Ideas on homemade rack

I have a Ford Ranger PU truck with a tool box mounted on the rails of the bed. I had an idea to make a rack from wood with the posts in the rear rack holes only. I would make it the same height as the tool box to get more room for a 12 ft yak. It would be extended over the tail gate and a little past it. If I do this, I can put it on and take it off easily. Anyone else have ideas on a btter way to do this without buying a ready made rack? Would other materials be better?

Rouse, for this one, the Advice board
may be better, more people to answer.

Done it
I have a fifth wheel hitch in my bed in addition to the tool box. I have been using 2x3 boards across the bed pockets to haul lumber and plywood for years. Works very well and beats removing the hitch. You might check with Harbor Freight for a bed extender if you have a trailer hitch.

Did it on my Ranger
2x4’s for the posts and 2x6’s for the cross beams. Held up of years and tough as nails. I cut out slots on the crossbeams so my canoe’s gunwales would fit and keep it from sliding around. Less than $50.00.

For alternative materials, I used
thin walled EMT pipe (electrical conduit). The 1 1/4 works fine, though I think the 1 1/2 is a bit better. I attached the cross bars by drilling holes in the uprights for U bolts and used EMT right angles to brace the uprights, that required drilling into the bed. To reduce side to side racking, I"ve since taken galvanixed joist bracing, the kind used for reducing floor squeaks, doubled the braces and attached them to the crossbar and upright at each corner, using hose clamps. Its not pretty, but have $50 invested and it works. I’ve toted my kayads and canoes over 600 miles at a time with no problem.

Kayakangler, thanks for the info. You’ve given me some more good ideas on how to do this.

jerlfletcher, I will check into the EMT conduit. That would be lighter than the wood if I decide to use it. The only thing about the wood is that I could build the rack more easily to extend it out and over my dropped tailgate. If I knew the conduit by itself would be long enought for a 12 foot yak to fit on, I would use that. I have a standard cab, short bed Ranger. Thank you so much for your info.

advice board
jerllfletcher, do you think anyone minds if I use this board to ask questions? If so, I’ll use the advice board. I have been looking over it, but since all my questions pertain to yaks, I enjoy hearing from people on this board.

Unless money is a big issue ?
Why not make or have made, a nice custom welded aluminum rack. I think we have better paints for aluminum now and it could match your rig ?

Rickers, money is an issue, but that is a great idea. I may talk to some guys at work who weld and see what could be done and how much it would cost. The weight would be much better since I would be taking it on and off when not carrying a yak. Thanks for your input. I may eveen think of assembling it with bolts and nuts and cut one out myself.

Being a retired
R@D and tooling machinist, I rarely make anything out of wood anymore. It does help having a Mig wire feed welder and a Smithy type mill and lathe combo in my garage. Has anyone here ever drilled or machined “micarta” ?

Oh my god what a nasty smell !!!

Rickers, I wish I had your expertise on welding and machining. I was wondering if I made a rack from PVC in the grey, if it would hold up. I would have to use a few Ts to make it stronger. I would ask for the best type for use in the sun. Actually, I would remeove it after each use and store it out of the sun.

Use Schedule 80 if you can find it. Much stronger than the 40. Only one place here in Huntsville that carries it.

PVC varies

– Last Updated: May-21-07 9:35 AM EST –

If you use white pvc water pipe it go to crap in the sun in no time. The heavy wall electrical conduit is made with more U.V protectants.
I worked at a pvc extruding plant for two years but all I did there was drive a fork lift and run the extruders. Painting the pipes may help and I am assuming that some portion will have some sort of padding. Pvc will be a low cost solution although I would go with aluminum.

and that would be?
Maybe the plastics place near your house?..Available Plastics?..hmmmm? would it be?..

If you use PVC, to get a strong rack,
you need to build a box frame. Use 1 1/2". The frame takes up bed room, which might or might not be a provlem.

Rick, I am a little familiar with PVC and electical conduit. I am wondering if I can get Ts and Ls in a type that will withstand the sun.

jerlfletcher, If I used 1 1/2 inch PVC, I would have to start out with a smaller diameter to fit in the rack holes in my truck. I had thought about doing that. If I dod build the rack out of PVC, I had thought I may have to use Ts to give extra support. The rack would only go into the rear rack holes and lay on the tailgate, and extend 1 to 2 feet beyond the tailgate. This rack would be the same height as my toolbox so I could place the front of the yak on it for the extra lengh of the 12 foot yak. The rack would be built like a box, but should not take up much space in my truck bed.

Nope, actually
Parks Plumbing Supply. There may be others but I haven’t found them!

Don’t think putting the PVC in the stake
holes will work. PVC lacks rigidity and you are going to get too much side to side sway. Most people who build PVC racks build a box frame that sits in the bed of the truck, taking up some cargo space.