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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fairfield, Virginia
    Posts
    1,002

    Default Building a trailer

    My winter project is building a trailer mounted bbq pit. The pit is just about done and the trailer I was going to use was not big enough. I am going to build a trailer and am ordering a 3500 lbs axle with brakes. The trailer is going to be about 12 ft long and probably never have more than 2000 lbs on it when loaded. We are debating two different types of steel to build it with, the first is 2x2 square tubing 1/4 wall thick. the other is 3 inch I-channel. We are split on what to use. does anyone have any advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default go with channel iron

    I think the 2 x 2 with 1/4 side walls is over kill on the material thickness unless you have it laying around and wouldnt have to buy it. I would go with 3" channel iron not I beam it would be lighter stronger and cheaper plus it makes for cleaner looking trailer when you have it welded up

    by the way is this the smoker you are building out of the propane tank

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fairfield, Virginia
    Posts
    1,002

    Default

    Thanks for the input Riverrat, it is a smoker and is made of 24 inch pipe 3/8 thick side walls and the firebox is 2 ft long and the cook chamber is a little over 4 1/2 ft long with a 51 door in it. ith the counter weight and all it is about 950 lbs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
    Posts
    1,472

    Default

    look at the thickness of the channel holding the bed of a 1/2 ton pickup. It's not really that thick. You could go with the channel iron or square tube. Either will work and both should be way more than necessary to hold that much weight, especially distributed over a 12 foot span.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Tip of the Thumb, Michigan
    Posts
    676

    Default

    Here in Michigan, tubing almost always results in rust-outs. Channel can be cleaned, painted, washed and almost always looks cleaner. All important things when you're building a mobile food service trailer.

    DS

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    ruben writes:
    We are debating two different types of steel to build it with, the first is 2x2 square tubing 1/4 wall thick. the other is 3 inch I-channel. We are split on what to use.

    tecumseh ask:
    well you gave some indication of the tube but not so much information on the I beam (channel is C shaped). I beam spec are given in width of the I beam plus thickness of the web... this translated into an I beam (wide flange/narrow flange) that has some factory specification as to #/foot.

    tubing will give you a lower profile and is typically easier to fit... requires only a chop saw and not torch. 1/4" thick tube may be overkill... although you are better advise to oversize than undersize (at least IMHO). the thinner webed I beam may need to be reinforce (typically directly above the spring hangers) since it can fatique quite easily. this is not so difficult and typicall requires you to weld flat pieces perpendicular (and on both sides) to the I beams web. this simple keeps the I beam from twisting.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fairfield, Virginia
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    Default

    Yes we were looking at using c-channel, either 3/16 or 1/4

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    the smaller dimension sounds like overkill. 1/8 would be sufficient but 3/16 should not add so much weight since the trailer is not that large. for myslef either would be not so difficult to weld although most rookies would likely find the larger dimension metal easier to stick together.

    do you use a stick or wire fed welder?

    nice pictures... thanks for sharing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fairfield, Virginia
    Posts
    1,002

    Default

    >do you use a stick or wire fed welder?


    We have both but were doing most of it with the mig.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    I would encourage you to attach hitch and axle hangers with a stick. set the heat a bit high and get a good penetrating weld (you likely allready know that downhill welding with a stick is easier-upside down can be difficult). if the weld don't looks so great... knock off the slag and go over it again with the mig.

    ps when you get to the point of attaching the axle hangers only weld down two sides (the two sides of the hanger parallel to the wheels and not all the way around the hanger)... this allow for no entrapment of water and allows this critical point to give just a bit.

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