Saturday, April 4, 2015

Food Cart Project Part XI: Back to Construction!

So, construction on the cart has been held up over much of the Fall and Winter by a number of factors: Hiccups with the studio space, going through the whole rigamarole of the plan review process, writing up the business plan, horrible time management skills on my part, etc, etc, etc... But things are back on track, and much forward movement has been made recently. It started with the installation, a few weeks back, of a new axle. When I bought the trailer, it came to me with an axle rated for, as best I could estimate from its diameter, around 1500 lbs. That's about as much as the lumber and plywood by itself will weigh, so I'd bought a new axle and pair of leaf springs rated for 3500 lbs from Potter-Webster, a local suspension supply firm, only to eventually discover that the axle was about two inches wider than the old one. I managed to talk them into swapping it out for a slightly narrower one, and installed it with the new leaf springs:

If you know anything about suspensions, you might be looking at that and thinking "the U bolts and tie plates are usually facing downward, aren't they?" I thought that as well, but it was set up this way with the old axle, and I've got locking washers under those nuts, so this arrangement is gonna work just fine. This newer, much beefier axle has a different style of spindles than the old one, of course, which meant I needed new hubs as well, which I picked up at Six Robblees:

Greasing the bearings and installing the hubs was surprisingly easy (I barely passed my high school auto shop class), and with the new axle and hubs installed, I was able to get the floor I'd built back in place:

This was then secured to the trailer's frame from underneath with a bunch of lag bolts drilled directly into the floor joists:

That floor, by the way, is nearly dead level (no small feat given the sloping garage floor and dodgy Harbor Freight jack stands it's resting on, but definitely an advantage), and makes for a very convenient work surface as I'm framing out the walls, as you can see here:

I also managed to get one of the counters constructed, which I'm using as a basic workbench as I get the walls up. I ran into a bit of luck on this. First, there was a bunch of 2x2s left over from somebody else's project that were available (you can see them leaning up against the wall in that last photo, next to the garage door), and second, the table saw's outfeed table in the wood shop was *exactly* the right height for building the counter:

Here's the basic structure of the counter itself:

And, here it is topped with plywood, which will eventually be finished with Formica once it's ready to start serving prep duty in the cart:

So, things are starting to move along. I've got a bunch of dimensional lumber cut for the walls, and will be working on framing those over the rest of this weekend and next. Stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how impressed I am!

Tommy Schopp said...

Thanks, Anonymous!