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Old yard trailer rebuild

1146 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Tom-machinery-idiot
Built this little trailer outta scrap nearly thirty years ago. Plywood. I saturated with Thompson's Waterseal several times and allowed it to soak in. Painted with plain enamel. It held up very well being stored outside, but the wood's had it! Pneumatic tires at first, but I got tired of flats and converted to solid wheels. I decided for the rebuild, it's time it had a tailgate too.

I'd used around 50 or so 1/4 20 carriage bolts. Rather than take too much time with them I cut them off with a disk.

I'd made it a dump trailer back when I built it. In everyday use I decided it was absolutely not necessary. Just as easy to unhook it from the tractor and raise the tongue to dump.
I also decided to go back this time with something that wouldn't rot. Smooth expanded metal. That's gonna require shorter spans between supports. 1" angle iron stringers welded to the cross members will do that.

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Nice to see you're fixing it up vs. replacing it! It sounds like it'll be even better than before. :fing32:
I need to build one of these... I got ideas, don't have a welder though.
I need to build one of these... I got ideas, don't have a welder though.
Well you do have some options. If you have a place to do it, you can get set up with a fairly low priced 120v flux core welder that'll do just fine. The big box stores and Harbor Freight offer several of those. If you don't know how to weld you can get some good books on the subject. You can pick it up using scrap in an afternoon. Youtube has good instructional videos too.
Harbor Freight sells a nice little trailer for around $120 in a bolt-together kit.

Heavy Duty Trailer Cart

I bought one for a friend and it really turned out pretty nice.
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I've got so many projects that I'll eventually end up with a welder...

It's been a lot of years since I've welded, but it's just like falling off a bike, No?
MIG welders have become plentiful and their price has come down accordingly. You can get a small one but not use it full blown MIG. Use the flux core wire until you've become comfortable doing it. Then you can make the investment in the gas bottle and switch to solid MIG wire, or leave it flux core. Don't matter. The way I describe MIG welding to someone who's never done it, a lot like squirting mustard from a bottle onto a hot dog. Need to learn penetration and heat, but that comes naturally as ya go.
If you want to stay with the traditional stick welders, those are plentiful and cheap too. 220v AC crackerbox will build just about anything you want but it really won't do much vertically or upside down. Still, you can reposition whatever you're welding for small projects. It's all I ever had until 2001.

This morning I was tacking down the expanded metal. A tack here...tack over there.... Hey, where'd my nozzle go? Nozzle gone. I looked for twenty minutes. I believe it traveled through a worm-hole into a parallel universe. I just now got back from Dallas where I got a new one. If I ever clean my workshop I think it'll probably show up.
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My garage has those "wormholes" too !...wrenches,bolts,parts,all seem to vanish like magic if I lay them down...yesterday I looked for my LED flashlight I keep in my pocket all the time ,and couldn't find it anywhere--I re-traced my steps,and finally found it IN my toolbox,where I evidently laid it when searching for another 9/16" wrench--to use after the first one did a dissapearing act..found it the next day 30 feet away from where I last used it,in the garage..I had NO memory of even going near that part of the garage either !..

I live in an area that supposedly has a "vortex" and a lot of strange and evil things happen I dont doubt there is some mysterious forces at work...

I used expanded metal mesh like that on a few trailers--it only lasts a few years around here ,even if its painted good--I did use some of the same stuff on a headache rack for my truck though and it has held up well for 10+ years..was a big pain to tack weld it on with my 220V arc welder though...

I would go for a 220V MIG with a gas bottle rather than start off with a flux core 110V welder,then have to sell it for next to nothing to "upgrade"to a 220V unit that has the gas capeability--Harbor Freight has larger MIG's that run on 220V with gas adaptability for under 200 bucks now,I'd go for one of those instead..

I've been collecting a lot of used FWD car hub/wheel bearing assemblies out of my friends scrap pile--many he changes were still "good",the customers opt to replace both at once,when only one was noisy--plenty good enough to use for a trailer or cart your just towing around your yard..

They allow the use of car rims and tires,I use the donut spares,and the are pretty easy to make work ,I use thick 2" pipe for an axle tube and weld on one of the 3 bolt flanges off one of the junk bearing/hubs to the pipe,so I can bolt another unit on,and easily change it if need be someday..
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I built this thing in 2005 using the Lincoln MIG welder I bought from Home Depot. For 90% the work it was really OK but I did find myself needing a little more power.

Later, I upgraded to a Miller Syncro-Wave 200 TIG. Thinking I'd never need another MIG, I gave the Lincoln to a friend who did a lot of automotive customizing. As it turned out, I really missed being able to do MIG work for out of position things. Trying to TIG things laying under a car or truck, operating the pedal under my arm got to be "awkward".

After my experience with the Lincoln, I got a much heavier Miller 211 MIG. I'm pretty happy now and I believe I can do whatever I ever need to do as far as welding any metal, any position, any thickness.
All that said, I absolutely remember doing almost everything I ever wanted to with an old Hobart crackerbox I'd bought at the flea market for $40, and a torch with a coat hanger.
If your means will allow, buy a heavier machine than you think you'll need. My experience is that whatever you have, you'll always want to try something heavier.
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