Chapter Twelve - Building Custom Racks

Attach the two plugs to the dropout eyelets with 5 X .8M screws so the struts stick vertically into the air. Rough cut the struts for a miter with the rack platform while the 2X 4 is still in place. Figure 12-14 shows the mitered struts in place and being set to 90 degrees with a small level. (The 2 X 4 has been removed, but the V-shaped cutouts allowed the vertical struts to be put in place for cutting and fitting.) Before brazing, the struts might have to be cold set to the left or right to make sure they are equidistant from the sides of the rear tire. This will guarantee that the rack is located in the same centerline as the bike. Don't forget to drill vent holes at each end of each strut on the inside faces for proper ventilation during heating and cooling.

FIGURE 12-14: Making sure the vertical struts are at 90 degrees before brazing. (Yes, this is a balancing act.)

FIGURE 12-15: All-in-one strut that will triangulate across the back of the rack.

Now a single back strut will be bent to go from the lower end of the right vertical strut to the back end of the rack platform to the lower end of the left vertical strut. Special bends will be put into the bottoms of this strut so bunjy cords can be hooked to the rack. This requires some fancy bending with the tubing bender. Figure 12-15 shows the all-in-one strut that will be attached to the back of the rack.

At this time, the vertical struts are brazed to the rack platform and bolted to the dropout eyelets. This makes it easy to hold the platform in the horizontal plane during brazing. Flux the contact points of the all-in-one strut and hold it in place with whatever is available. (I'm actually using masking tape to hold it in place.) Since these contact points did not provide a lot of surface area, I chose to brass-braze the all-in-one strut to the back of the rack. The brass joint has more strength on its own than a silver joint does. Vent holes are not necessary for this piece since it vents clearly through from one end to the other. (Note the contact points are not close to the silver-brazed plugs.) TIG welding would work very well here too. Figure 12-17 shows the rack struts all brazed into place. The rack now has some rigidity.

FIGURE 12-16: Back all-in-one strut being fluxed for brazing - note use of masking tape

FIGURE 12-17: Rack struts all brazed into place

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