Little Red Wagon (06/28/2019 added contact)

 Write Review added on 10/9/2018

I built The Little Red Wagon for my granddaughter. I used Connecting Bolts & Insert Nuts vs. Machine screws and nuts. I created a unique turnbuckle to steer too. I made changes to someone's original plan(author unknown). The original and my design sketches are included. Please read the EXTRA files


Follow the steps below to complete this project.


Cut Lumber (review entire plan)

• Since you will be painting some pieces, and using stain & polyurethane on others, it is advisable to cut as much of the lumber before proceeding. Then, where practical, paint or stain as required.


Paint & Stain the Box

• Sand down all cut edges. • Before proceeding, be aware that YOU SHOULD NOT paint or stain the bottom of each piece (A-1, A-2 B-1, B-2), that will meet the Base (C). If you do, you might not accomplish a tight seal when all the components are put together. • Apply at least 2 coats of MINWAX PreStain Wood Conditioner to all cut pieces and set aside to dry. • Apply at least 2 coats of the Gloss Red Latex - Left & Right Sides A-1, A-2 and the Front and Back B-1, B-2. Set aside to dry between coats. • Apply at least 2 coats of MINWAX PolyShades – Natural on all pieces you are going to leave with a clear finish. If you use a Stain, be sure to apply at least 2 coats of MINWAX Polyurethane Gloss – Clear. Set aside to dry between coats.


Assemble the Box (1)

• COMMENT -- IF this wagon will be for play and not having a child ride in it, it will not be necessary to apply a ribbon of Titebond Quick & Thick wood glue before screwing all the pieces down to the Plywood Base (C). • Choose the best side of the piece of Plywood (C) and with clamps, clamp pieces The Left & Right Sides (A-1, A-2), and then the Front & Back (B-1, and B-2) to the Plywood (C). • Turn the clamped pieces over and drill pilot holes for the #6 1 ½” screws. Drill pilot holes every 6 inches or so. Now insert the #6 1 ½” screws through all of the pilot holes and remove the clamps when you are done.


Assemble the Box (2)

• COMMENT – IF this wagon will have a child ride in it, apply glue to adhere the Base © to the pieces that will be connected to it. Follow these steps to make it easier: • Put brad nails through several of the pilot holes. • Remove the clamps and remove the 4 pieces of wood. • Apply a thin ribbon of the Titebond Quick & Thick wood glue all the way around the Plywood Base (C) where the pilot holes were drilled. • Replace the 4 pieces of wood, using the brad nails you inserted to help align them in their proper place. • Replace the clamps and set aside to dry about 30 minutes. • When dry, remove the clamps and insert the #6 1 ½” screws through all of the pilot holes.


Installing the Interior Posts (1)

• The 6 Interior Posts (F) support the Upper Back (E) and the Upper Sides (D1 & D2). 1. Take the Upper Back (E) and place it on the Lower Back (B2). 2. Take 2 of the Interior Posts (F) and space them out evenly, or as you wish along the back wall. 3. Using a Speed Square, ensure the posts are lined up properly and then clamp both Interior Posts (F) in place. 4. Drill a 1/4" hole through each Interior Posts (F) and the Lower Back (B2) about 3” from the bottom and again about 3” from the top. 5. Using a 1/4"-20 x 40MM Connecting Bolt and Cap (nut), affix the Interior Posts (F) to the Lower Back (B2). DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN.


Installing the Interior Posts (2)

6. Using painter’s tape, mark the length of the Upper Sides (D1 & D2) on the Lower Sides (A1 & A2). 7. Take 2 more of the Interior Posts (F) and space them out evenly, or as you wish along either side wall. 8. Follow Steps 3 – 5 9. Take the last 2 Interior Posts (F) and space them out evenly, or as you wish along the opposite side wall. 10. Follow Steps 3 – 5 removing the painter’s tape when done


Making the Pivot (1)

• Comment: The Handle Grip (L) and the Pivot (M) are cut from 1 1/2" Hardwood Dowels. The hardwood type is necessary to support the drilling of a 1" hole through the dowel to support the insertion of a 1 1/8” Poplar Dowel as the Steering Rod (K).


