PennyTech - Has anyone made their own panniers?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by ag_streak, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. Testcase

    Testcase Not to be trusted

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    Utah
    This is essentially the route I'm looking at going with the build (1/4" sides with a 1/2" back) I'm thinking of building a hardwood skeleton or cage and skinning it with panels, to make it easier to bevel the edges. And then doing either a fiberglass or kevlar shell on it. What kind of issues do you see with this kind of build?
  2. ag_streak

    ag_streak Tiene Ruta Cuarenta? Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,586
    Location:
    Blue Ridge, GA
    Yes, please enlighten us... :deal
  3. Testcase

    Testcase Not to be trusted

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    Utah
    I'd like to see pics too to better understand where you're going before I build up some more cardboard mockups.
  4. Testcase

    Testcase Not to be trusted

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    Utah
    I don't think I explained very well what I was thinking before. The first prototype I did was simple butt joints and 90 degree corners. I ran into a fitting problem with the bike that I think will be solved most easily by doing beveled corners. I was going to do the beveled corners like this (crudely-drawn and then crudely-scanned):

    [​IMG]

    Top-down view of one corner. The 1/4" sides would fit into rabbets of a vertical inner-beveled piece that would run the height of the side. Then I'd run that corner through the table-saw to get the outer-bevel. This is what I meant when I said I was going to skin a box as I thought about connecting the four verticals at the top and bottom and then beveling those as well to roughly copy this:

    [​IMG]

    I also played with the idea that after the box was completed and glassed, I would bend some lengths of aluminum to overlay the corners vertically and rivet them.

    I need to set about building more prototypes as I'm still just in the sketching. I thought about doing box joints, but the thought of doing those repetitive cuts on the table saw made me go ugh.
  5. ag_streak

    ag_streak Tiene Ruta Cuarenta? Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,586
    Location:
    Blue Ridge, GA
    Testcase, that design looks fine. Just glue your sides to that angled filler cleat/corner brace well (use epoxy) and then run it through the table saw at 45 degrees. You'll be golden! Please post pictures of the results, and good luck! :freaky
  6. Testcase

    Testcase Not to be trusted

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    Utah
    Picked up some 1/4" hardboard and 2x2s today. Just need to finish up the children's activity table I'm making for my daughter and then I can start on the boxes in earnest.
  7. JourneyRider.com

    JourneyRider.com Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,495
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    Hey guys, I am trying to source some 'affordable' latches for my panniers.

    Can anyone recommend me a good supplier for lockable latches please?


    BTW: Please do not say McMaster-Carr, $$$:cry
  8. JourneyRider.com

    JourneyRider.com Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,495
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    Hey guys, the latches I want should look something like the ones in the picture below.

    I want latches that can be beaten back into shape in case of a crash.

  9. Testcase

    Testcase Not to be trusted

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    Utah
    One thing I thought of if I build it the way I drew above is that I could drop the bevel idea and instead run the corner posts along the router table with maybe some moulding and roundover bits and that should give me the radius to fiberglass properly inside and out?

    I'm waiting to hear how ag_streak dealt with fiberglassing since he's done a set already. The guy on the KLR forum looks to have very minor rounding of his corners, though he only has one picture in place to see the case. He mentioned building up the inside corners with epoxy (and filler?) for fiberglassing.
  10. JourneyRider.com

    JourneyRider.com Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,495
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA

    Hi Plaka, thanks for your cool post about latches. I am surprised that you like the butterfly latches better. I have had those before (for a short while) and they seemed like a pain in the arse. It was always a challenge to put my lids on and it was my opinion that if the pannier was ever crushed in a crash that the latches would be very challenging to use for the rest of the trip.
  11. ag_streak

    ag_streak Tiene Ruta Cuarenta? Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,586
    Location:
    Blue Ridge, GA
    I used 4 oz. fiberglass cloth that the dude in the fiberglass shop recommended, and it was LIGHT, like tissue paper. I only used one layer, and it went around the minimally-radiused corners just fine.

    Pictures start at the bottom of page 9, through about page 11, here:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=237047&page=9

    This set held up just fine to normal wear and tear with nominal loads, with un-reinforced epoxy-glued joints on thin plywood, and an amateur fiberglassing job (I never did any before that). I sold them to ACDNate, who considered beefing them up, but simply repainted them and rode. No worries.


  12. Testcase

    Testcase Not to be trusted

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    Utah

    http://www.klr650.net/forums/showthread.php?t=7533&highlight=wood+panniers

    This thread is about the closest I see to a longer-term report, though his construction details are a little sparse.
  13. ag_streak

    ag_streak Tiene Ruta Cuarenta? Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,586
    Location:
    Blue Ridge, GA
    Plaka,

    All you've done in the last few pages of this thread is try to tell others how to do things, how little they know, and how much you know.

