What’s going on everybody! I’m Johnny Brooke, welcome back to another Crafted Workshop video. In today’s video, I’m going to show you how to build this pretty simple floating plywood bike rack. This is a bike rack that is kind of meant to display your bike if you will. Put up your bike on the wall in your living room or den, it’s really beautiful, only holds one bike but is kind of designed to make your bike the focal point of the room. This would work really well with any kind of road bike with an open triangle. It will interfere with some bottle cage configurations and, if you have a full suspension mountain bike, that kind of thing definitely will not work. This doesn’t work for every bike out there but it will work for a lot of bikes out there.
I do have a free template available for this on my website, I’ll have a link to that in the video description below if you guys want to build this for yourself. I guess, without further adieu, let’s go ahead and get started with the build. I designed this project to be built from two 2 foot by 4-foot plywood project panels, which are available at most home centers. If you nest the pieces together correctly, you should be able to get 7 pieces per panel, giving you a total of 14 triangular pieces. The first step is to print off the template from my website, which spans across two pages, and then tape them together to form the template. Trim off the excess and then use some spray adhesive to attach the template to your plywood. One trick with spray adhesive: spray it onto the template and let it dry a little bit before sticking it to the plywood. This will make it really easy to peel off later, with no sticky residue left behind. After applying the template, I grabbed my jigsaw and got to cutting, making sure to stay proud of my line.
With the outside edges cut, I moved onto cutting out the inside. First, I used a ½” drill bit and drilled a hole into each corner. Once the holes were drilled, I cut along my line with the jigsaw, connecting the holes. When cutting plywood with a jigsaw, you want to make sure and have a fine tooth, wood specific blade in it, since it will leave you with a much cleaner cut without tearing out the veneer on the surface of the plywood. After cutting the piece to rough shape, I moved over to the drill press to drill the alignment holes, which are also marked on the template.
These holes allow you to use dowels when assembling the bike rack later and are a huge help to keep the pieces from slipping around during the glue up. Once the holes were drilled, I used my spindle sander to clean up the edges and sand to my lines. This is one of the more handy tools in the shop and is so useful for projects like this. That said, if you don’t have a spindle sander, you can just use files, rasps, or just some sandpaper wrapped around a dowel to get similar results. After sanding, I removed the template, which peeled right off. Now, let’s talk about a few ways to make 13 more of these triangular pieces. Alright, so now that we have one of these done, we need to make 13 more.
Efficiency is going to be a big key here so that this doesn’t drag on forever. One of my favorite ways to duplicate pieces is with a router and a flush trim bit like this one. It’s got a small bearing on it that rides up against your original piece. This serves as the template and you get an exact duplicate of the piece.
It’s really easy to do, just attach the two pieces with double stick tape. That’s one great method. Another method, since this doesn’t really need to be very precise since there’s going to be a lot of sanding involved once it’s all glued together anyway, is you could just cut them out kind of to rough shape with the jigsaw and then, after the glue up, you’ll just take a belt sander to it and get it all smooth. So that’s another option, especially if you don’t own a router, that’s a really good option for you. The last option, the one I’m going to go with is kind of put my robot minions to work and use my Inventables X-Carve to go ahead and cut out these pieces for me. Obviously, I realize that’s a massive privilege to have one of these in my shop but it’s really nice to kind of have that working in the background while I can work on other things, and I know that all of the pieces are going to end up exactly the same.
Let’s go ahead and move over to the X-Carve! I think one common misconception with CNCs is thinking that they do all of the work for you and you end up with pieces that are just ready to go. While CNCs are great for creating duplicate pieces like this, there is always going to be some cleanup work to do afterward. For example, I used tabs to hold these pieces in place during the cutting process, which meant I had to cut the tabs to free the pieces. I did this using a chisel. Once the pieces were cut free, I was left with these little tabs sticking off the edges of the pieces, and I’ve found the best way to clean them up is using a flush trim bit on the router table.
This goes really quickly, but with 14 pieces, there were a lot of tabs to remove. With the pieces cleaned up, I moved on to assembly, which went really smoothly with the help of the alignment holes. I used ½” dowels between each layer and they kept everything in place while I continued to add more layers. The dowels were also really helpful when I went to add clamps. Also, it’s definitely a good idea to come back and remove the glue squeeze out after an hour or so, since it’ll be much harder to remove once it has fully dried.
Don’t ask me how I know that. To add a little more visual interest to my bike rack, I decided to add a Walnut veneer to the front face of the rack. I made my own veneer from some scrap Walnut I had on hand, but you can buy pre-made peel and stick veneer in a ton of different wood species from places like Rockler. To make my veneer, I resawed a few pieces of Walnut to about 1/4” thick at the bandsaw and then planed them to an even thickness on the planer. Next, I glued them together, making sure to keep them nicely aligned and flat. After the glue dried, I cleaned the panel up at the planer, planing it down to about ⅛” thick. Next, I traced the shape of the rack onto the veneer and cut away the excess at the bandsaw. Once it was cut to rough size, I glued the veneer panel to the face of the rack, making sure to use plenty of glue and clamping pressure. After the glue dried, I cut away the inside area of the rack using a jigsaw.
