In this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.
I started making a cargo rack yesterday. My theory is that fillet brazing the rack will give me some much needed practice with my heat control. Additionally, a lot of builders at NAHBS used custom racks to highlight aspects of their frame, and I think I may have caught a bit of inspiration.
I'm using 5/16" diameter tubing, with .035" thick walls. I have some 1/4" tubing in the mail, which I'll use for the struts that run to the seat cluster, since it's a lower stress area.
I used a cheap, $10 tube bender. On the up side, it works. On the down side, the guide marks aren't really lined up with anything useful. I had to bend it little bit by little bit until it matched my blueprints.
The pieces already bent here will form the sides of the rack. They'll connect in front, and hang down a bit in back.
Here are the finished struts. Each U will cross over the wheel.
When I'm done I should have a light, narrow rack, slightly flared at the back. I'm planning to bolt a piece of finished wood to the top. Since I have a laser cutter handy, I'll probably engrave "Cedite E Campo", the motto of my fake bike company, into it in ridiculous flowery script.