    Did you even read the earlier parts of this thread? If you had, you'd see that I already provided feedback on how durable the boxes I built are, which is consistent with what i just reported to Testcase.

    As I said, they're medium-duty cases for mostly on-road use. I freely admitted that they would suffer if overloaded on washboard roads, and you're not the first to ask about the build time being justified. I also shared what I would do different next time, as I'm willing to learn, and not insist that I know it all.

    If I said "they worked with "X" under "Y" conditions", it's pretty damn easy for you to say, "Oh yeah? What about "A" and under "B" condition? Huh?" What does that prove?

    Unlike you, I never claimed to be any kind of expert in anything, but I do have the experience of designing and building these panniers, and they were successful. And I started this thread to learn from others and share ideas. Like you, I too have decades of woodworking experience. I also have an aeronautical, manufacturing engineering, marine, and prototyping background, so don't come off like you're the only one on this message board who can figure out what works.

    In fact, of all the pictures you posted, I only found one, of the dovetailed joint, to be even mildly impressive. And your ranting about various techniques kind of rambled and sounded like you were making things up as you went along.

    If you were sincere, you would be willing to share your knowledge with others on this board, without knocking down other people's suggestions, like you so rudely did to Testcase.

    If you have something positive to contribute, fine, but your domineering style of telling everyone else how stupid they are is really weak.



  14. petersp

    petersp Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    53
    Location:
    Woodruff, WI
    That was me. It isn't complicated. I think I took some photos during the construction so maybe I can post them. It was simple stitch-and-tape with epoxy and 4 ounce glass. The insides were fileted with epoxy and microbeads. The outside corners were routed with a quarter inch or three eighths inch round-over bit. The glass tape handled that radius just fine.

    I dumped the bike with the boxes on and they survived. I probably put 10,000 miles on them but that bike is gone now. I kept the boxes. As far as load - I remember weighing them and fully loaded they were something like 40 pounds for the pair.
  15. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,050
    Location:
    .

    If I've given offense please accept my apologies. I'll say nothing further.
  16. IdaStrom

    IdaStrom Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    34
    Location:
    Washington

    Here ya go:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Rotary-Butterfl...aultDomain_0&hash=item5ad5f94b55#ht_978wt_930

    Awesome latches. Ive used them on a couple sets of panniers ive built and at 9.50 each - thats a damn good deal. They are right around $40 from southco.
  17. Testcase

    Testcase Not to be trusted

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    Utah
    Thanks, petersp! The examples from you and ag have been really helpful to me so far in planning mine.




  18. ag_streak

    ag_streak Tiene Ruta Cuarenta? Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,586
    Location:
    Blue Ridge, GA
    The sides were laminated with roof flashing from Home Depot! :lol3

    The tops and bottoms were truck-bed coated and painted dark blue to resemble the Bandit.

    I bought the SW-Motech quick-release racks so I can permanently bolt these boxes to them and still remove them from the bike.

    I'll post more pictures when they're mounted and the miscellaneous hardware is attached.

    I think they came out 9" wide, 18" long, and 16" high. They weigh about 8 pounds each. The back is 1/2" ply, the rest is 1/4". MUCH stronger than the first pair!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/34068258@N02/5117475643/" title="NewBoxes_2 by ag_streak, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4104/5117475643_92063dba7d_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="NewBoxes_2" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/34068258@N02/5118077706/" title="NewBoxes_1 by ag_streak, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1392/5118077706_c02c488f2c_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="NewBoxes_1" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/34068258@N02/5118077230/" title="NewBoxes_3 by ag_streak, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4151/5118077230_8c12c243d7_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="NewBoxes_3" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/34068258@N02/5118077044/" title="NewBoxes_4 by ag_streak, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1316/5118077044_157ea3f290_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="NewBoxes_4" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/34068258@N02/5118076810/" title="NewBoxes_5 by ag_streak, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1068/5118076810_7456df522e_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="NewBoxes_5" /></a>
  19. Testcase

    Testcase Not to be trusted

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    Utah
    That's looking awesome!

    No glassing at all on these it looks like? And you say they're stronger then the first pair overall or just on that 1/2" vs 1/4" side?

    I just got fiberglass and epoxy supplies in for when I start on my cases.
  20. ag_streak

    ag_streak Tiene Ruta Cuarenta? Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,586
    Location:
    Blue Ridge, GA
    Thanks. I'd say stronger overall. And, I didn't even epoxy the wood joints. I simply took a bit of care using regular aliphatic wood glue (yellow glue) by moistening the mating surfaces prior to gluing to assure good penetration into the fibers. And I used an electric brad nailer where I could nail into the 1/2 inch, and inside corner cleats on the 1/4 -to-1/4 joints. Plus, the bottoms and tops are beefy, starting out as 2x4's, whereas the the first set where 1/4" on top and bottom...