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  #1  
Old 8 Nov 2005
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Pannier fabrication

I've been looking for a good (cheap)sheet metal shop in Oz who will make up some simple ally panniers. I've been quoted A$4-500 each. At that price, I could import the professional ones. Any takers?
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  #2  
Old 8 Nov 2005
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Check out the EIBC website. Paul Cave does boxes very similar to the darrs boxes for £80 a pop.

http://www.eibcltd.co.uk/

God knows what it'd cost to have them shipped to Australia though (or what they'd look like after being thrown on and off aeroplanes/ships for thousands of miles). If you are reasonably handy you could make a simple set yourself out of 2mm 'half-hard' aluminium pop riveted together. I have costed this option and reckon the boxes alone (not the mountings or racks) could be built for £60-£70 for two.
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[This message has been edited by Matt Cartney (edited 08 November 2005).]
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  #3  
Old 8 Nov 2005
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There is debate as of what is better, welded or riveted.

When aluminum is heated it looses strength and can crack/brake. Further, the welds may not be as strong.

The lotus Elise, pretty much entirely made out of aluminum, is glued rather than welded. This reduces weight in adition to making the seams stronger. Airplanes for instance are riveted... but also use a different type of Aluminum than you should.

I am also looking into making my own panniers. At first I planned to weld them, but will probably end up riveting as it is much easier... and I feel pretty confident the strength will hold up just fine, and that the panniers will look allmost as good as those you can buy. Metal Mule for instance, rivet their panniers, and they seem fine to me. http://www.metalmule.com/

Make a template out of card board first, maybe even assemble it to make sure it will look the way you want it to, and then disassemble afterwards to prepare for cutting the aluminum. Cut the aluminum sheets from the template, bend them, drill a few holes for the rivets, and rivet them together. You can either use sealing tape or silikone to make it dust and water proof, even add a rubber seal to the lid. If you are lucky, the place where you buy the aluminum will pre cut the aluminum for you for a few bucks, maybe even for free.

All the fasteners, handles, locks, hinges, etc, should all be easily obtainable. I don't know, but I have heard that steel and aluminum together is a poor mix, that metal filings or oxidisation from the steel could cause corrosion/oxidisation in the aluminum. I would therefore, just in case this is true, use some sort of packing, tape, or silicone between the fasteners and the aluminum. I believe this project could be done by pretty much anyone, even those with ten thumbs and zero experience. As for the steel-aluminum factor I don't want to start any false rumors, so don't take my word for it.

If you want to weld and you don't have neither the equipment nor the expertise, there is welding material out there that can weld aluminum by using a simple heat gun or propane torch. I bought some at a swap meet and saw it demonstrated. It looked really easy, and the weld looked really strong. I have never used it and can't tell how it holds up to time.

I am still researching the home made pannier option, or in my case, a top case. I am looking into how I can make a lockable "qucik release" option so that I can quickly mount and unmount my luggage. If anybody has any ideas, please tell.

I believe that your greatest challenge would be to make the qucik release option and the rack and mounting bracket. Bending and welding pipes is supposedly difficult (never tried). To bend pipes it is suggested to pack the pipes full of wet sand and then bend using a pipe bender. A plumbers pipe bender would probably suffice if you used aluminum pipes, though I have never tried.

You could always buy the racks and mounting kits from other suppliers and use them on your home made pannier. Make sure that they will work on your design though. I have read that some people have used touratech brackets, racks and mounting kits on their home made projects. Me I am stingy, and would rather make something myself if it is easy enough... so again, please share any tips.

http://www.protex.com/ProductsBycate...eName.html&a2=

If you don't want the oxidization from the aluminum to rub off onto your clothes, you could either have your panniers powder coated, you could for instance line them with plastic laminate, or you could even anodise them yourself, or a whole number of other options. You know that red, blue or gold aluminum? That is anodiesed aluminum. It is not only cool, but it protects your aluminum and your clothes.

To anodise yourself, use a large plastic container, a car battery, battery acid, artist ink or food colouring of your choice, som lead, water, and a rheostat, and off you go! Everything should be readily available. Here is a link that describes the process in more depth.

http://metals.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsi te.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=metals&zu=http%3A%2F%2Fweb006.pavilion.net% 2Fusers%2Fnickfull%2Fanodise.htm

[This message has been edited by Wheelie (edited 08 November 2005).]

[This message has been edited by Wheelie (edited 08 November 2005).]
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  #4  
Old 15 Dec 2005
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I too am looking at making my own panniers, well, sort of. One of my staff's fathers works in a sheet metal place and he is going to knock a pair up for me for the princly sum of £150 for the pair. My friend who is coming with me made his own and the ali cost him about £100 then he had a few bends put into place which cost him about £40 more. He then purchased a fitting kit from touratech for £100 and some bits and bobs for handles etc. The whole lot all in cost approx £300 so not to bad i spose.

As for the corrosion aspect of steel on ali i found a useful link http://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.c...=123515&page=1 which explains alot. Different industry but the principals are the same. I think steel or stainless steel catch, handles, ets would work but with something seperating them (1/2mm rubber perhaps) which you could easily make templates of and cut out with scissors.

