Friday, February 28, 2014

In the shop: Trash Cart wrap-up

OK, after finishing up the welding the rest of the trash can cart project was pretty easy. Well- almost

First I tried out the steel frame to make sure it wouldn't fall apart (You know, my expert welding and all. . .)

I didn't have the proper bolts for the axels yet so I rigged up a temporary solution and stepped back to make sure I had everything right.

OK, make a note here. If the wheels you have say, right there on the side, that they are 16", don't believe it. They're actually closer to 15". Not a whole lot of difference but definitely enough so that my ground clearance was just too tight. It looked real close to the ground sitting there, which is good for getting the can in and out when dropping it up at the road, but not so good for dragging the cart up the drive behind the side-by-side and over the rocks. I know because I tried, only to have the thing occasionally launched into the air by various rocks or even big  tufts of grass. So back to the drill press where I fixed this latest cock-up by drilling new axel holes. . .

That issue resolved and tested, I built a simple box out of exterior ply, fitting the steel frame to it so I could drill the various holes in the right places, then later primed and painted it.

I used treated 4x4's for the railing posts, cutting them to length first. But then they were just too heavy for the scale of this project so I ran them through the jointer then planer to take them  from 3.5 inches square down until they looked right to me at about 2 7/8ths square. A quick run through a tilted blade on the table saw put a nice crown on the top of each post.

Back to the drill press where I drilled 3/4" holes 1 1/8" deep in the posts to take the 1/2" EMT that will be the rails.

I temporarily fastened the posts to the box and got the length I needed for the EMT by measuring the distance between faces of the posts and adding 2 inches. This left a quarter inch of play between the depth of the holes and the length of the EMT. (Don't ask me how I know to leave a little play in there, but I will say it's very tedious trimming off a quarter of an inch from the 25 lengths of EMT that make up the porch railing you are trying to build. . .) I then cut the EMT to length on my chop-saw with a cutoff blade mounted in it, clamping a temporary jig to the bed to make sure the lengths were all the same. (That's about all I ever use that chop-saw for anymore.)

Some stain on the posts to match the existing porch posts (Once they weather a little), some sanding on the EMT to remove the crud accumulated through years of storage and brighten them up a little, and a nice tough deep grey for the steel frame and box which more or less matches the porch deck, some assembly and we can call this project finished!

Apparently the trash can cart is 'adorable'.

Not quite the response I would have chosen. Something more along the lines of 'cool!' or 'rad!' or 'ingenious' would have done nicely; but I'll take adorable. . .

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