Monday, February 11, 2013

Motorcycle Trailer build

Since we desire to haul a lot of crap when we go on a vacation, we decided to get a trailer to pull behind my motorcycle.  

A nicer way of phrasing it might be:  since I'm a fat bastard, my clothes take up a lot of space, more than my saddle bags can handle.  Therefore, I need a wagon.

There are lots of them, ready made, ready to go.  They are also very expensive and that's just too easy for me.  Sometimes it sucks being a diy sort of guy, enjoying building stuff is nice, but also exhausting.  

Here's what I'm doing.  I bought a trailer frame from Harbor Freight, got it on sale with a 20% coupon, $177.  It's red except for the rims, which are white.  Our bikes are blue and black, so I've decided to paint the exposed parts of the frame black.  Why not paint all of the frame black?  Lazy.  No, actually I figger if a passing motorist sees a flash of red in the all the black, it maybe the saving aspect.  I've got a can of black paint that was new in the 90's, I used some of it on our repurposed pipe hand rail last summer.


Isn't it cute?  40" wide, 48" long.  You can see that the fenders are black already, too.  I wonder if I'll want a longer tongue, sort of like that guy from Kiss.  No, no not that kind of tongue.

I sanded the red paint with 150 grit aluminum oxide sandpaper.  2/3 of a sheet folded into thirds, only took one side to sand 2 sides of the front and back pieces, 2 sides of the side pieces and 3 sides of the tongue piece.  The axle comes black, but that paint is already scuffed, so I'll sand it and paint it too.  I clean the sanding dust off with a rag soaked with alcohol and will brush  the paint on with a cheap disposable bristley brush.  The paint has been in the garage since 1995, so it'll take a few minutes to warm up, I don't know if I'll get the paint applied tonight or not.  




I plan to tape some paper on top of the table saw and will use some small bits of wood to hold the steel above the paper.  I'll probably apply 2 coats and between coats will put the brush in a plastic sack, wrap it up good, and put it in the freezer.  This keeps the brush usable for both coats without cleaning. 


Sanded and tags taped.  It might have been easier and faster to unrivet them, but we'll never know now, will we?

Why not use a spray can?  Several reasons.  

  1. It's winter, and I don't want to do that much spraying in the house...it goes all over and the furnace would suck some in.
  2. I'd have to buy a couple cans while I already possess this 3/4th gallon of gloss black.  I'll lose more paint to the skin on top of the paint than I'll use on the steel.
  3. I think brushing puts a better coat on the item.  If it were round or intricate, I'd be spraying it
Why wipe the steel with alcohol?  It cleans off the dust, it cleans off any other dirt, oil, grease, wax, other goobers or snot.  Alcohol is cheaper than xylol or lacquer thinner, doesn't leave a film like paint thinner would, and is safer to use in the house than those first couple.  MEK and acetone would also work, but they also stink and are dangerous to use.  Also more expensive.




yep, another coat is in order.  This pic was taken when the paint was very fresh, it'll level out some, but not that much, of course.  It'll be a couple days before I assemble the pieces, but stay tuned for bearings.

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