Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring #123: Refurbing the Harbor Freight Folding Trailer - Pre-Blog Inquiry

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Blog entry by retired_guru posted 06-06-2020 01:14 PM 1075 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 122: Candy Jar Rack - Prototyping Part 123 of Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring series no next part

This week or next I will begin the process of refurbishing a Harbor Freight folding trailer I purchase several years back.

Original Build

Before Removing Wood and Electrical

All the wood I added on to make a staked side trailer has been removed, as well as the electrical wiring and lights. Before I can add the new wiring and lights I need to remove surface rust in some areas, spot prime and paint once cleaned up. Once the electrical is installed and working properly I will add new pressure treated plywood sheeting to make the bed and proceed to build the staked sides similar to before. The most obvious difference this time is that I plan on painting the wood (sans pressure treated plywood bed) instead of using a deck sealer—the sealer I used failed to keep mold from building up underneath the finish and rot from setting in months after application, and the wood as it aged didn’t look all that great.

I will be taking progress photos. In the past a few people have asked me for detailed plans, more pictures of the build. If there is interest in seeing a multi-part build series here, let me know in the comments below. I plan on posting the build series elsewhere if there isn’t enough interest here. TIA

-- -- Paul: jack of all dreams, a master none.

2 comments so far

View sansoo22's profile


1748 posts in 899 days

#1 posted 06-06-2020 08:18 PM

I’d be interested in seeing your build process. Since I’ve moved into larger projects that require larger materials I either need a small trailer or a bigger truck. I’m thinking a small trailer is cheaper than a new truck.

View retired_guru's profile


838 posts in 2604 days

#2 posted 06-06-2020 11:39 PM

@sansoo22 : Thanks for letting me know.

A trailer can carry all that a pickup of comparable capacity could, however, to haul a half a ton of material on a trailer requires a vehicle with the guts to do so. If you are like me, mostly looking to haul sheet goods and some lumber for projects, a trailer like I have could be a low-cost entry, if you have the vehicle to pull it. The other day I bought a 2011 Toyota Takoma shortbed to replace my overly-too-large-and-gas-guzzling ‘95 Ford F150 XLT 4WD 5sp 8’ bed pickup. It came with a Class I hitch and wiring for a trailer, so I can make up for the loss of an 8’ bed with the trailer I have, once it’s refurbished. The F150 has only been off the road for a couple of days and already I miss it. That will fade once someone buys it from me.

At any rate, if you have a vehicle capable of hauling a trailer with the capacity you need, it’s a lot cheaper to buy that trailer than to buy a decent pickup in my area. That Tacoma cost me $13,000. That said, the advantage of buying the trailer over a truck is that if and when you are ready for a truck, the trailer doesn’t have to go.

Good luck in choosing the right path for you. I’m pretty sure I will post the progress here. Stay tuned.

-- -- Paul: jack of all dreams, a master none.

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