How to Build a Buckboard Wagon

A buckboard wagon is a very basic form of transport, often made from large pieces of lumber and designed to be drawn by a horse. They have been used by rural people such as the Amish for a long time, but you can also use it as an attractive alternative to driving a vehicle. There are many DIY buckboard wagon kits available, but these are not cheap, and it is just as possible to build your own using some basic tools. You will need to have someone make you a set of 4 wheels, but apart from that, you can build your own buckboard wagon.

Step 1 - Make a Plan

If you do not have a plan for building your buckboard wagon, then you will need to draw your own one from scratch. Most styles of buckboard wagon have four wheels, with 2 connected pairs at the front and the back of the wagon. You will also have a flat platform which is the base of the wagon, 4 walls, and a raised seating area. These things can be constructed from wood, although you can also choose to have some pieces made from metal.

Step 2 - Measure the Wood

When the wheels are ready, install them into the axles, and then work out how long your buckboard wagon needs to be. Use a tape measure to calculate the sides of the wagon, and measure the axle to determine how wide it should be. Remember to leave enough room either side of the wheels so that they can turn. Cut out your wood to the correct lengths.

Step 3 - Building the Body of the Wagon

Start by screwing the wide platform of the wagon into place. You can make this up from a number of pieces of lumber, placed together. Make sure that all of the pieces of wood are flat and level, and then screw the axle to them. Take the 2 sides of the wagon, and screw these into the sides of the platform, then add the front and back of your wagon. You should now have a box-like shape.

Step 4 - Adding the Seating

Place bench seats along the sides of the wagon by adding some long pieces of lumber about a foot up the side of the box shape. You should then add a long piece of lumber at the front, between the two sides of the box. This is the support for the seat. Cut a box seat with  back from your wood, and build it to one side of the wagon. When it is finished, add it to the wagon, and screw into place.

Step 5 - Finishing Touches

Add two long pieces of wood to the front of the wagon to resemble hitching posts. If you want to make the wagon horse-drawn, these should be slightly tapered, with the ends turning towards each other. Make holes for the horse's harness. Add varnish to the whole surface in order to protect it.

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