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  • build or buy comparasion ( truck rack )

    Hi looking to get some info for a friend of mine who wants me to build a rack for his truck so he can load his garage doors on top of his truck. I plan to weld it to help him save money but i had a few extra questions. this rack is for a standard cab short bed '07 silverado and its going to have a 3 foot landing over the cab. Its gonna be steel because I dont have a machine capable of aluminum even though i am a certified aluminum tig welder.

    1. How much metal would I need to complete the job

    2. what would be the easiest form to use round or square

    3. what is a good size tubing to use

    4. Tig or Mig

  • #2
    How much steel? Get a tape measure, sketch pad and make measurements. Add 10%.

    Square tube so you can miter instead of notch, faster fitting and welding. 1-1/2" should work, 12-14 gauge although with side rails of 1" tube, 16 gauge would be plenty stiff. GMAW with thin wire (23-30 thousandths) using 75/25 Ar/CO2.

    Make it bolt together in pieces, a full rack is heavy. Another thing is choice of material so bolt joints are telescope lapped (1-1/4" square inside 1-1/2" 12 gauge square).

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Keith_J View Post
      How much steel? Get a tape measure, sketch pad and make measurements. Add 10%.

      Square tube so you can miter instead of notch, faster fitting and welding. 1-1/2" should work, 12-14 gauge although with side rails of 1" tube, 16 gauge would be plenty stiff. GMAW with thin wire (23-30 thousandths) using 75/25 Ar/CO2.

      Make it bolt together in pieces, a full rack is heavy. Another thing is choice of material so bolt joints are telescope lapped (1-1/4" square inside 1-1/2" 12 gauge square).

      Thanks I was leaning toward square tube. As for the weight when fully assmebled i have a fork lift and this is going on a straight work truck so i doubt its coming off since the truck is covered in the company decals. thanks for the input.

      I had also seen that one of the guys on here did one out of aluminum but i couldnt seem to find it

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      • #4
        I used 1 1/4" square tubing on mine, 11 gauge. It's on a 3/4 ton extended cab and extends out forward of the windsheild. It will hold more weight than I can safely drive down the road with, even if it was on a 1 ton dually. If it's on a 1/2 ton, 14 gauge should be plenty stout. Make sure to get the front rail out past the sheet metal of the roof or you will get a lot of wind noise, the faster you go the louder it gets. Also make sure to measure the width of the bed at the front and rear if you are making it with angle iron along the bedrails. The bed is about 3/4" wider at the cab than at the tailgate.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BELLBOYMOTORSPORTS View Post
          Hi looking to get some info for a friend of mine who wants me to build a rack for his truck so he can load his garage doors on top of his truck. I plan to weld it to help him save money but i had a few extra questions. this rack is for a standard cab short bed '07 silverado and its going to have a 3 foot landing over the cab. Its gonna be steel because I dont have a machine capable of aluminum even though i am a certified aluminum tig welder.

          1. How much metal would I need to complete the job

          2. what would be the easiest form to use round or square

          3. what is a good size tubing to use

          4. Tig or Mig
          The price of steel square tubing has doubled since the last time I built something with it. I was surprised at how much you can save, the more you buy. I bought several lengths of 1" sq. thin wall tube from IMS metal supply in Irvine CA. I would go with steel, as it is probably going to get beat up over time. I used an autocad program before I even thought about buying the material. Also, I used expanded metal, and it all cut down the price over all. I built a cage to fit inside an existing tube rack on a Ford F-350. Don't forget the cost of Argon when you compare what's out there vs. building it yourself. My 180 bottle went from $30.00 fill, to $45.00 a fill.

          This is what it is supposed to look like.

          http://www.patricksmetalworks.com/my...etruckcage.jpg

          Patrick
          Attached Files
          http://www.patricksmetalworks.com/

          Miller Dynasty 200 DX
          HF 44991 or X2 mini mill
          HF 33684 mini lathe

          Comment


          • #6
            Unless this is a Full custom rack I would bet purchasing one will be close in price to building one.

            Another option is buying used and then adding what you need for his particular
            needs.

