Last weekend, I bought two 20mm ammocans to convert into luggage for my Wee. I went with these mainly because they were cheap, waterproof, cheap, rugged, cool looking, but mostly, because they were cheap: $19.99 each plus tax. I figured with a few hours of work and a few cans of spray paint, I could have some decent looking, bomb proof cans for my bike for not a lot of money. Here are the cans on top of my Father in Law's El Camino:
I started with the one in back in the picture above. For some reason, I feel the need to reproduce the stenciling on the cans, and the can in back doesn't have much. It also has the worst rust of the two. I began with the lid. I didn't have much time last night, and thought I could grind off the paint quickly. Wrong! I started with this:
one hour and one wire brush wheel for my drill later, I ended up with this:
I'll see how removing the paint from the rest of the can is with the wire wheel, but if it's anything like the lid, I'll try to find some solvent that will remove the paint, or have them professionally stripped. Or maybe try out the angle grinder with a brush. Would heating up the paint before grinding help? Dunno. My painting plan is to first coat them in some cold galvanizing spray, then primer, then paint. I also found some Rustoleum reflective clear coat at the toy store (Home Depot) that I'll use on the boxes. Finally, I'll probably coat the front and bottoms with bedliner. Yep, more weight! I'm not sure what color scheme I'll use yet, but I'm leaning towards black and yellow to match my Wee, natch, split diagonally along the stiffening ribs.
I was going to mount these cans on an SW Motech rack, but now I'm thinking of going with the Happy Trails. The HT rack seems a bit stronger (haven't seen one in person yet), but it's definitely more expensive. They have a quick release system of some sort that allegedly will work with the cans.
So, here's a question for all you weight minded folks...Most of my riding will be one up, with some camping and/or fishing gear on occasional long weekend trips. I figure the cans/rack will add around 50 pounds to the bike, plus whatever I throw in them. I tend to pack light. Can the Motech or HT rack handle 50 pounds/side (loaded with gear) off road? Colorado has lots of cool trails I want to explore, and a busted rack out in the sticks doesn't sound like much fun!
Here's a few things I discovered in my first night's adventure:
- Safety glasses are a must...I was peppered with wire wheel shards the whole time I was grinding.
- Wear the best filter mask you have...that dust is nasty
- Wear hearing protection too!
- Use a spray bottle with water to wet down the work area...it will help keep the dust down
- long sleeves will protect your arms, and trap some of the (probably) lead based paint from skin contact