made mine…

 

Tools List:

-Hammer

-Finishing nails or regular nails (depends on the look you want)

-Saw to cut wood

 

Parts List:

-Piece of plywood (size depends on how big you would like the tray, I found a scrap piece I had kicking around that is about 18″ long and 9″ wide)

-Wood for edges (size depends on how deep you want the tray, I found scrap again and that was 1″x2″ high)

-1″ U-pole clamp (hint: found in the electrical section of Home Depot)

 

I cut the plywood down to size that I wanted. I then drilled a 1″ hole about 1″ in from the back and in the centered the hole. Once I drilled that, I tested it for size on the 60″ rigid pipe. Hint: if it is too big, put duct tape around the pole and slide the tray over that! Once you see that it fits, Pull it off and cut the edge pieces to proper length. Nail into side of plywood. Place the U-clamp in position of how high you want the tray to sit. Tighten the U-clamp and slide tray over the top so it sits on the U-clamp. And… DONE! Quick and simple yet very useful (and it save the back!).

Top view: notice how I used duct tape to help shim around the hole of the tray

U-Clamp (found in electrical section of Home Depot) which the tray just sits on

Another view of the tray top and edges

 

Remember to post pics of YOURS!!

DIY Bike Repair Stand Thoughts

I was just thinking of ways to improve this stand. With the towel wrapped around the seat post, the bike can twist (not ideal). I tried using some foam pipe insulation that I had laying around but that didn’t do much…

 

I am trying to find some sort of rubber (maybe a old bike tube) that I could use that is not smooth and would “catch” the seat post. I am thinking I might just have to go riding more to get a new tube or take a visit to the LBS to see if they have any laying around.

 

Any ideas about what I could use?

DIY Bike Stand

Its been a while… life got in the way (go figure right?) Anyways….

Here is a DIY Bike Stand for you. Since I have recently got into bike repair, I was in need of a bike repair stand. Looking them up online and they can be rather pricey! So I figured I would pull out the weekend warrior and build one myself.

 

 

Tools Needed:

-Drill and drill bits

-Wrenches

-Pipe Wrench

 

 

Parts List from local Home Depot or Menards:

-1″ rigid threaded pipe (60″ long)

-1″ to 3/4″ 90 degree elbow reducer

-3/4″ rigid threaded pipe (18″ long)

-1″ flange

-3/4″ Pony Clamp

-2′ x 2′ plywood (scrap bin if your lucky!)

-2″ x 4″ piece wood (12″ long is all that is needed for the clamp brace)

-1/2″ carriage bolts (or which ever size fits in your flange) – 4 bolts

-1/2″ fender washers (or which ever size fits in your flange) -8 washers

-1/2″ nuts (non locking) (or which ever size fits in your flange)  – 4 nuts

 

 

Once I collected all the materials, I started with the base. Taking the flange and marking holes where I wanted to drill in the plywood for the carriage bolts to go through. Hint: you want them mainly in one corner to counter balance the weight of the bike but not completely in the corner as you will crack the plywood. Before drilling the holes you need to get rid of the wobble that the bolts would create on the bottom. In order to do that, you will have to drill some bigger holes to counter-sink the bolts.Drill the counter-sink holes big enough so the fender washer can fit inside. Drill the counter-sink holes first then drill through with the regular drill bits.

Counter-Sink holes with Fender washers and carriage bolts

Once the carriage bolts can go through, tighten down. Hint: tight but not too tight, too tight will again make the plywood crack

Use washer then tighten down but not too tight (plywood will crack)

The base is finished! Good work. Next up, screw in the 60″ long threaded rigid pipe into the flange and tighten with a pipe wrench or as tight as you can get it.

Next, screw in the 90 degree reducer. This you might need a pipe wrench for in order to get the elbow at the right angle (pardon the pun). Screw in the 3/4″ sized 18″ long threaded pipe into the other end of the elbow. Again pipe wrench would be good but not 100% necessary.

90 Degree 1" to 3/4" Elbow Reducer

Now comes the tricky part! Put the 3/4″ pony clamp on to test for fitting. It should fit well. In order to get the bike to stay, you will need to create a clamping device for a seat post. Take your bike seat post and test it for size. Cut the 2×4 into 2 equally long pieces about ~6″ long. Clamp the two pieces together and drill a 3/4″ hole closer to one end (about 1 1/2″ away from end). This hole will be to slide onto the 3/4″ pipe. It is important that this piece fits almost tightly around the 3/4″ pipe. Once that is fitted well, clamp the pieces back together. Now find a bit that is slightly larger than your seat post. Drill this hole perpendicular to the first hole (see picture). Once this is drilled check for proper fitting for your seat post. Hint: you might have to get something to fill in order to make it fill the hole. Slide onto 3/4″ pipe and put the other end of the pony clamp on. This part was a bit difficult. Trial and error to find just the right angle for the pony clamp.

Wood Piece Close Up! Be carefully not to drill the holes too big when making this piece

Pony clamp now attached with the wood pieces on

Pony Clamp In Action! I used a towel (temporary) to fill in my gaps on the wood piece

DONE!!!

Grease up those chains, put in a fresh bottom bracket, and put that chain whip to use now!

Time to put a project together...

Feel free to comment on how this could be better. I am always open to new ideas and please POST YOUR PICS!

A First…

This morning marked a first for me… giving a technique lesson to an amateur triathlete.

This proved to be a bit harder than I thought. I have a great knowledge of swimming seeing as I am a swimmer myself. I know the technique part and know it well but teaching it to a person is harder than it looks/appears. I made it through some technical difficulties with the camera (not a good first impression :/ ) but I believe that he knows that I am knowledgeable and know what I am talking about. Mixing my swimming experience with my knowledge of technique and exercise science and I am a coach in the making!

…Well maybe not quite but everyone has to start somewhere right?

The start…

I am just about to start on a bunch of projects…

-Homemade bike repair stand

-swapping frames from an ’10 to ’06 Rockhopper (’10 frame is too big for me, I found out)

-Finishing my Fixie

-Making a beer bottle cap table

-DIY fairing for a roof rack (proving to be quite a bit of thinking going into planning for this one)

I will be slowly but surely knocking them off the list…. so stay tuned