I quickly learned that doing an event like Pennsic without a wagon is nutz. They're great for hauling ice, class materials, passed out squires, (don't ask) and oh, the shopping! ;-) Also, my daughter used it for many years as her bed at night. I made several longer versions as she outgrew the smaller ones. When she was younger we'd pack her in with a piece of thermofoam cut to fit for a mattress, some blankets and a stuffy. We could then go visit friends and when she got sleepy could lay down and we wouldn't have to immediately head back to camp. When we got back we'd simply roll the wagon into the tent while she peacefully slept on--she's slept peacefully through 'midnite madness' several times, and ridden comfortably on many a merchanting excursion.
Off-and-on over the years I've worked on a booklet to be titled "Building Small Wagons and Carts for SCA Use." I've never finished writing/webbing it, mainly because the only thing I really enjoy writing are sonnets, and the web stuff was a pain in the ass. But My Lady Wife says this blog stuff is easy, So, what the heck? Let's dust off some of the old prose, cull out some pictures from the vast file folder, fire up the scanner and digital camera, and build a wagon this weekend!
I've made several types/styles of wagons, and I've done a lot of experimenting with ways to do the axles, fifth wheels, hubs, tires, etc. As we proceed I'll go into some of the things that failed under use, were a pain to make, or were just good ideas on paper that failed in execution. While I have a very well equipped shop, I'll try not to do a "Norm" on you... 'Now we'll just walk over to this $5,000.00 piece of equipment and knock this part right out!" Though there are many ways to do any given shop task, I've tried to stick to methods for the average person to make a decent product without specialized tools.