The protex fasteners would be the one i think i shall use for latches etc, and a friends dad who builds karts is going to help us with the brackets for attacing to the bike. I estimate the whole lot should cost me approx £250 which compared to Metal Mule or Touratech isnt so bad. Only problem is i dont get a warrenty, but nothing ventured nothing gained eh.......
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  #5  
Old 15 Dec 2005
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I built my own from 2mm aluminum. You can check out the photo's at www.mrron.smugmug.com
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  #6  
Old 16 Dec 2005
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nice bit of welding i have to admit,. but imho welding is inferior to riveting, not that i'm a genius in the world of metal fabrications. but they look good and i hope they last you.

Have they been put to the test yet? it would be interesting to see how they coped with the everyday bumps and bangs of travelling!!

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  #7  
Old 16 Dec 2005
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Nice work.Just wondering why not use stronger
Duraluminium instead of soft ali?I used to work in a research department where we had loads of the stuff.Never paid it much thought as to how expensive the stuff must be.

[This message has been edited by Ed_Case (edited 16 December 2005).]
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  #8  
Old 30 Dec 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ed_Case:
Nice work.Just wondering why not use stronger
Duraluminium instead of soft ali?I used to work in a research department where we had loads of the stuff.Never paid it much thought as to how expensive the stuff must be.

[This message has been edited by Ed_Case (edited 16 December 2005).]

Thanx guys. Knobby, 25k hard miles, on and off road and still almost like new with the expected dings and scratcher. Although riveting is a very good form of metal attachment, i would personally call it equal, not superior.
...duraluminum? Is that a mag. alloy? Anyways, you have a better chance of finding a more compatible ally in most of the world.
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  #9  
Old 3 Jan 2006
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good mileage.

hope mine last as long, will post some pics when i get them finished.
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  #10  
Old 27 Feb 2006
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I am building a set of panniers after giving up trying to find a pair cheap enough that I didn't feel like I was being robbed. I have built gas tanks for chainsaws this way, fixed car batteries that had broken so it should work for panniers. If it doesn't work, I will post that too.

Make a paper mache form like you want the box, pannier to look like. Melt several plastic milk jugs and pour the liquid evenly over the mold. lots of ventilation.

go to a wrecking yard and get door panels off a vehicle made of fiberglass or auto type plastic. lay it up against the mold. notch where needed to ease job of shaping for fit. rent a heavy duty heat blower. borrow your friendly welder's apron and gloves. have some nice sticks about 3 feet long handy. heat the material until is sticky. quickly put it in place on the mold using the sticks and not hands to shove it around. if it cools before in good placement, reheat entire mold until the door panel is again almost fluid. when it looks good, let it cool. saw it into two pieces, one top lid one for the bottom. rip out the paper mache. use your wife's iron to smooth the interior. don't tell her you did. brace the interior with aluminum tubing you have removed from cheap restaurant or beach chairs you picked up at the junk yard, landfill, or the neighbor's yard late at night. leave your wife's iron for payment.

drill the holes through both tubing and pannier. use bronze screws with rubber sleeves. coat the inside and outside of the screws with rubber-max or similar stuff for flex and water proofing. buy some high quality poly whatever shower edge liner, the type that keeps you from cutting yourself and also seals the door. glue it in place around the edges of the pannier. use anything you want to cover the edge of the lid, but industrial meat cutter saw blade covers work well. the rubbery kind for the meat not the bone is best. drill holes for hinges and locks purchased at Wal-mart. use rubber-max on the screws. use your own scoot to decide where you want to drill the holes for whatever mount you decide to make. Because back banger needs a three sided support, i will attach the panniers to rods i will weld into place below her coffee cup/flip out table holder bars. by using something like an elongated coat hanger of some strength i should be able to provide enough lateral support so the holes don't wear away and drop my cheez-it crackers on the highway.
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  #11  
Old 27 Feb 2006
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Also see
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tri...e/panniers.php

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  #12  
Old 12 Mar 2006
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i have now got my panniers made up. But can anyone tell me how i post a pic of them on here?

Am off to make a rack to attach to bike tomorrow so will have a few pics.
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  #13  
Old 13 Mar 2006
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Quote:
Originally posted by knobbly:
As for the corrosion aspect of steel on ali.... I think steel or stainless steel catch, handles, ets would work but with something seperating them (1/2mm rubber perhaps)
The stuff to use is ZINC CHROMATE paste. Its yellow stuff.
Its used on alloy boat masts between the mast and the stainless fittings.
See here: http://www.lightaero.co.uk/las/1/9/105/55?id=11 but any yatch chandler should be able to sell you a small tube.

There is an alternative available from the States that comes as a clear coating but I cant remember its name!



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  #14  
Old 13 Mar 2006
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i see nothing wrong with welding.. for a start it is all along the seam, not a point loading. also is usually to weld twice across the lap, one on inside, other on outside. If you cant weld, assemble it with small engine screws and nuts the same size as rivets, but smear epoxy in the joints. This alone will be strong enough. but you can either keep the screwws there ( dab epoxy over the nuts to stop them vibrating loose and gives smooth surface) or replace the screws with rivets. So now it is held together twice. Epoxy and screws or epoxy and rivets, the joints being full of epoxy wont leak. Note use flexible epoxy from choice.
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