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26ga is very thin. Would be questionable if it was under any stress.

Go to your local auto body supply store, ask if they have any body steel. Lots of them have 3' x 3' 24 or 22 gauge sheets.

I'd say 24 gauge would be the minimum if it's going to have any weight on it. I use 24 gauge to make light weight megaphones...it's still pretty thin.
JohnnyB
 

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26 gauge can have some strength if it's got a lot of sharp bends etc. But even then the attachment points where you screw it, bolt it, weld it to the bike are going to be very weak and prone to bending, and pulling screws through their holes.
I'd shoot for 24 gauge, 22 can start getting a tad heavy for large items.
JohnnyB
 
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