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How to make Grocery Panniers for $4

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How to make Grocery Panniers for $4

Old 09-16-08, 12:39 PM
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Trevor: Well done!

Wet Masonite/particle board/paneling problem prevention?: Before stapling it inside the bag, maybe paint it with a few coats of Water Seal, or spray with shellac or varnish or even paint- gloss white (enamel should waterproof better than latex) would make it easier to see things inside the bags especially if they're black. Then the panels would probably last at least as long as the bags, even if left in the rain a lot.

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Old 09-16-08, 12:41 PM
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Would spraying the bags with a waterproofing material help keep the masonite dry?
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Old 09-16-08, 12:47 PM
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There are other materials that might work besides the masonite if people are worried about water damage. Personally, it doesn't matter much to me because I won't be using them in the rain and I'll only ride a few miles at most with them. However, like UncleStu and neilfein mentioned, waterproofing could be a good idea.

Also, shop around at the different grocery stores to see who sells the best reusable bags. Some use different material than the others. IKEA, for example, has a tarp-like material for their bags. (And they sell them for only $0.59!)

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Old 09-16-08, 12:55 PM
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Instead of the masonite, I'd use something like sheet ABS or PE or (as mentioned) Coroplast.

What, am I the only one here with 0.125" sheet ABS laying around the shed?
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Old 09-16-08, 01:07 PM
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Very cool.
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Old 09-16-08, 01:07 PM
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use cardboard wrapped in disposable shpping bags?
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Old 09-16-08, 01:16 PM
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I use those grocery bags as a trunk--I just fill one up with my clothes and laptop and stuff and bungee/cargo net it to the top of my rack. Laptop won't fit in a regular trunk but the reusable bags conform around the shape of the load.

Of the common grocery stores selling these, I find the Meijer brand ones to be sturdiest. They are a dollar, bright blue for visibility, and have two wine bottle holders in the corners! Also a pocket on the outside.

One could also build up the set like the OP has it and just set another bag full of purchases into these. That way you carry in the bags with intact handles and leave the "panniers" on the bike.
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Old 09-16-08, 01:22 PM
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disposable grocery bags will fuse together under the pressure and medium heat of an iron. just use parchment paper to keep it from sticking to the iron.

You could use this method to wrap something, or make something from scratch
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Old 09-16-08, 03:18 PM
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I'm with bigbenaugust for using Coroplast as the backing material. It's probably lighter than the masonite.

Other modifications I'd do:

- 400D Cordura base wrap. It's cheap; 1 yard would work to wrap both bags and strengthen up the bottoms
- Instead of cutting/sewing the straps and making one fused bag, make a caribiner attachment system (as someone mentioned earlier) to connect the 2 bags by sewing some flat webbing and a D-ring near the base of the handles.
- Optionally, leave the handles as-is, and pop rivet some pannier hooks to the coroplast/masonite backing board.
Of course, we're getting out of the $4.00 realm now...
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Old 09-16-08, 04:42 PM
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We are getting deep into the relm of homemade gear, which is my favorate topic. As a backing material... I forget the name, but lowes/hd sell it next to the lexan sheets. Plexyglass, polycarbonate, something like that.
How do people make their bottom attachment points? Do you just simply make a horizontal daisy chain and some elastic cord and a hook? I'd also add some compression straps and a spindrift collar top closure, and like I mentioned earlier, make it out of packcloth. Of cource by the time you are done with such modifications, it would be a "pannier" as much as a "grocery pannier".
Cool thread,
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Old 09-16-08, 04:48 PM
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Definitely an amazing do it yourself idea and super functional. Well done.
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Old 09-16-08, 06:03 PM
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Thanks for sharing! We live close enough to the grocery store to go when it's sunny/dry.

Cheers!
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Old 09-16-08, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ncscott
As a backing material... I forget the name, but lowes/hd sell it next to the lexan sheets. Plexyglass, polycarbonate, something like that.
I was originally looking for something like that to use as the backing. I never thought to walk down that aisle, though. Two things... 1) Any idea how much it costs? and 2) If I drill through it, will it shatter?
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Old 09-16-08, 08:56 PM
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Simple,Clean,Easy,Perfect!
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Old 09-16-08, 11:08 PM
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Excelent Idea!

As the original design was, only a fair weather option, though several people have offered mods to improve on that, however, still a really good, dirt cheap, and quick way of making some very useful shopping panniers.

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Old 09-17-08, 02:09 AM
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Cool idea, but won't the bottom sag? I guess it might not matter, but if you could find some way to reinforce the bottom a bit, they would be perfect.
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Old 09-17-08, 02:27 AM
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"I was originally looking for something like that to use as the backing. I never thought to walk down that aisle, though. Two things... 1) Any idea how much it costs?"
More expensive than plywood (but you get more plywood), a for sale sign (corogated plastic), and masonite. Less expensive than lexan. Lowes/hd do not have it on their websites and I'm purposely avoiding visiting either store right now. It is sold in a variety of sizes, one small enough to be economical.
"and 2) If I drill through it, will it shatter?"
The whole reason I descovered it was looking into making a router table, where they drill holes into it and then bolt a high velocity elecrical device to it. My guess is it will be fine.
Weight was very reasonable, better if you cut out the middle.
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Old 09-17-08, 09:15 AM
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I have actually thought about doing something like this too, but haven't been too impressed with the quality of bags available here. Glad to see someone doing it and that it is so well-received.

As far as reinforcing the bottom goes, I have thought about getting those Rubbermaid plastic shoeboxes, about $1.00 each, and placing inside. They should be about the same size as the bags so you wouldn't lose too much space.
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Old 09-17-08, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by mesasone
Cool idea, but won't the bottom sag? I guess it might not matter, but if you could find some way to reinforce the bottom a bit, they would be perfect.
You could cut another piece of masonite to make a strong bottom.
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Old 09-17-08, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by trevorbikes
I was originally looking for something like that to use as the backing. I never thought to walk down that aisle, though. Two things... 1) Any idea how much it costs? and 2) If I drill through it, will it shatter?
I can only speak for ABS, as I haven't worked with coroplast much (I did last night, but failed). I don't think you can find it at a home improvement place, I've always bought it in sheets at the local plastics shop. Cuts just like wood, I use a crosscut saw and it drills well.
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Old 09-17-08, 10:35 AM
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Nice mod... I'm thinking cutting up some of those corrugated plastic yard-sale signs (buy them end of summer and they should be on sale) might be a cheap and easy waterproof hard layer.
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Old 09-17-08, 01:44 PM
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This thread has been referenced in another thread, which makes it a BF classic!
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Old 09-17-08, 01:58 PM
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that is great. simple, lightweight, cheap. i'm making that.
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Old 09-17-08, 03:34 PM
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Has anyone made some yet? I would love to see pictures of others!
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Old 09-17-08, 05:13 PM
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Trevor... Did you get any heal strike off your pair? I'm about to measure out my bags for my patterns.
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