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Old 12-16-2009, 09:28 PM
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Matt Shade Matt Shade is offline
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Default Headache Rack

Got started on a headache rack for my truck tonight. Most of the materials were drug home as scrap from work, the iron workers and I argue over whats scrap all the time

I don't worry too much about protecting the back window, but figure it will be nice for those times I want to throw 40 bales of hay in the bed and have to stack a few on top of the toolbox. Bigger interest is in having a place to put more lights on it. The project I'm on at work right now has me remodeling highway rest areas so I'm pulling on and off the highway in the dark everyday at ramps that are closed. And some work lights on the back will be helpful too.

Tonight I got the base done and the 2 outside uprights. Base is made out of 3x3x1/4 angle across the front of the bed, with 4x4x1/4 angle down the sides. I'm trying to decide whether to anchor it to the stake pockets or just the top edge of the bed, have to see what I can come up with in my stash. This forms a cradle for the front toolbox to sit in and I will bolt it down to the headache rack instead of using the J hooks on the bed rails.

The uprights are 2x2x1/4 angle. This and the lights are the only material I had to buy so far. I'm cutting it with a chop saw, so rather than try and do all those miters I just made relief cuts on one side and bent the angle to the profile I want. I'll weld them back up, and will probably plate each joint too. This gives a nice smooth look to the outside edges and I think it will be plenty strong. It also was alot easier to bend by trial and error than to cut miters
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:32 PM
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Couple more pics. I'm welding it up with 7018AC. They're left over from the bucket repair thread and I figured I might as well burn some of them as they don't seem to keep real well without an oven. After burning about 15 lbs of them I think I've got the hang of it and actually like them fairly well. Better penetration than 6013 and cleaner than 6011.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:45 PM
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These racks are nice for extra lights and the cab protecting part. I like the 7018 though I have not tried the AC version. Looking good Matt.

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Old 12-22-2009, 02:06 AM
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Matt, your as bad as I am about working at night. You plan on hanging extra 'see the deer at night' lights?
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:48 PM
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Don't have much choice in the matter anymore LW, I leave for work between 5:30 and 6 depending on which jobsite I have to go to and generally don't get home till 5 or or 6 at night. Doesn't leave any daylight for my own projects Just wish I was better about going out and doing something when I get home, the blood pressure tends to climb a lot faster when I fall into a routine of working then sleeping and going right back to work, need a diversion in there and alot more often than the weekends

I'm planning on 2-55watt halogen floods pointed towards the rear, along with 2-6" stop tail turn LED's at the moment. Not figuring on anything towards the front because I don't want anything sticking up above the cab. I doubt it would really effect fuel mileage, but with a 120 mile round trip each day I'm not taking any chances!
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:23 PM
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The Headache Rack is looking good. I can understand what your saying about using lights to work on your own things. By the time I get home from work its 5 so I'm the same way. Those work lights are going to be real handy. It'll make the job easier too. I run those 7018 rods when I'm using my stick machine too. I think they work well. Looks good. Kevin
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:21 AM
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Well I've made a little more progress. I've been doing a lot of head scratching deciding how I want it to look and what materials to use. This is another project that just happened without any kind of plan beyond "I'm going to build a headache rack"

I'm fairly happy with it so far, think a good coat of flat black paint will change things alot too. I still haven't decided whether to cut the angles off flush that make the 2 uprights, or if I want to leave them stick up. I've seen racks made both ways and either works.

I'll get this welded up the rest of the way and then it will be time to bring the truck back in and figure out how to tie it down(ok lifting it back up will be the bigger challenge). Think I'm going to use the stake pockets so I don't have to drill holes in the bed rails. I've managed not to drill any holes in the truck yet except for the small weathergaurd box over the wheel well (which was advertised as "no drill installation", *******s)

The mesh is 3/8" thick expanded sheet. Leftovers from the catwalk they built over the auditorium at the school I was working on. Think I have just enough left for a fire rack for a smoker. The finer mesh for the light pockets was a transfer air grill I ripped out of the gym, have 2-4'x8' sheets framed with 1-1/2" angle. Not sure what to do with the rest of that yet

Dang lights I bought didn't come with a template for cutting the pockets. Going to see if I can get one off the net, if not I will have to experiment with wood until I have a good press fit I guess.
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:03 PM
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Default As Madam X Would Say......

Nice Rack, Matt!
I wonder what you're using to take those pictures. I'm having a bit of trouble picking out the details because they are coming over the internet a bit dark. I wonder if you have a couple of work lights that you could shine on the project before you snap the pictures. That way, the flash wouldn't have to do all the work and I will have a much better view of the nice job you're doing.

Keep it coming - Great thread!

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Old 12-24-2009, 12:40 PM
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Looking good Matt. As a word or warning though, if you do end up using the stake pockets to mount tthe rack, make sure it is bolted in really, really well. When dad bought our last farm truck, it came with a hombuilt ladder rack on it that was held in place at the stake pockets. Long story short, it managed to vibrate enough over time to cause the 4 corners of the box to crack around the pockets. That may have more to do with weight (the whole thing was built out of 1 1/2"x1/4" square and 2"x3"x1/4" rec. tube), but I don't really know.
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Old 12-24-2009, 02:06 PM
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If you are using grommet mount lights you should be able to get dimensions from any of the manufacturers websites. Grote, Trucklite, Peterson, Etc.
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