            I bought mine off CL for $150.00-

            http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sea...xAsk=&hasPic=1
            Last edited by Broccoli1; 08-25-2011, 09:59 AM.
            Ed Conley
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            • #7
              Dang Ed!!
              You are one handy fellow

              www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
              Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
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              • #8
                if you build it out of square or rectangle tube you should make the front cross bar 6"+ in front of the cab/windshield and out of round tube or the wind noise and vibration will be a whole bunch more.
                miller 225 bobcat
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Broccoli1 View Post

                  Unless this is a Full custom rack I would bet purchasing one will be close in price to building one.
                  It's way to easy to look at something, and say, "I can do that!"

                  I made my own tabs out of some hot rolled steel I bought from Lowe's. The first thing I discovered, is the material was not flat. No problem I thought, I can mill them flat. After spending hours making my own tabs, I found them online, for just $0.60 a piece.

                  http://www.bajawagon.com/weldabletabs.html

                  I also bought plastic end caps for 1" tube at ACE for $0.80 a piece, only to find plastic end caps at IMS Metal Supply, for 0.08 a piece. I will definitely keep that in mind next time.
                  Last edited by HBWELDER; 08-27-2011, 07:33 AM.
                  http://www.patricksmetalworks.com/

                  Miller Dynasty 200 DX
                  HF 44991 or X2 mini mill
                  HF 33684 mini lathe

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Broccoli1 View Post
                    Unless this is a Full custom rack I would bet purchasing one will be close in price to building one.
                    I was thinking that same thing. There are bolt together universal racks available inexpensively. I think I have seen them on sale as low as $249 USD and $399 any day of the week. I built the rack on my work truck, because its an extended cab without roof reinforcing ridges. The roof would warble in the wind from the buffeting of the front bar of a conventional rack. I built a short rack that only extends a few inches forward of the bed so that would not happen. It is adequate. I have built a couple truck racks and the metal is not cheap.

                    http://www.harborfreight.com/800-lb-...ack-98511.html

                    I didn't have this one, but I did have a similar one on one of my service trucks. It was pushing it I felt, but I have had upto 6 type 1A fiberglass stepper ladders from 6 to 14 feet on one. (had to reverse the ladders on one side.)



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wind Noise

                      Originally posted by Bistineau View Post
                      I used 1 1/4" square tubing on mine, 11 gauge. It's on a 3/4 ton extended cab and extends out forward of the windsheild. It will hold more weight than I can safely drive down the road with, even if it was on a 1 ton dually. If it's on a 1/2 ton, 14 gauge should be plenty stout. Make sure to get the front rail out past the sheet metal of the roof or you will get a lot of wind noise, the faster you go the louder it gets. Also make sure to measure the width of the bed at the front and rear if you are making it with angle iron along the bedrails. The bed is about 3/4" wider at the cab than at the tailgate.
                      Put a piece of angle iron on the front cross, kinda like nose/spliter, to cut down the wind noise.
                      Good Luck,
                      Bob
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                      • #12
                        I saw a neat rack a few weeks ago when we had a conveyor warrany guy at our place of employment. The rear upper rack bar would lower to enable easy loading/unloading. There was a crank handle on one side for the raising and lowering. I asked the guy what he thought of it. He said that as long as there is not over 150 pounds put on the rack it worked real well, any more weight and it seemed to bind and be hard to crank. He also said they should have made the stop plate at the end a little taller because sometimes he has to hold the stuff on the rack at the same time he is cranking or it will slide out.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bob Miller View Post
                          Put a piece of angle iron on the front cross, kinda like nose/spliter, to cut down the wind noise.
                          Good Luck,
                          Bob
                          My front cross bar is out forward of the roof sheet metal, so no wind noise from my rack at any speed. I was just speaking from experience, driving other trucks with racks that don't extend far enough forward. Two of them stopped right at the joint between the glass and sheet metal. Your right though it should be at least 6 inches or more forward of that point to eliminate wind noise. I borrowed a rack from a neighbor to go get the material for my rack. His was made for a standard cab and my truck is extended. The front bar caused the roof sheet metal to rattle so bad at 55 mph that it was almost deafening. I avoided the interstate highway with that thing on there, I didn't EVEN want to know how loud it would be at 70mph. The front bar on mine has the flat side to the wind but still no wind noise.
                          Last edited by Bistineau; 08-28-2011, 04:37 PM.

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