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Discussion Starter #1
So when I moved into my house last year, the previous owner had this old little 4x4 utility trailer out on the property, just wasting away. The metal frame was rusty, the wheels and tires were completely shot, and the plywood deck was deteriorating badly. I hate to waste stuff, so I decided to refurbish it. I got a new deck, new wheels/tires, and painted the frame. Since then I put it in the garage and haven't used it once. Haha. But I'd like to make is something useful, and in order to do that, I think it needs to have sides of some nature. My first thought it just bolt some 4x4's along the front edge and sides, then build out a 4x4 frame and then screw some 3/4" plywood sides and front onto it. That wouldn't be easily removable though. Anyone have any ideas? I'm open to hearing them and appreciate any input.

Thanks in advance,

Warner
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Well, you have the platform, now you need to determine what around your property you need to haul things with. I have two carts/wagons for various things. One is the Gorilla dump cart with the poly body that I use for purt near everything from hauling dirt to cut wood to wet concrete. It's auxiliary use is as a rain gauge to see how much rain falls.
The other cart is an Agri-fab utility 10 inch one that I recovered from an old barn. The bottom was completely rusted away along with part of the front side and the rear door was gone. I put an ⅛ inch stainless steel bed in it, Vee'd out the front side and put new wheels on it. This one I use to haul long things with. Like cut branches/trees, lumber and the like. I have a longer tongue that I will put on sometime this year.
What I would do with your cart would be to use 2X4's to reinforce the bottom of the platform because now it will sag badly with any load placed on it, then build short 6 inch walls on all 4 sides. Then use an oil base paint in a bright yellow to cover it all over. I'd use it for all the smaller stuff and haul buckets and whatever.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
As you may have seen in the photos, I have a poly dump cart too, that I use for the same things you do (including the rain gauge...haha). What I suspect this will be used for is mostly hauling cut tree branches and limbs with. I like the THOUGHT of using something to brace the bottom, because I have thought about that too, but I'm not sure I am following you on just HOW that would work. Can you elaborate? As far as painting it, could do, but I'm planning to use pressure treated lumber for all of it, and the 3/4" platform on there is pressure treated as well. I was planning on putting sides on it that were 32" tall....that way I could buy just one 4x8 foot sheet of plywood to do the sides and front....I'd leave the back open.

Let me know on the bracing...and thanks for the reply,

Warner
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think the bracing I'll use is the original pressure treated 4x4's that I had planned. Just screwing them to the sides and front, then to each other should give me plenty of rigidity I would think. Gluing and screwing vertical pieces of 4x4 and top supports as well, should result in a box that's plenty stiff enough for what I'd use it for, I would think. Thoughts?

Warner
 

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I did similar. But, instead of sheet plywood I made a frame for a 4x4 section of fencing (welded wire) thinking that I'd rather the branches, twigs, etc didn't sit on a un-draining surface.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's a great idea too, Chuck. I'm already in on this design......until it fails or gets worn out. I'll use it for hauling longer stuff, that my poly cart isn't so great at. I will likely mount hooks of some sort on the sides for chainsaw, brush cutter, etc as well....and maybe some eye hooks for tie down spots.....if I'm going with the 4x4 framing, it should be enough to hold stuff down (like my chipper shredder that's a pain to wheel around my 1 acre).

Warner
 

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One home made trailer I had,I put some pieces of 1-1/2" pipe about 6" long bolted along each side,three of them,this allowed some plywood sides framed with 2x4's along the edges,and had three lengths of 1-1/4" pipe bolted to them,that slid into the short pipes and held the sides in place...easily lifted off when not needed,or you needed a flat bed to lay a wider object on it..
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Another good idea. This trailer doesn't have "sides" per se, but I could do that with the 4x4 framing I'm going to put around the edges.....

