First, I sketched out a concept and generated a 3D model (thanks Mr. Kory Kapfer!). I understood I would need some intricate cutting of the metal and figured water-jetting the top plate would be the best bet.
Next, I sent the electronic file (can be an Illustrator file, EPS, DXF, etc) to a company called Innovative Cutting Solutions (www.innovativecuttingsolutions.com or 623-842-1255) to cut-out the top bike design. Cost = $50
I was able to talk Dave Terral at Saguaro Steel Industries, LLC (www.saguarosteel.com) into giving me some scrap tube steel and then he made some tack welds for the bike plate and help cut all the pieces.
Edge Industries (www.edge-industries.com) hosted a How-To-Weld-Your-Bike rack event this past Saturday where Fisher (son, age 6) and I learned how to weld all the parts together using a tack-welder machine. Thanks Billy and Aaron (http://www.voigtmetal.com/about-the-artist)!