Sunday, July 16

DIY Porteur Rack

I wanted to (1) practice brazing, and (2) build something cheap, i.e. not a frame. I have also been reading a lot of the hype surrounding French Porteur bikes, and really like the concept.

So I went on a quest for local materials to build a porteur rack for my commuter/errand bike. As luck would have it, my local Autozone stocks 5/16" brake line, which I assume is mild steel. It is quite bendable using automotive tubing benders. I also had a length of 1" by 1/8" steel strap.

I used Stay-Silv white paste flux, and whatever generic brazing rod my local welding shop had on hand. It seems to work fine, but I am too inenxperienced to know the right stuff from the wrong stuff.
I fashioned a crude shadetree jig to attach the vertical supports. It actually worked great, and the final result is quite staright and fits the bike really well.

The only thing that doesn't seem to work well is using an axle to support the dropouts. The axle absorbs so much heat that it is very difficult to get things the right temperature for long, and I ended up overheating the shit out of it, and still not getting much penetration. I probably should have just tacked the dropouts and then finished them out of the jig.


Blogger Hjalti said...

Looks great. I've been thinking about doing something similar to turn an old mtb frame I have into a porteur, but I never seem to overcome apathy enough to get the materials together.

Monday, 17 July, 2006  
Blogger jsn said...

Autozone dood! Oh yeah, you probably mean the brazing equipment. I have heard that a plumbing style MAPP torch will work, and your local hardware store probably has brazing rod and flux.

Thursday, 20 July, 2006  
Blogger Lane said...

Hey, swell! Resourceful, indeed!

So what do you think? Are you happy with the final product? How much do you think this rack could carry? Worth the effort?

I love it.

From the CETMAracks guy.

Tuesday, 13 February, 2007  
Blogger Lane said...

What's it weigh?

Tuesday, 13 February, 2007  
Blogger jsn said...

Thanks Lane. A major drawback with using brake line is that it appears to be designed to bend. Which it does even after you have the rack built. Of course you can easily straighten it back out, but it's a pain. I would recommend using at least 3/8" tubing if you use brake line. Bigger is definitely better. Some sort of 4130 tubing would be ideal, but of course more difficult to bend.

I have since replaced this rack with a large Wald basket.

What material do you use for your rakcs (which are awesome by the way)?

Wednesday, 14 February, 2007  
Blogger Lane said...

The new 4-rails are 4130. Cro-mo.

Light. Strong.

Saturday, 24 February, 2007  
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