Projects: Woodworking / Wheel Barrow

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This project has been on my TODO list for long enough, and I've finally decided to do something about it. Highlands War is coming up on July 21, 2006, and I hope to have this project ready by that time.

Sunday June 25, 2006

After looking at the web pages linked to from my woodworking projects page, I decided to use cheap 2x12 material for the sides, and 1x12 material for the rest of the box. I looked in my garage/workshop, and the only piece available to me was a 2' section of 4x4 that will eventually be my axle. My trip to the local home center lightend by wallet by about $40, and in return I brought home a 12' piece of 2x12, a couple 6' pieces of 1x12, and a 1" dowel to use for the spokes.

Monday June 26, 2006

I have my two sides cut out, and the first coat of linseed oil soaking into them. Being that they are made out of cheap stud material, I figured they would need all the help they could get in order to keep from splitting right down the middle as they dried. I also learned that the sun will fry your back if you aren't wearing a shirt. After a few gasps of horror, and a few poor baby comments, I was informed that I should probably wear a shirt the next time.

Tuesday June 27, 2006

I remembered my shirt today, although there weren't any noticable clouds in the sky to bounce the skin frying radiation into my shade. The first thing I did was cut out one of the bottom boards. I took a few measurements, made a few calculations, and cut out the first board. Luckily I set it on top of the sides just to see what it looked like before cutting out the second board. Much to my surprise, I had spent way to much time on the measuring, and not nearly enough time on the calculations. I then added 3" onto my length and started working on my second board. I'll either need to find a way to salvage the first board, or go pick up another section of 1x12 to remake the other bottom board. I then went to work on making some mortises in the side boards, and doing a test fitting of the bottom board with the sides so that I could determine where the mortises for the front and back boards will be placed. This is the part where I start having but first... issues. After cutting the front and back angled mortises on one side, I decided I should cut out one of the boards to make sure it would really work. Then I decided to cut the angles on the end board so it would fit nicely with the bottom boards. The sun was now high enough that most of my shade had disappeared, so the moritses for the other side will have to wait until tomorrow.. and so will the other end board.

Wednesday June 28, 2006

All the boards are now cut and have one coat of oil on them (mental note: need to buy more boiled linseed oil). I need to cut the slots for the wedges, and the wedges themselves, but I finally put it together and got a good idea of how big it is going to be. I need to decide if I want to attempt a fix for the short board, or make a new one. For now I will use it as it is. I need to decide what size wheel I want to build and make a template for the fellies. I'm leaning toward a 20" wheel, although it could easily handle a 22" wheel.

Thursday June 29, 2006

The wedges are all cut out, and so are most of the mortises for the wedges. There is still some final shaping to do on a lot of the mortises to clean them up, but at least I can put everything together now! As long as I don't get sidetracked, I will probably start working on the wheel tomorrow.

Friday June 30, 2006

Due to other chores, I didn't get anything done on the cart itself today, but I did get the template cut out for the fellies. I have enough scrap from the 2x12, so hopefully I will be able to cut them out and at least do a dry fitting this weekend. I've decided to make a 22" wheel with a little extra depth to the fellies so that I can always toss it on the bandsaw and cut it down to 20" if I'm not happy with it.

Sunday July 2, 2006

I cut out the fellies this morning, and had a couple different issues bite me, but nothing I can't fix. When I cut out the template, I cut to just the outside of the line, or on the line. Then I traced the template onto the wood and once again cut to the outside edge of the line (trying to make the line disappear as I went). This basically caused the final pieces to have a 1/8" margin all the way around which I didn't realize until after I had cut out the half laps. Things didnt quite fit right, so I went and trimmed out a little more for the laps, and finally realized what had happend. After trimming an 1/8" off all the ends, things came together much closer, but now the laps were just a hair larger than they should be. I'll just have to fill those gaps when I glue everything together. It started to sprinkle, so I pulled the tools back inside the garage and will drill the holes for the spokes tomorrow.

