How to build a wooden bike rack

How to build a wooden bike rack

Looking for a home project with a difference? The best DIY tasks not only add a practical upgrade to your home, but bring a sense of style too – and building a wooden bike rack offers the best of both worlds. With our simple step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to use a saw and sander to transform old wooden pallets into a beautifully colourful wall decoration that doubles as a bike rack too.

Step 1: Prepare your pallets

Are your pallets broken, sharp or splintered? They’re likely to need some TLC before they can go on your wall, so start by drilling long screws at either end of each plank on your pallet to make it sturdier all round, hammer in any loose nails and smooth the whole thing down with a Black & Decker Sander.

TOP TIP: If you want a darker wood colour or a shinier finish, now’s your chance to varnish the pallet before going any further.

Step 2: Build your batons

When it comes to building a bike rack to go up on the wall, you’ll need something to hook it on – and that’s where your wooden batons come in. You’ll need two batons per hook, and two hooks per pallet. So, take your timber and mark out 8 pieces at 30cm intervals along it with a pencil. Then clamp the timber to a bench or power tool prepping station and slice into pieces with your Black & Decker Jigsaw.

Step 3: Prepare your wall

You’ve picked out the wall you want to hang your rack on, and you’ve cleared everything off it. Now what you need to do is measure and mark the highest point that your pallets will reach, making sure there’s enough room to fit both in between this point and the floor for a proper display effect.

From there, mark where the holes for your top batons will go – remembering that the top of your pallet is often thicker than the rest. These marks have to be completely level to make sure your batons are straight – so don’t forget to use a spirit level.

Step 4: Drill your wall

Grab your hammer drill and drive holes into the walls where you’ve put pencil marks for your top batons – followed by wall plugs tapped in with a hammer, ready to support the weight of your bike. Once they’re in, you can screw your first two batons into them.

Step 5: Build your hooks

Turning your top batons into hooks is simpler than it sounds. All you need to do is attach a second baton on top of the first halfway up, to create a hook shape behind – and repeat for the baton next to it as well.

Step 6: Hang it up

Are you ready for the first big step? It’s time to mount your first pallet on the wall – just lift and rest on the wall, making sure the top piece is tucked behind your hooks and sits evenly on both.

Step 7: Space out the second pallet

With your top pallet in place, you can use it as a guide for measuring out where your second pallet will go. Leaving around a 50mm gap between the two, add space for the thick pallet top and drill hole marks for your top batons again.

Step 8: Add your support pieces

Fix your batons to the wall like before, and then repeat the added pieces for two more hooks. Next? You’ve guessed it – hang the second pallet up too. For added support, take some of your leftover pallet timber and cut into two 300mm lengths, screwing each end into separate pallets.

Step 9: Build your brackets

The safest way to mount your bike is from a T-bar shape. To make yours, measure the width of your bike’s handlebars and add 10cm. Then take the wood from your spare pallet and cut six pieces of that exact length – ready to be screwed together into a simple offset ‘T’ shape, with a flat piece attached along the side. Repeat to make your other bracket.

Step 10: Leave a rest space

With a jigsaw, cut a notch out of the end of this flat piece on both brackets for your bike wheel and saddle to rest on respectively, before using a sander to smooth the whole thing down until it’s free of bike damaging splinters.

Step 11: Cut your infills

Next up, it’s time to add some stylish shades to your beige bike rack. Using your tape measure, note down the distance between the slats of your pallet. Then grab your cutting saw and measure the distance between your power tool’s blade and its base plate – add the two together, mark it out on your plywood and cut.

Step 12: Colour your infills

You’ve now got the perfect widths of wood to place between the gaps in your pallet – but before we attach them, we need to paint them. Simple wood paint will do, so use as many colours as you’d like on your bike rack. From monotone to kalidescope, the choice is yours. Once you’ve finished painting each piece, leave them to dry before screwing them onto the pallet.

Step 13: Get the brackets mounted

Next up, it’s time to get the brackets attached. Measure the distance between your bike’s front wheel and frame, and space your brackets out the same on the pallet before attaching them. Just remember, if you want to give your bike a stylish tilt, make sure you’re sure of the angle before you screw the brackets in.

Step 14: Put your bike on the rack

Last but not least, it’s time to test your handiwork by hanging up your bike. If it doesn’t fit quite right or needs some extra support struts, now’s the time to adjust. Otherwise all that’s left is to tick the project off your list!

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