Also, I just got a new GoPro, so expect to see more shots like this in the future. To flush up to the veneer with the edges of the plywood, I used a flush trim bit on the router table. With the veneer installed, it was time to get to the tedious process of sanding all of the layers flushes. Even using the dowels for alignment, you’ll be left with glue squeeze out and slight imperfections where the pieces don’t line up perfectly. The best method for flushing this up is a belt sander, although flushing up the layers on the inside of the rack is a lot bit trickier and will require a lot of hand sanding, so just get ready for plenty of sanding here. While I’m sanding, let’s talk about the sponsor of this week’s video, Rocker Woodworking, and Hardware. I used a ton of Rockler products during this build, including their t-track clamps, Blind Shelf Supports, and Dish Carving Router Bit, and I’ll have links to all of the items I used in the video description below.
Rockler has got tons of great tools and accessories for your next build, and they’re always coming up with new and innovative ideas to help make your woodworking more efficient and more enjoyable. Thanks again to Rockler for sponsoring this build. After getting everything sanded, next, I needed to route in a groove on the top of the rack for the bike to sit in. I found this 1 ¼” wide dish carving bit and it was exactly what I needed.
I set up the bit on my router table, with the front edge of the bit about 3 inches from the fence. I made my first pass, then moved the fence over about 1/2”, to widen the groove. The total width of the groove after the second pass was roughly 1 1/2”. Next, I needed to drill the holes for the blind shelf supports. I marked the hole location on each side of the rack, making sure they were spaced 16” on center to line up with the stud locations on my wall.
I drilled the holes on my drill press since the holes really need to be nice and square so that the shelf supports can work correctly. The hole also needs to be drilled roughly 5” deep, so you’ll most likely need an extra long drill bit for this. Also, a quick note here, I’m using an older version of Rockler’s blind shelf supports in this video, but it looks like they’ve actually just come out with a new and improved version that’s more adjustable and includes the screws for mounting the hardware to your wall. I’ll link to that new version in the video description, but the process for installing them should be basically the same.
After drilling the holes, I marked where the mounting plate hit the back of the rack and chiseled it out so that the shelf will fit flush to the wall. The layers of the plywood here really want to pop out, so be careful and take your time. I actually ended up adding a little CA glue off camera to stabilize some of the loose pieces. To give the rack a little bit of a cleaner look, I rounded over the front edges using a ⅛” radius round over bit and then gave the whole rack a good sanding up to 180 grit. For the finish, I wiped on a few coats of a wipe-on poly, allowing each coat to dry for about 8 hours between coats. Next, I cut out a strip of cork to add to the groove where the bike will rest. This will give the bike some padding and keep the bike or the shelf from getting damaged over time.
To attach the cork to the rack, I just used some good quality double-sided tape. Finally, it was time to install the rack on the wall. First, I marked the location of my studs using a stud finder, then I put the shelf supports into the back of the rack and held the rack up to my wall, making sure it was level. I applied a little pressure, which drove the pins in the shelf supports into the wall, which marked the exact location where I needed to install the brackets. To install the brackets, I added two 2 ½” screws per support. You might notice that I had to cut one corner off of each support to make sure it was totally hidden behind the rack, and I did this off camera with a hacksaw. With the shelf supports installed, I added the rack and it was finished! Alright, hopefully, you guys enjoyed this one.
This one ended up being a little trickier than I thought it was going to be. Actually, just a lot more time consuming with all of the sandings, getting all of these layers nice and smooth, it took quite a bit of time but I love the way this turned out. I think this is a beautiful piece that would look great in a loft-style apartment, put your sweet fixie up on here and I think it’d look really, really cool.
Just an FYI on sizing, I built this for a men’s medium to a large road bike. The bike I used in the thumbnail is my wife’s bike, it’s a small women’s road bike and it just barely fit so you’re going to want to measure the template before you go about building this to make sure it’s going to fit your bike. It’ll also conflict with some bottle cage configurations.
There’s just so many variables in bikes out there, it’s kind of hard to make one rack for every bike, but I think this one will work for a lot of bikes. Hopefully, you guys enjoyed this one. If you did, go ahead and get subscribed. I put out new project videos like this pretty much every week. Also, I have a list of all the tools and materials I used in the video description below and, last, again I do have a free template available for this one my website. Go download that and get to building! Alright, thanks again for watching everybody and, until next time, happy building!.
As found on Youtube