Monday, January 30, 2012

Hipster Bike Trailer Build

So I decided I needed/wanted a "cargo" trailer to tow behind my bike.  After a quick perusal of retail prices I decided I would need to build my own.  With the help of a good friend, Al, I was able to modify an older child carrying bike trailer into a cargo trailer for my needs.

All of this was done for $50 and used 100% recycled/ re-used parts and pieces.

The pictures are in order or progress from start to finish. Make sure to scroll to the bottom for a walk around video of the finished product.  In addition there is a great video half way down of Al cutting the closet shelving material to size. 

Here is the chariot that will pull the trailer:

The bike setup with the Craig's List Child trailer.  This is before the breakdown. 

Some of the spare parts as we stripped it down.  The child carrier canvas and the wheels are off.  Also my Ortlieb Panniers are nearby.  Ignore those.  

Here is the original trailer sans wheels.  Some canvas still remains: 

The old trailer standing on end as we continue to dismantle it:

Another look at the old trailer on end during the break down process.

Canvass is gone, down to some aluminum tubing.  

 Out of this square will emerge an indestructible cargo trailer.

The old wheels were in great condition, thank you Craig's List seller.  We put the old wheels back on the original tubing after stripping it all down. 

A rear shot of the naked trailer for the ass men out there.

And yet another view of our unmolded piece of clay.

Here we began to brainstorm about using old wire closet shelving.  We have dry fit a piece just to see what we have to work with.  

Throwing some more shelving in, on and around the trailer to get ideas. 

We were able to manufacture our own brackets with some left over garage door opener material.  Don't throw that stuff away folks.  

Here we have cut one side of our box to length and we have just placed it in the trailer for fitting purposes.  

Some of the extra shelving material we had to work with. 

A close up shot of our homemade brackets and rivets.  The rivets went through our brackets and into the original trailer's aluminum tubing.  

Here is a close in shot of the original hitch.  We were able to reuse this in its original condition.  Thank you again Craig's List.  Also notice Al used a zip tie to secure the hitch arm to a saw horse while the body of the trailer sat on a work bench.  This allowed us to work on the trailer as it sat on its wheels and did not allow the trailer to roll around. 

We can start to see the box of the cargo trailer taking shape.  

Another shot as the sides of the box are affixed to the frame. 

A close in shot of the corners of the internal frame being marked for drill holes.  These will eventually be sandwiched on top and bottom with the homemade brackets and secured with rivets.  

Here is a shot looking the length of the trailer.  You can see a homemade bracket and rivet in the foreground of the picture.  

3 sides are in.  You can see the closet shelving creates a natural shelf around the perimeter to hold our floor.  Floor is coming ....

A front shot with 3 sides in.  

A shot in the distance.  At this point we still had the sides of our internal frame in and we were beginning to work on the bottom.  

The closet shelving did not come made for a bike trailer.  Check out the video below to see Al using his Dewalt grinder to cut the shelving to size.  


Here is a shot with all four sides in place.  You can see a piece laying under the trailer that will serve as a cross beam to support the floor.  

A close up shot of the home made brackets in place in the corner.

Here is a shot of the aforementioned cross piece to support our floor. 

Here you can see the floor beginning to take shape.  We did not have one piece of shelving wide enough.  You can see a gap to the left of the picture.  We were able to nicley overlap/ overlay two pieces for a smooth floor.  

Here is a shot of the two pieces of flooring overlapping.  

Another shot of a corner bracket.  Man I really love these home made brackets. Also you can see a zip tie hanging down.  Since the floor itself was not structural we held it in place with zip ties.  The sides and the original frame will hold and distribute the weight of the cargo.  These zip ties are snipped off for the finished product.  

 Here is a side shot of the finished product.  Note we made an optional floor of Masonite.  This can be put in in the event I am carrying something that will fall through the cracks of the shelving material. 

Another side shot of the finished product.  

A rear shot of the finished product.  The reflectors were off the original trailer.  

Here are some of the tools of the trade.  We have various wrenches and some red handled snips. 

Another shot of some of the tools we used.  Sawzall, Dewalt drill, hammer, ruler, rivet tool and box of rivets.  

Finally we have a complete "walkaround" video of the finished trailer attached to the bike.


Kristin said...

I didn't think you could do this justice, but your insanely thorough coverage is certainly Al worthy! P.s., why didn't you do this for the fort building in our backyard?

hookaballs said...

Next Week's blog: Metal Cart; One Man's journey into organic scrapping.