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Are or have you done any load tolerance testing on it yet? I'm designing and welding a rack for mine too and didn't think shying away from tubing would provide enough strength. Though, I suppose it only needs to be strong enough to hold what you are tossing up there.

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Discussion Starter #22
Are or have you done any load tolerance testing on it yet? I'm designing and welding a rack for mine too and didn't think shying away from tubing would provide enough strength. Though, I suppose it only needs to be strong enough to hold what you are tossing up there.

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No I have not done any testing or simulations on this design and I don't really plan on doing any. I have learned a lot while building this and might attempt a version 2 in the future just because it was a pretty fun project. I know the outer frame isn't going to fail from anything I could throw at it but the flat stock floor I'm having some second thoughts about. My plan is to throw something in the basket as a floor but that will likely add enough thickness that I should have done tubing to begin with. I guess time will tell and I'll try and remember to keep this thread updated as time goes on.
 

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Just a thought on the cross bars to save weight instead of using square tubing but still increasing the strength and rigidity you could always use 1" angle iron with the wide side up and the 90° down or just on it's edge. Either way it would be half the weight of square tubing.

Something like this:
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Update 05/25/2017:

This thing is done!!!!! It didn't turn out exactly how I had planned or hoped but I'm still happy it's finished and proud that I did it myself.

Photobucket is being a pain right now so I'll have to share the finished pictures later...
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Just a thought on the cross bars to save weight instead of using square tubing but still increasing the strength and rigidity you could always use 1" angle iron with the wide side up and the 90° down or just on it's edge. Either way it would be half the weight of square tubing.

Something like this:
I had though about that as well but planned on it being too close to the roof to pull that off. Now that it is mounted, it definitely came up high enough to use the angle which might be part of version 2.
 

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Did you grind off all of the electro galvanized finish off the superstrut to weld it? I love that stuff but never considered welding it because of that unique finish they put on it.

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Discussion Starter #27
Did you grind off all of the electro galvanized finish off the superstrut to weld it? I love that stuff but never considered welding it because of that unique finish they put on it.

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Yes I ground the finish everywhere that I welded but that still wasn't enough, During welding the finish started flaking off from the heat so I held my breath, kept the garage door open, and got it done as quickly as possible because welding on galvanized material is a big no no and makes some fumes you don't want to be around.
 

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Yes I ground the finish everywhere that I welded but that still wasn't enough, During welding the finish started flaking off from the heat so I held my breath, kept the garage door open, and got it done as quickly as possible because welding on galvanized material is a big no no and makes some fumes you don't want to be around.
Lol, you should be wearing a respirator anytime you weld anything (they make low profile ones to fit under your mask) and I only weld galvanized outside and with a couple high cfm fans to help with fumes.

I figured that finish would be a nightmare. Great stuff for lots of things but welding... Not so much ;)

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
Photobucket is back to working!!!!

Here's the basket all bolted to the roof:








And here are the low pro unistrut cross bars added. I made sure to tighten these down with my tool kit under the back seat so I know I can adjust their position anytime I need too. Also have one more extra in the garage that I'm thinking about using for a bicycle fork mount in that back of the Xterra.





 

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Discussion Starter #30 (Edited)
Just a little update on the basket, I've been using it to haul kayaks the last couple Fridays with the wife and threw a dewalt tough box up there for giggles:







I did mess up and get bolts that were a little too long but found that they can be easily shortened on a bench grinder. If anyone is interested in the correct length bolts to use in lowpro unistrut I can get a measurement later.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Well after a good few months of use I thought I'd update this thread. The basket is still holding strong and worked like a dream for a road trip to upstate New York in July. That trip was one of the biggest reasons for building the basket because I knew I needed a place to store a generator as well as gear. Using the unistrut crossbars allowed us to mount a Yakima Rocketbox and still have enough room to sit a generator next to it. Here are a few photos of test fitting everything up there and then a couple shots when we were on the road to New York.





 

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Discussion Starter #32
Found a good deal on some Wavian NATO style jerry cans and picked up a 10l and 20l last weekend and decided see how ell the basket could be packed with what I have for camping gear. So far it seems that 2 Plano 30" Truck boxes, one 8gal. Action Packer and 2 20l Jerry cans fill it up pretty well.







There Is still some wasted space and I need to come up with a good cargo net to hold everything down but it was nice to load it all up and see what would fit.

I have some ideas for a version 2.0 that bolts together and is made of low-pro unistrut that will use a little more of the roof space available.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
You ever finish version 2?
So not to dig up a dead thread but I finally decided to model up the V2.0 idea I had. This option might be about the same cost as V1.0 but is all bolt together so a little more DIY friendly.



This is the general shape with some added length over V1.0 so as to maximize usable area.



This is with V1.0 overlayed to show the difference in length. The plan would be to also include a piece of aluminium angle at/around the back to prevent cargo from sliding off.

According to my modeling software, V2.0 would be about 5lbs lighter than V1.0 but the hardware was not accounted for in this calc and might make up that difference. V2.0 would also place the cargo a bit higher than V1.0 so there's that too.
 
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