For about a month I've been riding my trusty, rusty, occasionally crusty bike around wherever I can. Gas is expensive and the exercise is good for my knee. Only problem is while on it I didn't have any way to carry things short of a backpack. While that works pretty well it does put extra load on me, which got me thinking about this nice rack a girl at FCCJ had. Not that kind of rack. Her bicycle had pannier cages. Moving on.
I went looking around and found the pannier style racks her bike had were too too big for what I usually need, and since I take great pride in the lacking looks, but smooth and easy ride of the bike, I decided to see what I could scrounge up. A little dumpster diving here, a little salvaging of some steel stock from my part of dad's materials junk pile and a handful of various mismatched nuts, hose clamps, and bolts from the garage and I had all I needed to make a bike rack.
The construction is pretty simple once you free your materials form their donor sources. I used the vice to bang the upright arms, U base, rack deck, and frame support (my terms) into the shapes I needed, drilled holes in the proper places (all eye-ball, not a measured inch on the whole thing), then bolted and clamped it all together. I tell myself the totally mis-matched fasteners are there as a means of keeping it from being stolen since you'd need the better part of a tool set to get the whole thing off of there. I had to cut a small chunk out of the front left and right since standing upright could let you bump into those parts, but this didn't impact carry capacity.
I'm very pleased with it and I'll probably give it a decent wire-brushing and a lick of paint when I get a chance. That or I might just leave it as-is for now.
I've gone ahead and painted the rack, it looks much nicer now and I've also made a pretty detailed set of instructions for it over at Instructables.com