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Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)

 
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:38 AM   #1
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Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)


For the past two weeks things have been really slow, which has been fine with me since I've been wanting to work on my new jobsite trailer. I didn't want to flood the trailer thread with a ton of photos, so I thought I'd post them here for anyone who's interested in a different kind of trailer.

Some background: In short, we're a small two-man remodeling company that wears way too many hats. In addition to remodels, we have to fill the gaps with handyman type work. This means we have to have a multitude of tools, and in the past we'd just load them up from the garage. We soon found that not only did loading / unloading tack on an hour to each day, but we would often forget "that one" tool or material. On the days we didn't forget something, we'd run into something unexpected and have to make a trip back to the garage. Hence the trailer.

Now some might ask, "Why the hell would you want to go to all the trouble of a drawer-based trailer when you could just order a covered trailer and build some shelves in it?" Well...

1. I'm not exactly rolling in money. I made this trailer for under $1300 including the cost of the trailer itself.
2. I'm not swamped with business which means I have the time to manufacture this.
3. Since they haven't invented a thief-proof trailer yet, I'd like to be able to lock it up in my garage at night for extra security, and a covered trailer would be far too tall.

I'll be making several posts in this thread so I can annotate the pictures.

First I'll start with the trailer we bought:

10' x 5' 3500lb axel trailer.

Time spent: 4 hours replacing lights and leaf spring (and removing World's most seized bolt in the process)

Cost: $500 + $100 for a new leaf spring and new trailer lights.
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:42 AM   #2
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Re: Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)


That's the old man trying to act all smart and plan stuff while I'm off cutting boards too short

We took 3/4" CDX plywood and beefed it up with 2x4's so that we could run eyelets out the side (so that we could strap down materials to the top)

Then we added 2x2 runners into the frame for the drawers.
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:48 AM   #3
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Re: Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)


By the way, the last time we had a car in that garage (that wasn't being worked on) was 1990 I think. I could be wrong.

So the two side walls are very similar only with a difference in drawer heights. The center piece shown here ties to two sides together.

I've included a CAD representation on the framing to help you put it together in your heads.

Assembling this thing was quite a pain seeing as how the box without drawers easily weighs 350 lbs
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Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots of Photos)-0112001702-medium-.jpg   Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots of Photos)-trailer4.gif   Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots of Photos)-0112002109-medium-.jpg  
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:55 AM   #4
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Re: Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)


So a few hours (and a pulled back muscle) later we managed to get it mounted onto the trailer. The bottom of the trailer has 2x2 ACQ runners that keep it elevated for moisture ventilation. In this photo you can see the drawer sides have already been cut.

We ran a dado down the sides and on the fronts and backs to tie the plywood together. It really cuts down on the screws splitting out the plys, also it looks much better.

The drawer fronts will (eventually) get filled and painted, but here they are in all their CDX glory. I think the pink factory markings had a nice bit of flash. Perhaps I should just poly it
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Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots of Photos)-0113001800a-medium-small-.jpg   Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots of Photos)-0114001936-medium-small-.jpg   Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots of Photos)-0118002057-medium-small-.jpg  
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:05 AM   #5
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Re: Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)


I have very little experience with sheet metal, and some day we might actually have a metal guy cover our tool box. For now, however, we stretched some roofing rubber across our box. This is the same stuff we use to line the bottoms of custom tiled shower basins. It's incredibly tough to cut or tear, and when stretched properly, actually doesn't look half bad as a covering.

We trimmed out the rubber edges with some old shluter strip we had laying around the garage. My father is a HUGE packrat (we have 3 12"x6"x8' redwood beams out back that we've had since 1987), but this time it really paid off and saved us $50

We installed some heavy duty handels and our security system (a 1/2" galvanized pipe with the cap soldered on at one end and a hole for a padlock at the bottom. Basically it keeps an honest man honest.
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:12 AM   #6
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Re: Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)


And here are some shots of the drawers before we loaded them. Also, there's a shot of the back rubber finally trimed down. We installed some snaps and attached some 1/2" conduit to the base with some brackets to lock it down on the highway.

Over the next few weeks, we'll be adding a front compartment to the trailer that will be covered by stretched rubber. It will house miscelaneous items too big for the box.

I'll post a few photos tomorrow of what's actually in the drawers. Until then, thanks for checking out my photos. Hope it was somewhat interesting.
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:31 AM   #7
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Re: Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)


Pretty slick work there. Looks good if you can keep it dry

It's pretty cool when we're able to take something and "repurpose" it into something else thats very functional and well made.

Be proud of your work
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:43 AM   #8
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Re: Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)


Nothing like being innovative....and economical. My only thought is how heavy the drawers will be, and do you think they might be prone to breaking out the side guides?
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:07 AM   #9
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Re: Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)


you axle is too far back on the frame-unless you have enough weight up front you may end up with the trailer bouncing up against the pull vehicles ball....use those safety chains!

looks good fellows :-)
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:08 AM   #10
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Re: Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)


Looks good. As long as you are going to stick some pretty good weight up front then you should be fine. Otherwise you may get some pretty scary trailer sway at time with all that weight behind the rear wheels of the trailer.
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:39 PM   #11
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Re: Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)


All the heavy stuff is at the front end of the drawers for balance and also to keep the drawers from ripping out. Right now, as it stands, the trailer actually falls forward (though during construction I had to keep it hitched to keep the ass end down). As for the drawers, you do have to be careful. I'll post some pictures tonight of some tricks as far as getting to the back side.
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:58 PM   #12
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Re: Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)


I've seen used 6 x 12 trailers going for $1600.00. If you had looked around you probably could have bought a 5 x 8 or 5 x 10 for $1000-$1200. Once you add your time spent building that thing you probably could have purchased an enclosed trailer which would have given you a more professional appearance instead of the rag tag outfit that thing gives you.
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:29 PM   #13
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Re: Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)


Instead of spending your time here posting an insult about a project a man did with his Dad, maybe you could have been working on your web site or finding more work.

