View Full Version : Making yard utility wagon

James D. Clark
04-07-2004, 10:18 PM
I bought plenty of 2X2-1/4 angles when I made my welding table. More than enough to make some more projects to practice with the new MM175. Decided to build one of those wagons for hauling things around the yard. I've got the main wagon bed finished and the two rear wheel struts. Now I'm in the process of designing and building the front suspension struts and steering. .035 wire goes real fast. I mean 2# is gone.:D Got a 10# spool this afternoon.

Dave Haak
04-07-2004, 10:37 PM

Good start, ...........I can almost see it from Altoona.


04-08-2004, 12:11 AM
My wife was given an old red rider wagon when some friends of ours left for a new base. The bottom was rusted out and she wanted me to make her a new base for it for yard work and carrying in groceries and such. I used all the hard ware from the old wagon but here is my finished product. I also left gaps in the corners for cleaning purposes, but now I wished I would have closed em up.


James D. Clark
04-08-2004, 12:35 AM

Looks like that is a nice salvage job. Heavy enough to be useful. The old coaster wagons my wife gets all have the tires worn out. And the tounges are too short and the wagons are always climbing my heels.:( Maybe you can find some corner clips to seal the corners. Seems I've seen something that would work for that. Could slide them off to clean the corners.

James D. Clark
04-11-2004, 11:02 PM
Have the wagon nearly done now. Still need to make a tongue. The one in the pictures is one I borrowed from an old coaster wagon so I could do a test drive. It also needs a bottom, cotter keys for the king pins (I don't think they will fall out without them);)

The most difficult thing I ran into was running more threads on the front spindle bolts. The bolts are 5/8 inch dia. with 11 pitch threads. The length of bolt I used didn't have the threads long enough so I couldn't run a jam nut up next to the wheel side of the steering knuckle. Spent a couple of days (part time) chasing around looking for a 5/8-11 thread die. Finally located a local machining business that also sells tools. They had 3 in stock. :D

Of coarse I didn't have a die holder for that size. Chucked it in my lathe-carefully-didn't want to crush the die-it was an adjustable, split frame die. Stuck a piece of 1/16 steel in the die split to lock the die against a chuck jaw to keep it from turning. Threaded the bolt into the die with a wrench while holding the chuck with the chuck key. Grade 5 bolts.:( Turned real tough. Used plenty of black thread cutting oil. Glad I only had 2 to do. Nothing snapped.:D

I laid a sheet of chip board in the wagon and hauled 4 buckets of corn syrup up the back yard. That's about 240 pounds. The yard is steeper than it looks. I'm thinking about adding a 350 Cu. in. V-8 and brakes!!!:D :D :D

James D. Clark
04-11-2004, 11:08 PM
Another picture of the wagon. Need to mow the grass.:D

James D. Clark
04-11-2004, 11:13 PM
This picture shows the steering and front end better.

James D. Clark
04-11-2004, 11:43 PM
This picture shows the 7/8 inch bolt used for the king pin. I made a steering hub/knuckle using steel strap cut and drilled for a 5/8 inch axle. The 7/8 bolt goes through the steering arm which is the top of the knuckle. A washer is welded on top of the arm and the arm is welded to the head of the bolt. The bolt runs through another thick washer and then the tubing which is tacked inside the corner of 2x2-1/4 angle. The top end of the tube fits into a 1/4 plate that is counter-bored to take the end of the tube. The 1/4 plate was welded to the wagon frame corner after it was drilled and c'bored.

Before any of the knuckle & steering arm, washers, tubing and 1/4 angle are welded, the whole affair is bolted to the wagon frame and all lined up. Then the lower steering parts are tacked and then unassembled and welded. Then it's re-assembled and the top washer (on the bottom of the tube), the tube, angle and wagon frame are lined-up, the nut is tightened to lock it all together and everything is welded together.

The two washers are the weight transfer surfaces. The top washer is welded to the 1/4 angle strut and tacked to the tube.

After the front steering is all assembled, the threaded top end of the king pins are cross drilled for a cotter pin and cut off with 1/2 inch of the bolt above the frame. They will be flush or below the floor of the wagon with a 1/2 plywood bottom.

04-12-2004, 09:41 AM
Ok well it makes mine look like a big turd LOL. Looks good James

04-12-2004, 10:11 AM
YJMike, I wouldn't worry what yours looks like. You have the better tires. I have never been able to keep air in the other type. I got so pissed once that I split the rim, pulled the tire, took out the inner tube , inflated it and submerged it in water. Nothing, not a leak. Put it back together and 2 weeks later it was flat again. The reall bad part is I have those pneumatic tires on alot of projects and hand trucks. Always giving my compressor a workout. Uncrichie...

04-12-2004, 11:01 AM
I am always making carts etc for use around the house. I did find that having a steering axle on a cart / wagon al a Little Red Wagon style mmakes it more prone to dumping of tilting over if turned hard or depending on how a load is situated in it. Its just the geometry of a full pivot type axle assembly. IMHO the best route even if it takes a bit more time and materials to make is a front axle with a tierod where the front wheels remain in a fixed positon when turned.

I had at one time bought quite a few of those Harbor Freight pneumatic tires / wheels they sell, and IMHO they just plain suck for the most part. Always have to air them up. I find that scrounging wheels and tires from discarded lawn and garden tractors and rider mowers seem to be the best value, even if you have to replace the tire on them. Higher floation in most cases, and they also don;t have those loose spec'd ball bearings usually, which always seem to wobble so bad. I would rather go with a good bronze bushed spindle / axle than a loose sloppy ball bearing type.

04-12-2004, 12:21 PM
Chipmaker, let me run this by you. Being you have the same experience with the HF tires. I was thinking of getting a can of "fix a flat" and giving a little squirt into each tire. Do you think that would seal whatever it is that leaks in those tires??? Uncrichie...

04-12-2004, 01:32 PM
Well its pretty hard to get "gold" from "lead". All those HF tires are is a heavy inner tube with treads............I suppose that slime or other type compounds used to prevent flats would work, but then the price of that stuff is worth more than those el cheapo tire / wheel assemblies, but what are you gonna do if they are already on a piece of equipment and in use........so I guess the stuff to add to a tire is a good solution.

04-12-2004, 01:47 PM
I have those cheap HF tires on my HF steel wagon. When I first got it, I couldn't seal one of the tires. It was always going flat, and fix-a-flat and slime didn't fix it. But HF replaced it with no questions. A year and a half later of occasional usage, including loads of 800 pounds, and I've had no further problems. Today, it has my feeder and plasma and a toolbox mounted to it and it stays with my mobile set-up.