Monday July 3, 2006

I drilled the holes in the 4x4 and the fellies, then I did some calculations to determine the length of the spokes, and cut the dowel to length. Upon attempting a dry fitting, I realized that I forgot to divide my calculation by two, and the spokes were obviously too long. After ripping two of the spokes in half and attempting another dry fitting, I realized that I had subtracted when I should have added in my original calculations and now the spokes were obviously too small. I still had two long spokes that I could cut down, and luckily I still had a spare 1" dowel in the garage I could use for the other two. After making a few minor adjustments to the spokes, everything fit as well as I could expect. I then ripped the corners off the 4x4 and made it 8 sided, and ripped the ends to something close to the size of the holes on the barrow. After a little work with some sandpaper and files, I applied a coat of oil and the axle was done. I ended the morning by glueing and clamping the wheel together, and hopefully tomorrow or the next day I can take off the clamps and see how it all works.

Tuesday July 4, 2006

Happy 4th of July! I went out this morning and took all the clamps off the wheel so I could finally put it all together. I'm not planning on doing any more work today, so the glue will get another day to set up before I do any more work with it. There are areas that need to be cleaned up on the wheel, and I plan on putting a metal strap around the outside of the wheel to help with wear and tear. I did a really quick test around the driveway with the 70lb bag of canvas for our tent, and everything felt fine. There is a little binding on one side of the axle, but since I havn't added the wax yet, I'm not to worried.

Wednesday July 5, 2006

Today was nice and frustrating all at the same time. I managed to stop at the home center yesterday and picked up some boiled linseed oil and some 1.5" metal straping for the tire. Today I woke up to everything getting nice and damp outside, so I stayed in the garage and finished off the legs, and applied oil to all the wedges and the legs. While working on the legs, the FedEx guy stopped by to deliver the nails that I will need to finish off this project. The 1" nails will be used to put the metal tire on the wheel, and the 2" nails will be used to fasten the legs to the sides. I wanted to try pounding on the metal a little bit today, but there's no room in the garage, and I didn't feel like taking the rustable items outside in the rain.

UPDATE: The sky cleared up in the afternoon and I was able to get one of the metal straps pounded into something of the proper shape. I didn't take any pictures, but hopefully I will remember to take some when I start working on the second half.

Thursday July 6, 2006

I took apart the wheel barrow and cleaned up the mortises in the sides by filing the edges. This should make it a little easier on the hands, and help prevent any splintering. I also nailed the legs to the sides. Normally I would use glue and dowels, but since I am going to be using nails for the wheel anyway, I figured it would be easiest to just nail them. The cut nails prevent spliting, but ONLY if you align them properly with the grain, otherwise they just act like a wedge and split the wood. The problem with the legs is that the grain is 90 degrees to the side, so either the leg or the side would risk being split. To help prevent splitting, I predrilled holes in the legs, and aligned the nails for the grain in the sides. Unfortunatly I didn't predrill the holes big enough, and I still ended out with some spliting in the legs, although nothing that will cause me any problems.

I saw some cloud cover that would block some of the sun, so I headed out in the back yard to work on the other half of the tire. Unfortunatly, shortly after I got started the sun came back out. I kept working and knocked out the other half of the tire. Now all that's left is to cut the extra ~3" off each half, drill some holes, and nail them to the wheel. I don't expect it to really be that easy, but I'll keep dreaming.

Friday July 7, 2006

It looked like a nice morning out, so I got to work on shorting the tenons and then filing the edges smooth again, applying another coat of oil to all the boards, cleaning up the wheel a little bit and applying oil to it as well, then finally getting to work on drilling the metal and getting it nailed to the wheel. The metal wasn't straight, but it will be good enough for anything I plan on using it. The second half of the tire needs a little more work on the anvil before I put it on, but at least I have the holes drilled in it already, so I will probably take it from the anvil and right to the wheel (when I get to that part a little later).

The second half turned out to be a bit of a pain. Smacking it on an anvil was easy, but it went downhill when I tried to nail it to the wheel. Everything looked good until I only had three more nails to pound in. This is when I noticed that there was just over an 1/8" overlap in the metal. I ended out grabing my angle grinder and doing what I could not to injure myself, and luckily enough of the metal fell off in the process to make the second half of the tire fit. I still need to do something with that short board in the bottom. I will probably cut some holes so I can put wedges in place to make it look normal, and eventually add some filler peices to get rid of the gaps on the inside. The other part that needs to be taken care of is the excess play between the shoulder and the sides for the axle. My dad's suggestion is to add an oil soaked leather washer on each side, and I will see about making a couple before Highlands. For now the wheel barrow is done.

The End...(for now)

Somewhat random links with wheelbarrow information: