You may remember seeing Andrew Li’s Homemade work stand being used while were were out fixing bicycles for the homeless. I asked him to provide us a tutorial on how he built it and he did not disappoint. Thanks again to Andrew for providing us this article.
One of the most rewarding sensations that can be experienced as a human being, amongst certain biological functions, is probably making something with your own hands through a process that is both time and cost efficient, which ultimately produces an item that works well and can perform its task reliably for a long period of time. From my experience building and using it, this Do-It-Yourself bike repair stand certainly fit the bill. It cost me about $50-60, took about 1.5 hours of work, and has been working fantastic for the past 2 years without any issues.
The pros of this design are that it is inexpensive, quick to make, durable, and does its job well. The cons include not being able to adjust the height of the stand, not really being able to adjust the angle of the bicycle when it is clamped, and the limited nature of the stand’s portability (i.e. it can’t fold up or telescope, although I suppose you could unscrew everything and reassemble on site, though this would be rather inconvenient). That being said, I have been able to transport the stand pretty easily in my old beater BMW, of course with no one else in the car but myself.
However, I still feel that despite the cons, it is a worthwhile build for those who regularly maintain their steeds, wish to do so without undue back strain, and are not sure just yet about spending several hundred dollars on a professional stand. Therefore, what follows is a tutorial on how to build this stand yourself. I will disclose that this build was based on the building genius of others, people like Jake Khuon in his own instructional, which can be found at http://journals.neebu.net/khuon/archives/000517.html
What I present is essentially the same principle with slight variations. The moral of the story is that you can make your own tweaks and adjustments to fit your preferences and needs.
Tools you will need:
- Drill bits (varying sizes depending on the diameter of bolts you choose to use)
- Spade bits (to bore wood) of varying sizes, from ¾ inch to 1 3/8 inch.
- X1 Plywood board (2×2 feet and 1/2 to ¾ inch thick)
- Jake used particle board, but I chose plywood because I felt it would have more tensile strength
- X4 Nuts and bolts (forgot the specific diameter of the bolt itself)
- the bolts should have a wide head, or just use hex screws with washers as Jake did
- X1 Galvanized steel pipe (3/4” diameter x 5 feet)
- I chose galvanized pipe because of the zinc coating for better water corrosion resisting properties, especially if you are accustomed to using warm water and suds for drive train care. I have not had any problems with rust.
- Black pipe is OK, but its intended purpose is the conveyance of gas and air, so is more susceptible to water corrosion.
- X1 Galvanized steel pipe (3/4” x 1 foot)
- X1 Right-angle pipe connector (3/4”)
- X1 Pipe floor flange (3/4”)
- X1 Pony Pipe clamp (3/4”)
- X2 Scrap wood pieces (2×4, about 4-5 inches long)
Attach the pipe floor flange to the plywood
-Place the flange in a corner of the plywood. I put mine so that the edge of the flange would be 6 inches away from the nearest corner. For me this distance offers the greatest stability (i.e. the weight of the bike won’t tip the stand over, and yet the flange is not so close to the corner that the weight of the bike torques and bends the corner of the plywood board).
-Outline in pencil the central opening of the flange as well as the screw holes so you know precisely where to drill
-Using your 1” spade bit, bore out the central opening (this opening in the plywood will allow clearance for the pipe you will be screwing into the flange).
-Drill out the holes where you will secure your flange to the plywood with your nuts and bolts.
-On one side of the 4 holes you made for the bolts, bore shallow holes (about 1/8” deep or so) so that the head of the bolt can fit nicely inside thereby maintaining a flat bottom surface of your plywood board.
Attach your flange with nuts and bolts. If you want, you can also saw off the excess ends of the bolts.
Attach your 5 foot galvanized steel pipe into the flange.
Take your 2 pieces of scrap wood (2×4) and bore out a 1 3/8 inch hole for each piece. You can probably bore a 1 1/8 inch hole as well. The goal here is to be able to fit the pipe into these holes comfortably.
Attach your right angle adapter to the 1 foot steel pipe
-Slide the clutched end of the Pony clamp (NOT the crank end) first onto the 1 foot pipe, followed by the 2 pieces of wood, and finally the crank end of the Pony clamp.
-Tighten the Pony clamp so that the 2 pieces of wood are aligned and tightly fitted together
-Bore a 1” hole through the wood “sandwich” right along the plane of the wood-to-wood interface. I started boring from top down, and then converted to a side-oriented approach so I didn’t bore through my work bench.
-This will create a “half-cylinder” on each piece of the wood, producing a nicely fitting clamp for your seat post.
Now attach the 1 foot pipe/ clamp/ wood piece with the top end of the 5 foot pipe. Screw securely.
You are all set. Try to clamp your bike as close to the end as possible so you get the most room to move around your pedals as you clean, tune, fix etc. Best of luck. Do good and ride well.