Making the Pivot (2)

1. Mark 5” on the 1 1/2" Hardwood Dowel for the Grip Handle (L) and mark off 3” on the 2" Hardwood Dowel for the Pivot (M). 2. Cut the 5” and 3” sections off as a single piece. This will make it easier to drill the holes for the Steering Rod (K). 3. Clamp down the section down and then drill the holes through the center of the 5” Handle Grip (L) piece and then the 3” Pivot (M) piece using a 1”-hole saw. 4. The fit will be tight, so you only want to be sure the holes are correctly placed. Because there is a 1/8” difference between the hole saw and the dowel, you will have to sand or grind down some of the interior of each hole for the Steering Rod (K) to fit properly. 5. Now cut the Handle Grip (L) from the Pivot (M)


Cautions to Step 7&8

Caution: Do not try to force the Steering Rod (K) into the opening in the Pivot (M) or the Handle Grip (L) as this will likely cause the wood to split. Wait until you have manually sanded or ground out some of the inside of the hole and you get it to fit nicely. Caution: Using Wood Boring Spade bits are very difficult to handle and may not provide a clean, straight cut through the dowel.


Make the Steering Rod

1. Cut a 36” length of the 1" Poplar Dowel for the Steering Rod (K)


Fitting the Steering

1. With the Pivot (M) and the secured to a flat piece of wood, grind or sand down the inside of the holes using a Dremel Tool or a round file. You will have to make several passes until you cut off enough for the Steering Rod (K) to fit snugly into the Pivot (M) and the Handle Grip (L). Do Not Force the Steering Rod (K) in with a hammer as it may shatter the components). 2. Separate the components and apply some Titebond Quick & Thick inside the hole in the Handle Grip (L) and the Pivot (M)push them back on to the Steering Rod (K). 3. Quickly, use a speed square to make sure that both lay flat and are aligned properly.


Making the Pivot Support (1)

• Comment - The support for the Pivot (M) can be made from scraps. I used 2”x2” Select Pine for the main pieces, and a 1”x1” x 3” piece of cut-off scrap wood. • Comment – Use whatever you happen to have laying around. The only purpose of the 1”x1” piece, and it could be larger if you wish, is to provide additional support for the 2”x2” blocks that will serve as the primary strength for the Pivot as this piece will be in constant up, down, and sideways motion when the wagon is being pulled.


Making the Pivot Support (2)

1. Cut 2 pieces at a length of 3” from the 2”x2” stock and 2 pieces at a length of 3” from the scrap piece of 1”x1” for the for the Pivot Supports (N). 2. Now take one of the 2”x2” and one of the 1”x1” pieces and glue them together using Titebond Quick & Thick. Lightly clamp the pieces in place and let stand for about 45 minutes. Do the same for the other 2”x2” and one of the 1”x1” pieces.


Complete the Steering Build (1)

• Comment: You will have to drill a 3/8” hole through the Pivot (M), and the Pivot Support Blocks (N1 & N2). Unless you have a Drill Press (I don’t) it might be easier to do it piecemeal like I did. On the other hand, if you have a long 3/8” drill bit, and you have all three parts secured, you can drill through them at one time. I didn’t, so I did it piecemeal. 1. With the Steering Rod (K) glued in place, drill the 3/8” hole end to end through the length of the Pivot (M) for the Carriage Bolt. 2. Now take the Pivot Support Blocks (N1 & N2) completed earlier and clamp one of them to the Pivot (M) and drill the 3/8” hole through the Pivot and through the 2” x2” section of the Support Block.


