How to Build a Covered Wooden Wagon
A covered wooden wagon evokes memory of a distinct kind for every American. Used over the ages as a chief means of transport, wagons today have an antique value of a unique kind. In an interesting do it yourself project over the weekend, you can build one simply as a piece to grace the exteriors of a farmhouse or to be used in a theme party for Christmas.
Step 1 - Initial Steps
Take a thick board of wood that is pressure treated. The standard dimension is of length 12 feet and breadth 6 feet. You can choose to increase it according to your design. Take wooden planks that are of the same length as the board. Align those against the sides of this board so that they fit perfectly. Ask somebody to hold them for you, as you drill holes with a drill bit into the ends of the planks into the board, leaving 3 inches from the edges of the planks. Make sure that the planks are at least 4 inches thick. Now, into the holes, insert bolts and tighten them using a wrench. At the end of this step you shall have a structure with a wide base and two sides that are like arm rests in a chair. See if any part of the base board has any spaces and cover them up by applying caulk with a gun.
Step 2 - Attaching Beam
Now the board needs to be placed on a support beam. The beam you use needs to have the exact length as that of the board. Make sure it is thick so that the wagon board can be mounted on it without the risk of crashing down. Attach the beam horizontally along the bottom surface of the wagon board, by using wood clamps that are thick enough to engulf the beam at the centre. Drive in large drywall screws in the places the holes of the clamps sit on the wood. The basic structure for the wagon is now in place.
Step 3 - Bracing
At each end of this beam, mark a point leaving 2 inches from either end. At these marks, place a narrower beam that is at least 3-4 feet long. These must form a right angle with the surface of the supporting beam attached. Once the alignment is set, bolt these up, by drilling holes at the point 2 inches from each end, and then inserting a bolt for tightening. At the base area of each smaller beam place a brace. The brace can be nailed through the pre drilled holes it has. Repeat this at each end.
Step 4 - Placing Wheel and Axle
Take the axle and pass it through the brace. The axle will have two ends. To each, attach the wheel of the wagon. The wheels can be tightened by rotating in a clockwise direction after it is secured to the axle. Take two beams of 3-4 feet lengths, and attach these by bolting them to the top surface of the beam, which acts as the main support for the wagon wheels. Place them at a point inside the area where the beams for the axles are inserted. Finally, attach the wagon board in place on the beams.
Step 5 - Inserting Bows
Take some bamboo strips that are longer than the length of the wagon board. Mark points at the longer sides of the wagon base or bed, at intervals of 3 inch each. This way you will have marked points for fitting 4 wagon bows on to the bed. On any one side of the bed, place an end of the strip, and nail it up carefully. These are bendable strips, so bend it over to the other side of the bed where the simultaneous point is marked. Make an arched shape. Nail up at this end as well. Repeat till all bows are installed. Get a sheet of tarpaulin and place it over these bows like a hood.
Step 6 - Final Steps
Take a long pole of wood that and secure it to the wheel base beam front surface by nailing it in place. This is the tongue. Attach another pole that is shorter at a right angle to the tongue’s top portion. A harness, if needed, may be secured to this yoke by stapling up.