Kayak/Wood rack

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Project by T. D. Reid posted 05-26-2012 07:43 PM 5305 views 10 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the second kayak rack that I have built of this type. The first time that I build it for a Ford Ranger and I got rid of it when I purchased an SUV that had a rack on top. For the last couple of years I have been hauling the kayak and canoe in the back of the new truck. I decided that I was going to either loss one or get a ticket for hauling two 14’ boats around in the back of a truck with only an 8’ bed. So with boating season already here I took a couple of days to build a new and improved version. Here is a link to the plans if you want to try and build your own.
The uprights are from a 1/4 sheet of 3/4” plywood cut out and sandwiched together to make them 1 1/2” thick. I used wood putty to fill any voids in the plywood. Last time I used bondo and wasn’t really happy with it. I guess if you have a little more experience with bondo than I do then it may workout better for you. The silver sheet metal screws on the outside are strictly ornamental. The cross members are out of 2”x4” and then I used deck hardware to attach them. This is a major change in the plan. On the first one I built I followed the instructions to the letter and used a 1”x3” pine board and I was not at all happy with the side to side movement that occurred from wind shear on open interstate. So that is the reason I beefed it up this time and it eliminated that unstable motion. I added a pipe to the top of one side so that I could attach a store bought kayak car rack that I have had for some time now. It allows me to sit the kayak on its side while transporting so that there is room for the canoe beside of it. The finish is four cans of black hammer finish spray paint from a rattle can over top of white primmer. The hammer finish hides imperfections in the wood and makes it look like metal. People really think that you are lying to them when you built it out of wood. So it’s worth a laugh when on closer examination they can see you are telling them the truth.
An important note: I almost forgot that it is attached using the same type of clamps that you use to put a camper shell on your truck bed with. I already had them and do not recall how much they cost and that may take the cost of this project over $100 US to build this out of common builders grade products purchased at Lowes. They sell a latter rack for almost $800 so you do the math on the savings.

-- Head to the shop its calling you – Todd

4 comments so far

View rdjack21's profile


268 posts in 4267 days

#1 posted 05-26-2012 07:49 PM

Really neat idea I just may have to build something similar for my truck but for hauling bikes.

-- --- Richard Jackson

View Steve187's profile


34 posts in 3667 days

#2 posted 05-27-2012 04:18 AM

Todd, great looking “pipe rack” you got there.
Does the cross member immediately behind the truck cab block the high-mount brake light? In pic 3 of 5 there is a reflection of the light fixture in the cross member and I was wondering if the the high-mount brake light is still visibile from the rear.

-- Steve (North Louisiana, near Ruston)

View knife's profile


72 posts in 4849 days

#3 posted 05-27-2012 07:47 PM

nice rack. I have been lookin at metal ones, but this looks just as nice and a lot cheaper.

-- Chad -- Buffalo, NY

View Rex B's profile

Rex B

320 posts in 3590 days

#4 posted 06-29-2012 09:01 PM

That is really nice, I really like the looks of the finished rack. I may need to make one just to look cool, even though I don’t have a kayak…

-- Rex

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