I had always wanted to have an original Andrew Hague rack on one of my bikes just like the one I used to have back in the early 80's but after years of searching the Internet and posting requests on various websites I still hadn't found what I was looking for, so, there was only one thing to do….make one! My engineering workshop experience would come in handy because most of the parts had to be machined on a lathe. Luckily the Andrew Hague rack is made from some fairly basic materials, namely 8mm and 12mm ‘aircraft grade' aluminium round bar and also some 12mm square. With it's mechanical joints no welding was necessary.

I was fortunate enough to have some parts of an old Andrew Hague pannier carrier, given to me by Andrew Hague himself, to base the replica on and so only a little guesswork was needed. The original pannier carrier wasn't exactly precision made and this fitted in well with my 'eyeball engineering' approach to making the new one even though a few digital measuring instruments were used.

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The original in an advertisement.

These were the first bits to be made out of 1/2 inch aluminium alloy bar. Luckily I had some old ones to copy.

Working on the lathe.

The stay ends were originally made using a hydraulic press but because I had no access to such a machine I decided to go on the Internet to see if it was possible to hand-forge aluminium - it was, and I found an interesting site describing the process. After gently heating the end of the rod, (unlike steel aluminium doesn't change colour when heated, it just melts without warning) I was soon hitting it with a hammer and, after a few mistakes, it wasn't long before I became an expert forger. Again, I had some old ones to copy.

8mm threads on the end of the stays.

The old and the new.

These parts were the hardest things to make, getting square bar central in a 4-jaw chuck is not an easy task!

The bending of the platform bars was done with a modified 'Ridgid Tools' hand bender mounted in a vice.

At last, the finished article!

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The original Andrew Hague pannier carrier was unpolished so all I have to do now is leave the replica alone until it develops the lovely silvery sheen of unpolished aluminium….great!