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DIY Wood Bed Rack for Hauling Kayak/Canoe/Surfboards

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Old 05-08-2011, 04:08 PM   #1
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DIY Wood Bed Rack for Hauling Kayak/Canoe/Surfboards

Hello all,
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.

Final product:




Parts list:
(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
Eyehooks

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?

-----UPDATE-----
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.

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Old 05-08-2011, 04:10 PM   #2
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nice man i like it simple yet it gets the job done
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Old 05-08-2011, 07:00 PM   #3
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nice!
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:48 PM   #5
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Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:01 PM   #6
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Looks good!
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:04 PM   #7
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Very slick! I've actually been mulling over some designs in my head for my future kayak rack. I came up with something a but different from your design, but that's only because I have a first gen and no bed rails.

So the big question is...how much money did you save over a "professional" rack?
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:08 PM   #8
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Nice Job! I built something similar last year, but made it to be level with the top of the cab, and put a plywood roof on. Ghetto dog shade! No more burnt pooch paws! And keeps the dog "California legal" when I cross the Sierras into the "Republic". Contains him without the need for a tether.
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:49 AM   #9
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Ah yes I should have mentioned, the total cost for supplies was $53.46!!
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:54 AM   #10
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Well done and welcome to TW! +1 for a great idea
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:18 AM   #11
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Hey man great idea! Always love it when people think outside the box, or in this case inside. I have a cap on my truck and my yacks are 17 feet so I am designing a load assist roller at the moment. Keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:29 AM   #12
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Talking PaulThePhotographer's Tacoma DIY Canoe Rack!

PaulThePhotographer's Tacoma DIY Canoe Rack!

I wanted something, cheap, easy to break down and assemble and yet be stable enough to carry our 15 canoe. I also did not want to spend a bunch of time and energy top fabricate in the first place. (Thinking about selling the canoe and getting a couple of Sit-On-Top kayaks.)

Here is a photo of what I ended up with.



I bought some of this quick-take down Saw Horse kits from Amazon.

Click for Link to Amazon -> LINK

!

I have only tried it one time so far and it seemed to work well. I got up to 70 mph and it did not move. I hit the brakes pretty hard to test it also and it seemed to be able to handle that also. I would recommend checking the straps everyone once in a while.

Each leg set turned out to be one 8 foot 2x4 cut in half for each leg. And the center top 2x4 is a 8 foot two by for also, and the cross 2x4s the same thing. So I used four 2x4's in total. And some eyebolts ( I counter sunk the top of the eyebolts to be lower than the top of the 2x4s, so the canoe can slide easy on the 2x4 and not get scratched or anything!) to strap everything down with the ratchet straps I already had.

I even load this up canoe by myself, to see how it was. It was not too bad. And I am an old fart that is out shape.

---
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:32 PM   #13
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Great work ahajnos and PaulPhoto, I'm trying to decide which was I want to go on this. Great ideas by both of you. Mine is 2011 with the bed rails but I want something I can remove fairly easily. Thanks for posting.
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