Complete the Steering Build (2)

3. Remove the Support Block and clamp the other one to the Pivot and repeat the drilling. 4. You will need a 3/8" bolt about 7” long. Push the bolt through the Support Block (N1), Pivot (M), and Support Block (N2) and use a Lock Nut to secure the bolt. 5. You might have to push the bolt through the length of the components several times to ensure the Pivot (M) moves easily. • Comment: If the Carriage Bolt is too long, you can use a Dremel Tool to cut off a piece such that there is only sufficient room on the end, for the Locking Nut to be installed.


Drill the Pivot Components (1)

1. Mark the center of one of the ends of the Pivot and rest it on its other end.. 2. Using a 3/8” drill bit, drill through the Pivot from end to end. 3. Take the 2 Support Blocks, align them end to end, and clamp them together. 4. Mark the center of either end of the combined Support Blocks 5. Drill a 3/8” drill bit, drill through the Support Blocks from end to end


Drill the Pivot Components (2)

6. Insert a 7” Carriage Bolt through one Support Block, add a washer, push the Carriage Bolt through the Pivot, add another washer, and then push the Carriage Bolt through the second Support Block and add the Nut but DO NOT tighten it too much. 7. IF the Pivot does not rotate easily, move the Carriage Bolt in and out a number of times to remove some of the inside hole debris. 8. Tighten the nut a bit to hold all 3 pieces neatly, then Dry Fit the assembled pieces to the Steering Box.

Tools Used:

Materials Required:

Wood Products:

(1) 1x2, 96", Board  
(1) 1x4, 96", Board  
(1) 1x6, 96", Board  
(1) 2x2, 24", Board  
(1) 1"x1", 12", Cut from scrap  
(1) 1/2" Thick, Half Sheet, Plywood  
(1) 1" Round, 36", Poplar Dowel  
(1) 1 1/2" Round, 12", Hardwood Dowel  


(1) #6 SPAX 1 1/4" screws (box)  
(4) 1/2" x 4" Hex Bolts  
(8) 1/2" Washers for Hex Bolts  
(4) 3/8" Washers  
(1) 3/8" x 7" Carriage Bolt  
(1) 3/8" Locking Nut  
(1) 3/8" x 3 1/2" Carriage Bolt  
(12) 1/4"-20 x 40MM Everbilt Connecting Caps  
(12) 1/4"-20 x 40MM Everbilt Connecting Bolts  
(4) 8" Arnold Wheels  
(1) Engraved Brass Plate (optional)  
(1) Titebond Quick & Thick (gray container)  
(1) DAP Wood Filler (small size)  
(1) Quart - MINWAX PolyShades Natural  
(1) Quart - MINWAX PreStain Wood Conditioner  
(1) Quart Fire Engine Red Latex Gloss  

Parts/Cut List:

(6) Inside Supports (F), 1" x 2" x 9 1/2"  
(2) Wheel Housing Spacers (H), 1" x 2" x 3 1/2"  
(2) Pivot Support Blocks (N), 1" x 2" x 3"  
(2) Supplemental Block Support, 1" x 1" x 3"  
(8) Wheel Housing Sides (G), 1" x 4" x 5 1/2"  
(4) Wheel Housing Base (I), 1" x 4" x 4 1/2"  
(2) Upper Left & Right Sides (D), 1" x 4" x 12"  
(2) Lower Left & Right Sides (A), 1" x 6" x 14 1/2"  
(2) Lower Front & Back (B), 1" x 6" x 14 1/2  
(1) Upper Back (E), 1" x 6" x 14 1/4  
(1) Steering Box (J), 1" x 6" x 12"  
(1) Base (C), 1/2" x 15 1/2" x 24"  
(1) Steering Rod (K), 1" x 36  
(1) Handle Grip (L), 1 1/2" x 5"  
(1) Pivot (M), 1 1/2" x 3"  


Red Wagon Before-After.pdf Download
RedWagonExtras.docx Download
Red Wagon Commentary.pdf Download
RedWagonPhotographsFile.docx Download
Red Wagon (ASB 2018-1011)PWS.pdf Download
Contact Me.pdf Download


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