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Wells Fargo Wagon

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Project by Lockwatcher posted 04-29-2011 03:08 AM 6154 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Over the last 20 years or so, I have had various woodworking projects related to my involvement with a local charitable group. The group puts on a play every year that brings in close to $200,000 for our local children’s hospital.

One of my recent projects involved a play called The Music Man. I was assigned the task of building the “Wells Fargo Wagon”, a highlight of the play. The wagon I built is a prop, and as such – is nothing like you might expect. First, I had less then a week to design and build the wagon and second, the wagon had to fold flat to fit backstage when not in use – oh, and third – I had to build it with almost no money!

So…here is the wagon build…

The wagon was built almost entirely with 2×4 lumber & some plywood (with a few exceptions) and some hardware.

The giant 3 foot wheels are riding in outriggers and are non-functional. They can spin and turn when the wagon is pushed, but the actual wagon is supported on legs with casters..

Below: The wagon upside down with the legs visible.

When used onstage, only a small portion was visible, so a partial sign was added to give the effect that the wagon was larger than it is….secrets of the theater!

The frame was built with hinges that allow the wagon to fold flat when not in use. The entire wagon can be taken apart (in sections) in less than 5 minutes. The giant wheels came from Harbour Freight..

Anyway, an interesting project…more to come!

Ken C

-- Lockwatcher, Ohio, http://www.lockwatcher.com/





6 comments so far

View stuk4x4's profile

stuk4x4

115 posts in 3550 days


#1 posted 04-29-2011 03:18 AM

Looks pretty good to me!! Good Job, sometimes it is more fun and rewarding (in the end) to build something really nice on a tight budget.

-- All the tools in the world wont make you a good mechanic or craftsman... however it helps!

View clieb91's profile

clieb91

3664 posts in 4418 days


#2 posted 04-29-2011 03:43 AM

Ahh the magic of theater.. “we need it to be this big and have this and this and that and .. oh did we mention we have $10 to spend on it?”

Great work Ken, it looks real good. Hope this year’s show was a success.

CtL

-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- PortablePastimes.com (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Rustic's profile

Rustic

3256 posts in 4080 days


#3 posted 04-29-2011 04:37 AM

I was in that musical over 25 years ago. Nice job on the wagon

-- www.carvingandturningsbyrick.com, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

32086 posts in 3350 days


#4 posted 09-30-2017 02:57 PM

This turned out to be a beautiful prop. It’s very creative and nicely done. It would also make a wonderful eye catcher in a man cave. Nice work!

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View bugradx2's profile

bugradx2

73 posts in 503 days


#5 posted 02-12-2019 07:02 AM

I need to build one of these now too! You bought the wagon wheels at harbor freight.

-- The only thing not measured in my shop is time

View Lockwatcher's profile

Lockwatcher

91 posts in 3175 days


#6 posted 02-12-2019 03:58 PM

The Giant Wheels for the Wagon were purchased at Harbor Freight, they are not functional, as the castors do all the real work. I put some foam on the wheels to allow compression, so they would press on the floor and spin.

One of the sets of castors is directly behind the large wheels.

Stage weights were placed on the wagon, opposite where the actor sits, to provide a bit of a counterbalance when sitting on the end of the wagon.

Ken C / Lockwatcher

-- Lockwatcher, Ohio, http://www.lockwatcher.com/

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