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Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring #72: Harbor Freight 4'x8' Folding Utility Trailer - One Year Anniversary Update

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Blog entry by Paul Bucalo posted 05-21-2016 12:41 PM 1202 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 71: Odds and Ends around The Dungeon Part 72 of Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring series Part 73: Tool Acquisition: Dad's saws and set »

I thought I would provide an anniversary update on the Harbor Freight trailer build from a year ago. Blog posts on the build are in my archive.

Last year I used an Olympia brand deck sealer to protect the wood from the elements. Here is proof of how well the product works after a year outdoors.


Not very good. Cracks in the wood were expected, being as it’s pine and that much of has been unprotected over time. The pressure treated plywood bedding received an additional two coats of the deck treatment over the wood frame, but it still looks like this will be its last year.

The plan is to light sand the wood and apply a marine polyurethane. This should buy me another year of use. I may decide to lay another sheet of plywood atop the current one. There is a need to stiffen-up the the gate end of the horizontal staves. I’m also thinking about building a platform that goes over the top, so I can add a tarp over the trailer and not worry about it collapsing under the weight of rain and snow. The tarp would minimize UV damage. I was aware of the paint fading to pink before I bought the trailer kit. In the future, probably when the wood is no longer strong enough and safe enough to use, I may consider touching up rust areas and repainting the frame. Maybe. It’s a work horse, not a thoroughbred being shown off at the races.

All in all, I can’t complain much. I have into this half of what a commercial made trailer this size would have cost me. This build met my needs where others would not have. The only problem I’ve had with it since its inception is the bad right tail light which cost me an upgraded pair from Lowe’s, and running ground wires from each light receptacle to a common ground point on the hitch receptacle: both were done this week to make state inspection. Not bad at all.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA



5 comments so far

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

3392 posts in 1668 days


#1 posted 05-22-2016 02:25 AM

Paul,

I do not think you will get any more than 12 months out of any exposed deck finish
I have a sundial and a wooden log seat both of which get a sand back and retreat just about every year.
Although Marine and other UV protected products have great UV protection it does not last forever as much as we all would like it to be.

Looks like your maintenance routine is going to work OK.

Why have you got so many pots? your profile doesnt give anything away.

I would also like to see what a railway boom house looks like please

-- Regards Robert

View zincter's profile

zincter

1 post in 146 days


#2 posted 07-13-2016 11:00 PM

Hey Paul,

I just came across your original post for this trailer and your great sides. It has really held up well! If your tutorial pics are still available, would you kindly point me in the right direction?

Thank you in advance for any help,

Jim

-- Jim

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

623 posts in 824 days


#3 posted 08-25-2016 05:32 PM


I do not think you will get any more than 12 months out of any exposed deck finish
I have a sundial and a wooden log seat both of which get a sand back and retreat just about every year.
Although Marine and other UV protected products have great UV protection it does not last forever as much as we all would like it to be.

Looks like your maintenance routine is going to work OK.

I’m sure you are right. Expected better, though. Just have to be an annual thing, I guess.


Why have you got so many pots? your profile doesnt give anything away.

The wife and I have been pot gardening for the past few years. Last year we decided to try paying pallets out, two deep, and putting out a lot more pots. Between two much sun and rain, our productivity wasn’t very good. These are the left-overs that probably will never get used on this property. Not sure what to do with them: keep for a future location with more space or get rid of them.


I would also like to see what a railway boom house looks like please

- robscastle

Heh. Nothing special, believe me. Needing new wood trim and paint.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

623 posts in 824 days


#4 posted 08-25-2016 05:38 PM


I just came across your original post for this trailer and your great sides. It has really held up well! If your tutorial pics are still available, would you kindly point me in the right direction?

Thank you in advance for any help,

Jim

- zincter

Jim, thanks. It was a first-time build of this nature and came out much better than it should have. I suppose if I could have kept it inside of a garage or covered and protected under a roof of some kind it would have faired better. That it still works well and needed nothing more than new rear lights (better quality than the crappy HF ones) is a reward in itself.

I posted a longer run of pics and explanations on Google+ way back when I was making it. I have since closed down my G+ account. I don’t recall what I may have posted on my Facebook account. You can find me there under ‘pmbucalo.’ If not much or anything at all is there, I guess what I have for pics are not online. I never made up a plan or step-by-step directions. I think that once you have the trailer you can figure out what I did from the pics alone.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

623 posts in 824 days


#5 posted 08-25-2016 06:08 PM

Over the past few weeks I have moved 5 pickup truck loads (8’ box with discarded and rotten wood piled as high as the top of the box) to my sister-in-law’s—she will use the lumber for bonfires on her rural property—and just this past week cut back the jungle to allow for the HF trailer to be store. While it’s there now, I will have to pull it out soon, fill in with crushed stone so the ground is level and to inhibit weed growth. I don’t know what I didn’t do this last year. Just makes sense.

Next step is to clean out the right side, which has junk that has to be brought to the landfill and auto crusher’s. I hope to cut down more jungle and put up a small shed up in place of it.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

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