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Woodbox accessory for JD cart

Post in 'The Gear' started by jotul8e2, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. jotul8e2

    jotul8e2 Feeling the Heat

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    I wanted a weather-tight woodbox for my John Deer cart so that I could tow a load up onto my deck, unhitch, and be done until time for another load.

    The first problem encountered was size and mass - it was obvious that at 4'X4'X~2' it would be too heavy to lift - so being too cheap to buy hardware, I made interlocking sliding half dovetail joints at the corner. This allows it to come apart into five more manageable pieces, which also eases summer storage issues.

    Here is the back in place (it opens from the side, so the "back" is the right side in this photo), and the front panel is ready to slide in:

    [​IMG]

    Here one side is installed and the other is ready to slide into place. The sliding dovetails are waxed to easy assembly. Note the angled top for water runoff.

    [​IMG]

    Now the lid goes on. The lid overlaps all four side panels to make it weather-tight. Note the hinge supports are not yet locked into their guides.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the entire unit, from the back, with only the top bar not yet locked into the bracket at the upper right.

    [​IMG]

    The final issue was the support - it has to allow closure of the lid with one hand (the other arm is full of wood, naturally), and not be easily dislodged in case of accident and bring the lid down on my head, hand, whatever. The lid is surprisingly heavy - a 1/2 sheet of 3/8th" plywood plus framing. The support sits in a V-shaped enclosed bracket. There is a channel cut into the bottom of the V so water can drain. Note that it cannot be knocked to either side or backwards, and only with great difficulty could it come forward.

    [​IMG]

    By lifting the lid, the hinged support comes out of the bracket, falls vertically, and allows the lid to close using one hand. For transport I have a simple shoe string loop at the back corner to hold the support (not shown).

    [​IMG]

    I can think of many improvements and simplifications, but they all cost money. I thought someone might be interested.

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    That is slick. Good work.
  3. Piston

    Piston Member

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    Nice Job! I like how you planned for ease of assembly/dis-assembly for storage and handling.
  4. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Very clever . . . a mobile woodbox . . . I like it.
  5. jotul8e2

    jotul8e2 Feeling the Heat

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    I should have mentioned that I live on 50 acres of trees and my procedure is to leave wood split and stacked near where it is cut to be picked up as needed. Also, a key design element was a requirement that no tools should be required for assembly/disassembly.
  6. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    That is cool. Any issues with unhitching when it is loaded? I've always thought a four wheeled wagon would be better for wood storage.
  7. jotul8e2

    jotul8e2 Feeling the Heat

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    A four wheeled wagon would certainly be better. But I do not have one. I posted this in case the concept appealed to anyone - it could be adapted to a great many wagons. And undoubtedly improved upon.

    The John Deere cart is designed to be moved with muscle power alone even when loaded, so it has only a small forward weight bias - less than 35 lbs. I would guess on the tongue with the box and a full load. Which means I have to remember to unload from the rear of the cart (or the left side of the box) so it does not tip over on me.

    We had 2" of rain overnight and everything inside is dry. Hooray!
  8. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    That's brilliant. Well done.
  9. WoodNStuff

    WoodNStuff Combustion Analyzer

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    Great concept. The dovetail corners are a great idea. Strong and tool free!! I'd love to see some pics of it loaded with splits and a series of pics showing how it's used.
  10. jotul8e2

    jotul8e2 Feeling the Heat

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    OK. Here is a partial load with the lid open:

    [​IMG]

    Here we are "at home". I had the luxury of designing and building the deck myself, so I included the 4'6" wide ramp just for this purpose. The deck is also wide enough to allow me to pull the trailer up, park it, unhitch, and turn the old John Deere 140 around to come back down.

    [​IMG]

    The height of the front of the box was determined by my own arm's reach into the back corners.
  11. WoodNStuff

    WoodNStuff Combustion Analyzer

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    Jotul8e2, these pics really put it all into perspective. Very nice! Very functional! And that ramp up to the deck, that's some real advance planning.
  12. seeyal8r

    seeyal8r Feeling the Heat

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    I can think of a million applications. Awesome Job. I need to build one of these for my little trailer.
  13. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    That is an great system!
  14. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    You have inspired me way to go man now my wife can blame you for my next project :lol:

    Merry Christmas
    Pete
  15. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Similar idea, not as pretty. Scrounged all the parts for around $100. Top is a hinged chain link fence gate. The best part is, I can pull up to it and lift 3 point into the tongue and be off. The cover is an old inflatable pool liner.

    Attached Files:

  16. snowleopard

    snowleopard New Member

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    Two Red-Green awards in one day on this forum! This is extremely slick.

    However, I could not help noticing that someone left the chalk-line chalk bottle out of alignment on your workbench shelves. I thought you'd want to know. :)
  17. jotul8e2

    jotul8e2 Feeling the Heat

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    I'm with you there. My box came in at a bit under $30, mainly because I didn't have as much left over XPX as I thought. Some of the pieces came from an old cedar deck. The lid hinges are off an old door and I know I've had them not less than 20 years. What is the point of saving all that old stuff if you never use it?

    As for the chalk bottle being off line, that is Titebond glue - the only thing that holds my world together.
  18. amellefson

    amellefson Member

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    White! It's got to be yellow to match th Deere. Maybe it's white to avoid copyright infringement? :)
  19. jotul8e2

    jotul8e2 Feeling the Heat

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    Or maybe because I had a 1/2 gal. can of white exterior latex on hand?

    JD yellow would be cool, though.
  20. amellefson

    amellefson Member

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    I figured that. I would have done the exact same thing.

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