Cleaning the pipes is easiest with a wire brush; I found a rather large one in a barn and have worn it to the nub. It also loves to eat shirt tails, beware!
It took a bit of tweaking to get the pipes where I wanted them; fortunately there's enough play in the system that I can "fudge" little mistakes. Each upright has to be square, level to the truck, accept pipes coming at a slight angle, and still wind up on the edge of the bed. I welded up one side at a time, here's both sides finished:
Now I could easily have finished welding the rack today. Here's a preview of what I have left to add:
But I need to address something else first - the paint. I can't paint the rack in place, I have to move it away from the window. So I'd better do that now while it only weighs 500 lbs. Ughh. I actually don't know what it weighs, maybe I can figure that out. So here is the rack with one coat of Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer:
Yup, it's rust colored. I will be painting it black soon, don't worry. Again, the front has to be painted before the back is welded on, so that it fits on the truck bed while scooched back. But I like the way it looks now, at least it's not so rusty...just rust colored. A couple more views:
More as it comes!