No Weld Truck Roof Rack




Introduction

I've always wanted a rack for my pickup buy didn't want to pay the high price and thought I could build my own out of electrical conduit. I've used this material before for lots of things and wanted to give it a shot. I don't own a welder so that was out of the question. I settled on a straight forward design with 2 horizontal rails, uprights and diagonals and a wood slat floor. I also wanted to keep the cost around $100. in materials. It took me several weeks of a few evenings in the shop to fabricate it. Let me know what you think.


Step 1

Step 1 of 6 - Concept and Finished Rack

[1] 42" wide by 48" long by 6" high (floor height to top of rail).
I wanted a rack that would bolt to my existing roof rack. It's a Dodge accessory and just 2 horizontal bars that run in a track bolted to the roof so it's a good strong base to start with. If you don't have one, get one as your base. THIS RACK IS NOT MEANT FOR SUCTION CUPS.




Step 2

Step 2 of 6 - Making the Verticals

[1] Wrap around vertical pieces secure with 3 pop rivets to each connection. 2 top, 3 bottom. Grind edges to prevent hand cuts.
This step describes the fabrication process for all of the tubing connections involving cutting, bending and grinding. I used a 4" cutoff wheel on my hand held grinder because it was faster and easier than a hack saw. In terms of the vise, you'll need the biggest one you can get because smaller ones won't hold up, and use a length of pipe for leverage.




Step 3

Step 3 of 6 - Making the Horizontals

[1] Diagonals don't need to wrap fully and it's hard to bend anyway.
[2] Remove screw and rivet. Use as long a rivet as you can.
On to the horizontal frame. When formulating the design, I wanted a clean corner that just wasn't some bent tubing and I found these cool pull through connectors that provided function and clean design.




Step 4

Step 4 of 6 - Joining the Frames with Verticals

Here we see the horizontal frames joined using the vertical pieces. Again, 3 pop rivets to each connection. I found a deal at Harbor Freight on a box of 500 rivets for $3.




Step 5

Step 5 of 6 - Adding the Wood Floor

[1] Countersink holes so the bolts don't stick up. Use a flat bottom drill bit. Don't forget the washer!
[2] Wood is about 1/2" thick.
The floor is made from redwood fence boards that I ripped in 2 pieces and planed down to 5/8" thick to minimize the weight. Each is attached with 4 1/4" bolts and special nuts that don't come loose. I found the hardware at the local home center.




Step 6

Step 6 of 6 - Completion and Mounting

[1] Mount rack to this piece, then this piece to the truck.
[2] These are 2"
Finally finished, it's time to mount it to the truck and test it out for weight. I drilled holes in the existing bars and bolted it down. If you look close, you can see a piece of 1/2"plywood that attaches to the bottom rack rails and the existing rack bars.



Several steps left to do like:

Disassemble the wood floor and give them another coat of exterior varnish.
Paint the rack black.
Remount the floor.
Remount the rack to the truck.

Let me know what you think.

emailthetoolmanshow@gmail.com  or emailthetoolman@gmail.com





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