Time with a parent is worth more than dollars.

No offense intended, but think before you type.
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:35 PM   #14
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Re: Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Solar Control View Post
Instead of spending your time here posting an insult about a project a man did with his Dad, maybe you could have been working on your web site or finding more work.

Time with a parent is worth more than dollars.

No offense intended, but think before you type.
Reread it with an open mind instead of trying to read between the lines for insults when none exist or where intended. The point is that trailer represents his company to the customer. It looks like he tried to save money by rigging it together rather than investing in the equipment that he needed. If I was his client I would have to wonder what corners he might cut on the job to save money.

When you add the labor invested into the project he could have easily purchased an enclosed trailer that would give him a more professional appearance. He then could have spent the time with his father doing any number of other activities.

I'll give you a tip about websites also: I have never sold a job or lost a job due to a website. Even when I spent a lot of money on a fancy site, with articles, cost vs. value stats, extensive picture gallery of before and after shots, links to licensing authorities, and so on that was picked up on the first page of the search engines on a variety of tags. I have sold quite a few jobs based on word of mouth. More so than telephone book adds, newspaper adds, lead services, fliers, etc.

While time with a parent or a child may be worth more than dollars (I do not disagree with that statement at all) business is business. Dollars and poor image do matter in business.
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:13 PM   #15
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Re: Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)


Quote:
Originally Posted by ARI001 View Post
Reread it with an open mind instead of trying to read between the lines for insults when none exist or where intended. The point is that trailer represents his company to the customer. It looks like he tried to save money by rigging it together rather than investing in the equipment that he needed. If I was his client I would have to wonder what corners he might cut on the job to save money.

When you add the labor invested into the project he could have easily purchased an enclosed trailer that would give him a more professional appearance. He then could have spent the time with his father doing any number of other activities.

I'll give you a tip about websites also: I have never sold a job or lost a job due to a website. Even when I spent a lot of money on a fancy site, with articles, cost vs. value stats, extensive picture gallery of before and after shots, links to licensing authorities, and so on that was picked up on the first page of the search engines on a variety of tags. I have sold quite a few jobs based on word of mouth. More so than telephone book adds, newspaper adds, lead services, fliers, etc.

While time with a parent or a child may be worth more than dollars (I do not disagree with that statement at all) business is business. Dollars and poor image do matter in business.
You are looking at it from one side.
Look at it from this angle. Customer see's he is rolling in a handmade tool box. Just like our old time carpentors made there tool boxes and saw horses. They think to them self's he is old school hard working guy that know what a buck is. He doesn't need to conform to modern contractor LOOKS.

I don't think there is anything wrong with it. 90% of people won't know there are tools in it. Just a tarped trailer. I made a similar setup when I first started.

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Old 01-21-2010, 06:34 PM   #16
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Re: Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)


Maybe you thought of it or not yet.

How about a hinged leg that hides up under the buttom of the drawer to help support them when open. Figure out a latch to keep it up when closed and you can get rid of the prop sticks

I still say good job and Cole hit on a good point. I have an enclosed trailer but get tons of compliments on how I outfitted the interior from both contractors and HO's alike. It is a way to show off your innovation, ability to solve problems creatively, and craftsmanship. Kudos to you.
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:43 PM   #17
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Re: Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)


Reminds me of a van i once had, i am 6'2'' always hitting my head, so i designed and built a van interior that put all my tools at the side and back door. All the shelving was hinged with slidbolts to lock the cabs into different posistions that would let me haul material, then convert back to tool mode, wish i still had it GMOD.
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:46 PM   #18
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Re: Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)


Looks good to be, its a great trailer for starters!
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:25 PM   #19
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Re: Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)


Looks pretty cool Pretty inovative if you ask me, and it didn't empty your wallet


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Old 01-21-2010, 07:46 PM   #20
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Re: Drawer-Based Trailer Project (Lots Of Photos)


Quote:
Originally Posted by ARI001 View Post
I've seen used 6 x 12 trailers going for $1600.00. If you had looked around you probably could have bought a 5 x 8 or 5 x 10 for $1000-$1200. Once you add your time spent building that thing you probably could have purchased an enclosed trailer which would have given you a more professional appearance instead of the rag tag outfit that thing gives you.
Seeing as how we haven't had any work this last week, I feel it was time spent productively. Granted, we are a tiny outfit. We don't have trucks with custom decals or a giant dual axel trailer that we can use as a portable shop (although I envy those contractors that do have them) We worked out of trucks for years which is far more rag tag than this tool box, and yet we managed to bring in some great jobs when times were good. Why? Because we weren't concerned with decals, uniforms or conformity. We were concerned with communicating with the customer and turning their vision into reality.

Now granted, I want to eventually get to the point where we have great looking uniforms, decals and a strong website, but we're just starting back up after a long hiatus doing other things. I think (and hope) the important thing people will see when we're performing work for them is that we're organized. In my opinion, rag tag would be more like someone hauling around a bunch of tools that were obviously thrown into the back of a rusty old truck, but I respect your opinion and expected such responses.

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