Wagon Construction Week 3

Last week I showed you a few photos of how my new wagon is progressing. The pressure’s on now to get this sucker finished. My goal is to haul it up to the Canadian Maritimes while spring’s still in the air. There, hauled by mule Polly, I want to interview folks about things seafaring and cod.

Here are a few photos Week 3 of wagon construction. Yep, this was the week I hitched mule Polly to the wagon. I’ve been working on this project just under a month (that’s a month of working days, not counting days off for family matters and weeding the winter garden.) Not bad considering I budgeted daily pipe smoking sessions to admire progress. A man needs to celebrate life’s daily victories you know. For maximum contemplation value and political incorrectness, nothing beats a Dr Grabow Grand Duke. Add a cup of cowboy coffee and, though you may erase a few years of your life, you can cancel your 10a appointment with your life coach. Just sayin…

Before: this is what my wagon looked like barely a month earlier. Yep, little more than a bolt together trailer from Northern Tool. Cost: around 250 clams.

After: Here, Polly meets the new wagon. Note the wild look in both our eyes. Mine comes from too many late nights shoving sticks of wood through the jointer, the machine that makes a straight bottom face on lumber. Yeah, I sprouted a beard along the way. Her shocked look comes from realizing that all those months of pasture leisure may be coming to an end. Nothing excites a mule’s memory of working days like a set of cold steel shafts sliding down her sides…. (Kenny Tyndall Photo)

Side view: here is how my wagon looks from the side. The two-wheeled contraption at the front is the forecart. It’s where I sit to drive the wagon. Note the chimney sticking through the wagon wall. It’s connected to the wood stove I built specially for this wagon. Man, this stove is a ripper, the subject of a future post. To think it started out with a scrap of paper and a rooster….(Kenny Tyndall Photo)

Some folks rely mechanical engineers to approve their plans. I had to settle for a rooster. Here, Ronald Hudson’s rooster (I built the stove at Ronald’s farm) reviews my stove plans. Shortly after this photo was snapped, he “signed” my plans with a muddy print. Then he roostered off in search of hens to impregnate.

The completed stove. Here it’s perched on a cinder block waiting installation. These days, it enjoys pride of place in my wagon. Serving as a heat shield, to prevent if from scorching the wall, is a 92-cent cookie sheet. On cold mornings, I can light it from my bed. Ah, luxury!

Hope all’s well with you and you’re tackling some dandy projects of your own. Special thanks to Kenny Tyndall for the great pics. Sorry I ran over your dog pal.

(Map Note: this map shows where I took my first wagon shake down tour. Look closely and you can see the Carolina Horse Park’s race track, home of the Stoneybrook Steeplechase.)

pat gabriel
2012-03-14 16:29:58

Just found your site…Wow!! I’m thinking of doing something of the same, but am total newbie at it.
Anyways, I live in Lowell, MA, so when you travel somewhere near here, I’d love to check in with you.
My husband is from Nova Scotia and we lived on Cape Breton Island for 6 years. Maybe I’d have some advice or information that would be helpful.
Thanks for sharing and I’ll keep reading about your progress

butterbean carpenter
2012-03-18 15:39:08

Howdy Bernie & Polly,
What dead pup?? How’d the shakedown cruise go,
besides Polly jumping the puddle?? I wondered whether Ron named the stove for a box of Zesta saltines, because it does look like one, or
for the old cookstove brand named Vesta?? We ate lots of the best coconut pies and cakes
from the side-oven there ever was.. If you did your sneak-up/hook-up on flat ground Bob would never know it!! Of course, you might pull the back off of that Tractor Supply trailer he’s
towing, with 4K# in it!!!
Waitin’ on you !! I’m ready!!


2012-03-25 09:34:50

Deat Pat and Butterbean,
Great hearing from you. Pat, I hope you got your book. It’s the first one I’ve sent off the new wagon. That’s not mule hair, mate, that’s a book mark… Seriously, I’ll be sure to give you a ring if I need more Maritime info. At this point, mule Polly knows more than I know about the place. Keeps telling me she wants to visit L’Anse Aux Meadows….
Butterbean, you mentioned the stove. Ronald named it in honor of the cracker box not the wood stove. Now if I just had a little red paint…. Oh well, black grill paint will have to do…

Cheers from the shake down cruise. Bernie Orintal, NC


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

[…] That made me smile more than I was already grinning. I built my little red gypsy wagon on a similar bolt-together trailer frame. […]


[…] Wagon Construction Week 3 […]

Current Ramble
Other Cool Reads