Friday, January 2, 2009

So, what do we need?

How about plans?

Plans?! We don't need no steenking plans! Anyway, I haven't drawn any for this version of the basic wagon, so we're just going to have to do that as we go along.

As for materials:

1/4" plywood for the floor of the bed, which will be about 52" x 28”. Why 52x28? It will fit a child-size mattress inside, and get through most doors. If you want to use different (smaller) dimensions feel free. It’s a good idea to consider the size of your trunk, roof rack, or pick-up bed. If you want to use different (larger) dimensions I’d advise against going much larger, it makes it tough to maneuver in marketplaces and indoors, as well as complicating loading it in the car, and really tempts you to overload when filling it.

Wood for the sides and gates of the bed. I’m going to use eight or ten pine 1x3s for built–up sides for similarity to the Dejbjerg Wagon (and I’ve got some in the shop). But ¼” to 1/2” plywood would work equally well. Or you could build “ladder sides” from slats or dowels.

A 4’ x 4’ sheet of ¾” or thicker plywood to cut the wheels from. You can cut the “fifth wheel” from this piece, too, or use some ½” plywood. The fifth wheel disc needs to be about 8” to 10” in diameter.

A 4’ x 4’ sheet of ¼” nom. Luan plywood if you want to do the fancy wheels with built up “felloes” and cut out spokes.

10 fender washers that will fit over the axle rods.

Two metal rods 3/8” to ½” diameter by 3’ long for the axles.

A 2 ½” or so clevis pin for holding the tongue to the front hounds or about 2” of ¼” id copper pipe and a ¼” x 2 1/2 “ bolt with a self-locking nut.

A 2x2x8 for the tongue (or four a fancier version you can rip a taper in a 2x4)

A 2x10 for the bolsters.

A one foot length of ½” to 5/8” dia. hardwood dowel for the “T” handle.

Two apx. 1” x 8” mending plates or metal bar stock for attaching the tongue to the front axle tree.

Various drywall screws, Tightbond II glue (or similar), some stain, sand paper, wood-burning stuff (or pyrography equipment if you’re a Laurel wannabe ;-)

1” to 1 ½” dia. automobile heater hose, C=2 π r, therefore: 3.141 x 2 x 8” x 4 wheels = 201.24” / 12” = 17 feet. God, my mom and my math teachers would be amazed.

About 2’ of ½” pvc pipe for wheel bearings

A 2x4x8 for building up the wheel hubs and part of the front axle tree.

Doubtless I’ve forgotten something, but that’s what makes woodbutchering such an adventure. And when we're done I will have a materials list.

Let's talk plywood for a minute. Fact: SCAdians overbuild. If a 1/4" piece of ply will work, they use 3/4", if a 16 gauge piece of metal will work, they use some left over aircraft carrier hull plating. Honest, folks, plywood is immensely strong. There's a reason that those karate dudes break boardwood, not plywood. The problem with thinner plywood is not its strength, but its stiffness (or lack thereof). With proper support 1/4" will work fine in wagon beds, and be both lighter and cheaper.

As for the other wood, use pine. Especially if you're using hand tools, and not bench or stationary power tools. If you must use a 'hardwood' use poplar. Oak looks great, no doubt, but it's heavy and it's hard on you and your tools. If you have a beat up old wagon in pine, and an beautiful wagon of the same design in oak, the one you'll load up for events is the light one--trust me on this.

Glue: Tightbond II or III. It's cost effective, not too short a working time, and strong. The only one I like better is "Gorilla Glue" but it's way more expensive, and has a way shorter shelf life.



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