Building a 5 x 8 Utility Trailer

Would a 5 x8 utility trailer be a good project for a beginning welder? I
would be using a GMAW with 75/25 argon/c02 mix it is 110 volts. I did some
measuring of trailers locally and they are made of 2.5" angle that is .125"
think. My welders is capable of welding metal that thick according to the
manual. I have a HVLP spray painter to prime and paint it also. I think I
would buy a kit with all the parts except the steel and tires. I would get
plans that way.
Reply to
Mickey
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A utility trailer would be a good project. Just be sure your welds are as good as you think they are. For that I would weld some scrap pieces together and then put them in a vise and bend them.
Projects kind of depend on what you need. I made a large garden cart years ago that has been a big labor saver. I used scrap angle from bed frames and some 1 by 1/16th steel to make a light but strong frame. That is two pieces of angle separated by about six inches and the 1 by 1/16 zigzaging between the two pieces of angle. The axle and wheel came from a boat trailer. It has a 4 feet by 7 foot bed that usually has a plywood box on it. I have used it to move small mills and lathes.
Dan
Reply to
dcaster
A welding table, a bottle rack for a cutting torch, a cart to carry the welder around on would be better initial projects.
At issue is penetration with a 110 volt MIG using gas shielding. The risk is a cold weld that looks good but won't stand up to the vibration and flexing of a loaded trailer on rough roads over time.
Ask the trailer dealer what type of welding equipment they use to build the trailers that they sell.
Reply to
Thomas Kendrick
I have two opposite comments to make: 2-1/2" angle is nice material to work with, good for a starter project. A flux core can handle the 1/8" thickness nicely as long as you do some reasonable prep.
The negative side is that a trailer gets subject to stresses, perhaps an accident, this is NOT a good place to learn to weld.
My very first projects way back when were a series of trailer conversions that used 2" angle and 3/4" plywood to convert a boat trailer into a snowmobile trailer for the winter. Worked well. But none of my welds were subject to the pounding that the springs and hitch put into the underlying trailer frame.
Mickey wrote:
Reply to
RoyJ
I have thought about welding up a nice trailer too but once i scrounge all the materials, it becomes too expensive. If you do a little looking around in your local classifieds, you'll probably find a nice used one for less than building one. I would have reservations having a trailer be my first project. Most of us novices start off with equipment carts and welding tables first, items that wont be travelling at high speeds containing heavy stuff that can kill fellow motorists. I guess if your confidence is as strong as your welds, go for it. If you do make a nice trailer please share it with us. You can post it in the metalworking.com drop box. good luck, walt
Reply to
wallster
I have followed this line of thinking as well. As much "fun" as building a trailer would be; - I have a neighbor who will loan me his 6x16 whenever I need it - I would have to store it between uses (and pay annual license) - I would be liable for any damage caused if it separated on the road - Make vs. buy leans heavily in the buy direction - Classified ads or a neighbor who does not need it any more are sources
I have all the cutting and welding equipment to build a trailer. Gotta be careful not to build more than you need or can use. There are several tools I avoid acquiring and projects that I avoid building for this reason. One can have "too much" fun.
Reply to
Thomas Kendrick
Agreed. For a newbie, I think after the common "classroom" projects (cart, table, etc...), the first trailer project should be perhaps to find someone with an old clapped out popup tent trailer that they are willing to let you have for free (or even pay you) to haul it off. Strip it down to the bare frame and build from there.
Design is half the fun of any project, and this takes a lot of the stress out of the project. I'm pretty confident with my little Clarke 95E 110v stick (even though it'll only handle 5/64, limiting me to 6013), but there's no way I'd attempt an axle... my little blue box doesn't even like 3/16 tubing.
--- Rich
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Reply to
Rich Lockyer
Hopefully, in a couple of weeks I'll have an entertainment center to post :)
--- Rich
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Reply to
Rich Lockyer
You must not be a real scrounge. The last trailer I built used a rear axle from a Plymouth Horizon ( front wheel drive car ) and some 1 by 2 steel channel from some industrial shelving. The rear axle was given to me in return for some advice I gave. The steel channel was from the local scrap yard and about 10 cents a lb at the time.
The trailer cost about $20 to make and about $30 to register.
Dan
Reply to
dcaster
Well no worries guys, I bought a 7 x 9 snow mobile trailer with a spare. It is enclosed with an aluminum top it for $350.00. I have been pricing the 5 x 8 size and new with no spare and they are $560.00. I am going to sandblast it then paint it. I am going to fabricate some pieces so I can take the top off and use for yard work.
Reply to
Mickey
Mickey, you've gotten a variety of advice on this, so probably don't need my $0.02, but I'm feeling generous today ... :)
FWIW, I have been welding for two years, consider myself a decent hobbiest weldor, use a 220v stick welder that can handle any thickness I've ever thought about welding, but I personally would hesitate to tackle this project *if* I were going to use it on-road. (If it were something for around the yard and garden, I'd go for it in a heartbeat.) I wouldn't even consider this using a 110v machine.
Now here's what may be the really significant part: I would have been far more likely to consider doing this project a year and a half ago! As I have gained more experience and understanding of what I can do, and as I have listened to the vast experience here, I have become more cautious about projects that could hurt other people if the welds fail. I think a lot of it is that even as I have gotten to be a much better weldor, I have become aware of how very much I *don't* know, not only about welding, but about metal and how it responds to the concentrated heat of welding. I'm learning all the time, primarily here on this NG -- a great, great resource.
