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Old 12-29-2009, 01:15 PM   #1
Astro4x4
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Default Luggage rack fabrication

So after a little searching on the net and not finding anything I like in a luggage rack for the Kat without giving up my first born (wife wouldn't be happy), I've decide to weld one up myself. Question is, what wall thickness of tubing should I use? Any of you fabricator types have suggestions or anyone with a rack that can measure the wall thickness for me? Aluminum is out as I don't have the equipment to weld it myself, so it's got to be carbon steel.

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Old 12-29-2009, 02:22 PM   #2
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Depends on the OD diameter and type of material you're using. I think my current hardbag racking is made out of 1/2" od x .065 wall DOM style steel tube.
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:08 PM   #3
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it will also depend on what the design is going to look like too. it might be easier to use 1/4" or 3/8" round bar and heat and bend with a torch.

got an idea of what your looking to do?
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:12 AM   #4
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Yep
3/8 round bar will be stronger and easier to weld up strong
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:33 AM   #5
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Just remember, in case of a crash, you want the luggage rack to break away rather than bending your sub-frame.
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardlydangerous View Post
Yep
3/8 round bar will be stronger and easier to weld up strong
Tubing is normally stronger tha solid stock. It has to do with the how the molecules line up in the metal. If your not looking into hauling anything heavy, 1/2" conduit may suit you, and its definetly cheap. Just be sure to grind off the galvanized coating so your lungs dont start to bleed when you weld it.
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HemiKat View Post
Tubing is normally stronger tha solid stock. It has to do with the how the molecules line up in the metal. If your not looking into hauling anything heavy, 1/2" conduit may suit you, and its definetly cheap. Just be sure to grind off the galvanized coating so your lungs dont start to bleed when you weld it.
IF you weld anything galvanized, definitely do it in a place with really good ventilation and as a precaution, drink a lot of milk. Sounds goofy, but the calcium in the milk helps eliminate any side effects from the zinc fumes you will undoubtedly inhale. I'd just used 1/2" DOM tube...not as expensive as everyone might think.
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:29 PM   #8
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i just suggested round bar because it would look better when heated and bent in a home shop. tubing tends to kink and dimple if not done with a bender. without knowing the design or intent its hard to make a determination on what to use exactally.

tubing or roundbar will work and either will be plenty strong...its all about what look your trying to achieve and your level of fab skills.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:09 PM   #9
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I thought of solid bar as I have an endless supply of many different diameters and everything from mild carbon steel to higher carbon alloy steel in drawn wire (sizes from .131" to 1 1/4" we call it wire after it has been drawn), but was primarily worried about excess weight. I figured with tube, I could keep it as light as possible while using steel. So far what I've kind of figured for design, is two large "L" that would bolt in place of the factory tie down bars (post Kat), run along the bottom of the tail fairing and up at the rear, where I could attach a rack to hold a top case for traveling to keep the rear seat open for tent, sleeping bag etc. etc. I was also planning on something modular so it was quick on and off. I was thinking of maybe incorporating a simple wire frame to attach the the "L"s to add additional attachment points for soft paniers.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:12 PM   #10
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i know this sounds bad but check out some of the harley softtail accessories. they use a lot of 3/8" round bar for luggage racks over the rear fenders and they got a slick quick disconnect system on them that you can get the individual latches and posts for
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