This is my first post but I plan on doing lots more as I continue to build on my truck. I had plans of getting a kayak and a surfboard but did not want to pay upwards to $200, $300 or $500 for the "professional" bed racks. So, I spent about 2 hours in Lowes with my dad, trying to come up with ideas on how to build my own. The total cost for supplies was $53.46. Read on.
(4) 24mm bolt, lock washer and large washers
(4) 1x2 right angle brackets
(4) 2x4 joist bracket
(12) Threaded Wood Inserts
Many machine screws, lock washers and misc screws
Treated Lumber 2x4 and 1x4
Note: If you plan on taking this rack in and out on a regular basis, it is very important to use the threaded wood inserts so you can use machine screws instead of wood screws. This way, you keep the integrity of the wood intact.
So I used treated 2x4 lumber, which, I learned after the fact that the oil based paint I used didn't take 100%. The paint feels very oily and small bubbles have formed. It works enough but for anyone thinking about painting their rack I might use untreated lumber, unless anyone knows any tricks?
The 4 posts are 33", just enough for clearance over the cab. Each post has a hole drilled out for a 24mm bolt to attach to the factory rails. The bolt head just barely fits in the rails. In fact, I had to temporarily remove some of the rail screws for the bolt to slide in.
At the bottom of each post is a right angle bracket that is attached to the bed. This bracket adds a second point for the post to attach to the bed to prevent it from spinning any. I had to remove the cargo boxes in order to fit the bolt and nut on each bracket.
Something I did not anticipate was the height of the screw heads. You must countersink spots for the screw heads (or route out a groove along the entire bottom would be better) so the posts will sit flush on the bracket.
The weight bearing cross braces are 59". They are held up with some brackets I found in the garden section of Lowes. I think they were called fence braces...something to do with fences. About $2 each.
To prevent the rack from swaying front to back, I added a 1x4 59" brace that runs along the outside. I chose the thinner 1x4 purely for aesthetics as they are not load bearing braces. However, I did add 6 eye hooks to simply serve as a way to route rope (not necessarily to tie down to).
I had 2 larger eye hooks that I added to the bottom of the posts as anchor points.
The rack is totally stable, and you can view more pictures of the rack here. I am trying to figure out a way to use the rack as a tent frame for camping. Or even adding a 2x6 brace for a hammock! Most updates on that as they happen. Any suggestions?
The bed rack gets the job done, although it doesn't feel like the most secure thing in the world. It did make it through a 2 hour highway trip though.