It may well be that I am being too cautious -- certainly several others have indicated their own successful experience in reply. I personally would want to have someone with lots of experience to look over my shoulder if I were to tackle this project.
HTH,
Andy
Reply to
Andrew H. Wakefield
I don't disagree with your cautious attitude Andy, but I'd like to put a couple of thoughts forward. First I believe that EVERY weld should be made as if it were critical to the safety and success of the project, WHATEVER the project. Second I believe that the design should be such that no single weld is in fact critical to the safety and success of the project. IOW, if a single weld fails the project (trailer in this case) should still be safe - AND no weld should fail. I guess this is just another statement about weld quality and redundancy BOTH being important.
Reply to
2regburgess
I agree absolutely, and try to design all my projects accordingly. My point really was that, somewhat to my own surprise, I have become *more* cautious with added experience. As a just-getting-the-hang-of-it beginner, I was ready to tackle anything! Now I'm aware how much I don't (yet?) know.
My caution about tackling a trailer is a case in point. As a newbie, I hadn't ever thought about the different sort of stress or load at work -- a shelf bracket, for example, is under a static load, while the trailer is under a *very* dynamic load. Now, with more experience, I'm not only aware that this is a factor, but also aware that I don't (yet) really know how to gauge this factor. How much flexing might the welds (or for that matter some other part of the frame) undergo--and should one therefore make the frame more rigid or more flexible? Even with redundancy built into the design, if a weld or some other part of the frame does fail, would that put additional stress on the other welds, causing them to fail faster? Would that first failure necessarily be in a location that I could easily inspect ... would I be faithful about checking all the welds before starting out on a trip ... if that first weld should fail near the beginning of a trip, would the rest be ready to let loose 1000 miles later ... and so on.
Again, many others have obviously been successful in building a trailer, and if I ever decide I need to build one, I might tackle the project--if I can get sufficient input and feedback from this newsgroup to help me recognize and answer all the things I don't know, and maybe don't even know that I don't know!
Andy
Reply to
Andrew H. Wakefield
IMO trailers are a bad first project. I your welding is not good you could be putting yourself and others at risk
Reply to
Jimmie
Why not! I started with a 2 wheeler style cart for the welder and tools then tore into an old pop up camper ( 6 X 8 bed) and proceded to add braces and sides. So I cheated a bit but I certainly got plenty of practice with my new stick welder.
Reply to
Kerry
I nearly ran into someones "first prioject" on the freeway the other day...the axle was sideways to the length of the trailer. Stopping to help get it off the roadway.. I noticed both spring hangers were busted loose with very little penetration where it was welded to the frame. I asked the guy what he used to weld it with... Lincoln Weldpac 100..
Though to be fair..he had never welded before according to him. And it did manage to make it from Washington state to So. Cal....and overloaded. It was designed pretty well actually for a newbie but he used too little machine for too much stress.
Ive never done that..no..not me...cringe.....
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
Reply to
Gunner
Hi All,
On this thread, I think I'd like to make a welding cart as many have recommended as my first true project.
I've seen a couple pics online, but not many measured drawings (that are free). If you've got a link, or can E-mail me something, please do so, carrying this thing around is getting back breaking :)
Something like:
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Is what I'm thinking about. I guess I can do some rough drawings from these pics, just thought there might be something I'd miss in the translation...
TIA Steve
Reply to
Steve
Real nice cart. Not sure if the bottle shelf was an add-on or after thought but the wheels should be closer to the end to prevent it becoming a teeter-totter should someone put a large bottle on it. I once built a similiar cart for my flux cored welder. After upgrading to a tig machine I gave the cart to my neighbor. For now I'll let my Millermatic 210 with spoolgun carry both gas bottles. I'm sure this has something to do with a trailer.
Reply to
John D
I made a cart for my Hobart handler 135 and bottle. I just made measurements and sketched something that looked good. I could probably take a pic and post it on a page somewhere.
John
Reply to
John T
: Real nice cart. Not sure if the bottle shelf was an add-on or after thought : but the wheels should be closer to the end to prevent it becoming a : teeter-totter should someone put a large bottle on it. I once built a : similiar cart for my flux cored welder. After upgrading to a tig machine I : gave the cart to my neighbor. For now I'll let my Millermatic 210 with : spoolgun carry both gas bottles. I'm sure this has something to do with a : trailer. --My design, based on a search of similar stuff. What really niggled was the Miller cart came in a flat box and needed to be bolted together. The cart was the very first TIG welding I'd ever done and the flaws were left to remind me to do better next time. The bottle shelf was part of the design and it was made large enough to accomodate a medium-sized bottle; i.e. one of the waist-high variety, not the monsters that weigh a ton. With just one Argon bottle on the back there's no tendency for the thing to be tipped back, particularly as I never remove the Econotig from the top shelf. I've got a plasma cutter on the bottom shelf that does come off from time to time; makes it easier to drag the cart around. --In hindsight, next time I'd add a drawer on one side, under the top shelf to accomodate extra tips, electrodes and the like and I might look for larger wheels with a wider footprint to spread the load a little more. But all things considered it's worked out pretty well.
Reply to
steamer

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