Thanks for the idea,
Warner
 

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You are placing way too much faith in the pressure treated lumber to hold together. Granted, I am way down here in the humid Deep South, but I find that ANY pressure treater lumber doesn't last any appreciable time unless you do paint it with an oil based paint. Plywood is extremely bad unless covered, especially on the edges or any cut edges.
I would place the 2X4's on edge along the perimeter underneath and use a waterproof poly glue (Gorilla) or waterproof yellow glue along with screws and washers to the plywood base then use lag screws & glue to hold the 2X4's together. Other 2X4's would be assembled in the same manner to provide bracing underneath. Any walls would be attached to these 2X4's on the perimeter and not to the bed itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Flaken, you may be right about the plywood. But honestly, a new sheet of plywood every couple of years if need be is going to be cheaper than the paint would be. In your description of bracing, I'm not sure what the 2x4's on the underside of the plywood would do from a structural standpoint. I'm thinking I'll use 4x4's on TOP, thus the limited frame crossmember that the axle attached through would be supporting the 4x4's that run lengthwise. The 4x4 would be what provided resistance to flexing, at least as much as it could. They're only going to be 4 feet long, and a 4 foot 4x4 is pretty resistant to flexing, especially if it's properly attached to the plywood base. I would frame the sides in the same manner - 4x4's, with a vertical 4x4 in each of the corners. With 4x4's across the top, I'd have something to attach hooks to as well, for moving the brush cutter, chainsaw, etc to.

Warner
 

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Perhaps you can afford new plywood every couple of years, I can't. Then it is the PITA of taking everything apart and putting it back together. I try to make things once and be done with it. Painting the pressure treated likely will make it last a decade, or more, even if left outside. I don't have a garage or any covered area outside to store stuff. Not many have garages here.
Anyway, 4X4's are just overkill. A 2X4 on edge will give you all the support you will ever need. But if you have 4X4's, go for it. Use the lag screws to hold them together.
 

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For the metal frame work thats there anything 4x8 will be over kill. 2.5 x 4 would be a reasonable limit. Also consider what you are going to pull it with.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Flaken, I had to edit this post.....because I did some reading and you are totally RIGHT about pressure treated wood....the treatment does NOT prevent rot. I think I WILL end up pulling the panel off and painting it. You made me learn something today....thanks!

Warner
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ariens93GT20
The platform is 4x4 feet. It's going to be pulled by a Simplicity Landlord DLX. I doubt it will ever weigh what I've had in my poly cart as far as firewood weight. I'm sure I've had well over 500 pounds of wood in that thing. The Landlord has a K71 trans and locking diff. It never felt like it was strained even a little bit.

Warner
 

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Let the pressure treated dry out before painting or the paint will not stick and just fall off. A good deck penetrating sealer will work even better than paint.
If your going to put 500 lbs. on that find a way to strap the axle to the tounge so the wheels dont buckle out from under it. A little angle iron should do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Let the pressure treated dry out before painting or the paint will not stick and just fall off. A good deck penetrating sealer will work even better than paint.
If your going to put 500 lbs. on that find a way to strap the axle to the tounge so the wheels dont buckle out from under it. A little angle iron should do it.
EXACTLY what I had planned on doing with the wood parts, including the sealer vs paint. I'm not sure what you mean by "strapping the axle to the tongue". The axle is welded to the frame, and the tongue is bolted to that. You lost me on the "strapping" part....

Warner
 

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Flaken, I had to edit this post.....because I did some reading and you are totally RIGHT about pressure treated wood....the treatment does NOT prevent rot. I think I WILL end up pulling the panel off and painting it. You made me learn something today....thanks!

Warner
Always good to learn things, but you the the credit for questioning!
Heck, you should have seen the steep learning curve I went through moving from Denver where it is dry as a bone to here where it purt near stays wet year round.
I do have some protected storage in the rafters of my workshop. When I buy the pressure treated lumber, I store it up there for a month, or so, to let it dry out unless it is to be used right away for ground contact projects. After it dries, I use a primer, then two coats of an oil based paint.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Always good to learn things, but you the the credit for questioning!
Heck, you should have seen the steep learning curve I went through moving from Denver where it is dry as a bone to here where it purt near stays wet year round.
I do have some protected storage in the rafters of my workshop. When I buy the pressure treated lumber, I store it up there for a month, or so, to let it dry out unless it is to be used right away for ground contact projects. After it dries, I use a primer, then two coats of an oil based paint.
I appreciate all replies. And I'm not so stubborn that I can't learn anything. It's CLOSE, but not quite there yet. Haha.

Warner
 
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