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20 Mule Team Borax Wagon

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Project by lizardhead posted 01-16-2018 08:08 PM 1574 views 2 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch
20 Mule Team Borax Wagon
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I am building a 20 Mule team Borax wagon. It will consist of two parts the first part here is a rolling chassis . The most difficult and time consuming process has been making jigs for the build. A wagon like this would have carried tremendous loads, so consequently it would have 4 pull points so as not to pull the axles apart. The rear wheel is 17” diameter and the front has 10-5/8 diameter. The scale on this wagon is 1 / 4.8th. In other words—all real life measures were divided by 4.8. The box in the background is a prototype. I will build the box out of white oak. The chassis is also white oak.

-- Good, Better, Best--Never let it rest---Always make your Good be Better & your Better Best





27 comments so far

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

12683 posts in 2952 days


#1 posted 01-16-2018 08:20 PM

So far looks very authentic. I like metal additions.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Grumpymike's profile

Grumpymike

2283 posts in 2400 days


#2 posted 01-16-2018 09:00 PM

Wow, what an undertaking! Where ever did you find the dimensions to scale down? I have seen models built but the never looked quite right, yours is taking fine shape … I’m anxious to see the finished project.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View stefang's profile

stefang

15881 posts in 3419 days


#3 posted 01-16-2018 09:44 PM

Looks very good.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View lizardhead's profile

lizardhead

652 posts in 2926 days


#4 posted 01-16-2018 09:50 PM


Wow, what an undertaking! Where ever did you find the dimensions to scale down? I have seen models built but the never looked quite right, yours is taking fine shape … I m anxious to see the finished project.

- Grumpymike


We are neighbors, I live in Tempe. I have been to Death Valley many times. I know that the bed length is 16’, and I knew that I wanted my bed to be 40”, so I just calculated out the scale. The I used that same scale for everything.

-- Good, Better, Best--Never let it rest---Always make your Good be Better & your Better Best

View fivecodys's profile

fivecodys

1068 posts in 1721 days


#5 posted 01-17-2018 12:33 AM

Very cool.

-- There' are two theories to arguin' with a woman. Neither one works.

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile

TheTurtleCarpenter

1052 posts in 1151 days


#6 posted 01-17-2018 01:01 AM

If you haven’t watched Engles coach shop on YouTube you are missing out on a present day master craftsman. Check this video out of him making replicas of the Borax wagons

https://youtu.be/5JVcE8gho4k

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle"

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1249 posts in 247 days


#7 posted 01-17-2018 01:12 AM

LH – I have been watching the Death Valley Days tv show daily here lately and it was
probably one of my most favorite shows when I was a kid.
the iconic 20 Mule Team is probably the most recognized image throughout the past 60 years.

Empty, each wagon weighed 7,800 pounds. Two loaded wagons plus the water tank
made a total load of 73,200 pounds or 36 1/2 tons. Between 1883 and 1889,
the twenty mule teams hauled more than 20 million pounds of borax out of Death Valley.

todays generation has no idea how much we owe our forefathers for the strength, courage
and endurance to bring these raw materials from such a hostile place to hour homes of today.

I am anxious to follow your build of this magnificent project and hope you can find the
detailed specifications you need to make it as accurate as possible.
imagine – just one of the original wagon wheels weighed 1200 pounds !!!!

start looking around on E-Bay for the correct size toy mules to make your team complete !!

.

-- Graduated Valedictorian from the University of HardKnocks --

View lizardhead's profile

lizardhead

652 posts in 2926 days


#8 posted 01-17-2018 03:37 AM

This is the block brake detail.

-- Good, Better, Best--Never let it rest---Always make your Good be Better & your Better Best

View lizardhead's profile

lizardhead

652 posts in 2926 days


#9 posted 01-17-2018 03:42 AM

Block brake detail

-- Good, Better, Best--Never let it rest---Always make your Good be Better & your Better Best

View lizardhead's profile

lizardhead

652 posts in 2926 days


#10 posted 01-17-2018 03:45 AM

Why are photos upside down, and can a post be deleted?

-- Good, Better, Best--Never let it rest---Always make your Good be Better & your Better Best

View bushmaster's profile

bushmaster

3143 posts in 2367 days


#11 posted 01-17-2018 04:28 AM

Great job on the wagon, very interested in the spoke wheels, since I made that indexing jig. Large wheels so you must have made a specail jig to drill the holes.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View rtbrmb's profile

rtbrmb

645 posts in 2473 days


#12 posted 01-17-2018 10:46 AM

great detail-cant wait to see it finished.

what did you use for the thin gauge metal you wrapped the wheels with?

Thanks for sharing.

Bill in MI

View hunter71's profile

hunter71

3208 posts in 3271 days


#13 posted 01-17-2018 11:30 AM

Very well done. One of my favorite things to build are wagons, yours is great. Doug

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View lizardhead's profile

lizardhead

652 posts in 2926 days


#14 posted 01-17-2018 01:15 PM

The tires are 1/8×1 – 1/2” aluminum. I used band clamps to draw them tight, then countersunk wood screws to secure. BTW thanks for turning photo RSU

-- Good, Better, Best--Never let it rest---Always make your Good be Better & your Better Best

View Dee1's profile

Dee1

297 posts in 1974 days


#15 posted 01-17-2018 02:25 PM

Just fantastic a few years back I built a very small stagecoach it took me 8 or more wheels to get 4 that I was happy with. you are truly an inspiration I will be following this build for sure.
Well done beautiful job.
Dee1

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