Wood/Epoxy Joint - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-03-2011, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Wood/Epoxy Joint

Hello folks! I am new to this forum. I was wondering if you experts could help me with an answer from another forum. I am considering building a TTT (Tiny Travel trailer) and the plans I am looking at are from 1946. Back then, they made the frame out of wood and I am considering doing the same. It seems to me that using some boat building techniques should be fine on this build. The folks over at the TTT forum are not so sure about using wood for the frame. It seems to me that if one uses Epoxy for all the joints as well as coating the wood as one would do for boat building, the frame should be ok. One o fthe guys at the TTT forum was concerned with the notch of the 'A' (hitch) frame. His thought is that would be too weak.

So...expterts...your input is greatly appreciated!

Here is an exceprt of those plans:

And here's what it looks like built:

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post #2 of 8 Old 09-03-2011, 05:00 PM
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I don't see any reason why it should not work well. I do suggest smoothing the bottoms of your dadoes really well so the glue doesn't all get absorbed by torn grain.

I guess a metal strap support added where the a-frame meets the first board would be a good idea. A joist hanger would work fine and 2 of them won't cost much.

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post #3 of 8 Old 09-03-2011, 05:04 PM
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Welcome to the forum.

I would think that epoxy, good joinery and bolting would be plenty strong. I know some of the boat guys would suggest coating with fiberglass to seal the wood.

My big concern is wether or not the DOT would allow a wooden frame trailer on the roads. It would be sad to build the trailer, only to find it can't be registered.
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-03-2011, 09:51 PM
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To be on the safe side, I would have the chassis made out of metal. Wood may be plenty strong, but I doubt the DOT would allow it, it ain't 1946 anymore.
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-04-2011, 06:29 AM
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Agree with above.......about the use of a steel frame.

Around here,if one builds a trailer.........to get tagged,its initial inspection is by the st Police.They're the ones who also oversee our vehicle inspection sticker process(as issued by st licensed "inspection garages").So.........I'd simply stroll up into the nearest st Police joint or ask about their whereabouts at a garage........and show whomever responsible,the plans.See what their requirements are?BW

Those who say it cannot be done shouldn't interrupt the people doing it.
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-04-2011, 06:35 AM
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I think the wood frame would be fine if it will pass the inspection. My father once had an oak framed utility trailer that he used in the 1940's. A friend who lived in the country made a number of this type of trailer.

If the state inspectors do not like the plain wooden frame then ask if they will OK one covered in fiberglass.

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post #7 of 8 Old 09-04-2011, 07:55 AM
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Your location isn't listed, so I can't comment on what's legal in your area. But to answer your question, I would not use any glues in the joints. With all the vibration and movement, it's entirely probable that the bonds might not hold, and where they do may chunk off wood that's glued. If the joints are secured with bolts, washers, and nuts, that, IMO is sufficient.

In the 70s I removed a pickup bed from a 3/4 ton Chevy and configured an 8' x 10' flatbed based only on the two main chassis members. On the overall grid of 4x4s and laminated 2x4s, my first bed was T&G #2 SYP. That bed lasted over 10 years. When I finally replaced it I used 3/4" marine grade plywood, which went for another 10 years. I went through more engines and transmissions than truck beds.

I'm still using a 4'x8' flatbed trailer, that started out in life as a 4'x4' tire carrier trailer used at race tracks. I made a wood frame and it became a 4'x8' trailer, and I added a sheet of marine grade plywood. It sits outside and has been used periodically since 1991.

The truck would pass state inspections (when our State had them). As for the trailer, there's no inspections for 'homemade'.

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post #8 of 8 Old 09-05-2011, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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WOW! You guys are great! I really like the idea of the wooden frame. I will be asking my DMV about homemade trailers. By the way, I am in Illinois.
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