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1729 Views 10 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  jw2170
I'm building a single-wheeled motorcycle trailer in the style of a 1930's wooden station wagon. I've attached a photo of a trailer with the basic dimensions and shapes made in E. Germany in the 1960's. Mine will have an ash frame and walnut stained panels. There are lots of irregular shapes to say the least. I will have some questions on routing the curved frame pieces to accept panels.

Thanks for admitting me to the forum.



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Hi Shawn and welcome. There are 3 ways I can think of offhand to make a curved frame out of solid wood. One is to steam the wood and bend it. Next is to take some thin veneers (maybe a 1/16' thick) and glue them and the laminate them around a frame. Last is to laminate wooden blocks together in a way that they angle around so that you can bandsaw or jigsaw the shape you need. The idea with that method is to keep the long grain in the wood running in the same direction as the frame is.
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Welcome. If the frame components are flat then it should be a simple matter of a rabbeting bit with some support to keep the router level. But, devil's in the details. Post some details with specific questions in the general routing forum so more people will see it. Not everyone looks at the intro forum.

I'm doing a combination. The panels are 5/32 bendable plywood used on Kayaks. It is flexible enough that i can bend a 2 foot diameter semicircle that will be at the front of the trailer. For the front circle i could use a jig to hold the router and do it that way, or cut a template of the inside diameter of the circle and run it through the router table. What i haven't been able to figure out (and the reason I subscribed to the forum) is how to make a channel in the ash frame to accept the plywood. Basically i want to insert the plywood into the grooves of the frame of both sides to maintain the shape.

The back of the trailer and the top have irregular shapes that i need to rout grooves in as well.

I have a Bosch router set up in a router table, and also have a craftsman 1/4 router as my tools to use.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. thanks again
Welcome to the forum
Welcome to the forum, Shawn! Add your first name to your profile to clear the N/a in the side panel. Add your location, as well.

We like photos so show us your shop where you'll build this trailer, your tools, projects, etc. as you go along and whenever you're ready.

Welcome to the forum Shawn.
Welcome. If I'm hearing your correctly, the sides will go in slots on the inside edge of the frame. Is that right? In that case, I'd start by making a full size paper template, lay out the frame made of wide material so the long grain is as close as possible to parallel to the curve. You will need to joint the frame pieces together, which can most easily be done with some sort of lap joint. That means laying out the pieces so they overlap enough so you allow room for a joint. Use the router to cut half way through each piece (so they overlap by the width of the frame). Then glue the joints together with clamps to hold it tight while it sets. Use exterior water proof glue.

I'd use some pretty wide material so you have to make fewer joints. You use the same pattern to make the second side an exact match. The top and bottom will be glued in place. I'd make a half inch wide rabbet aroung the inside of the frame, and bend the material around the frame, using some fasteners and glue. I would attach the wheels and other parts to the bottom of the finished shell with bolts (so you can remove it for repairs, etc. The door at the rear will require some fitting, and it will need its own frame, and a frame around the door's opening, to mount hinges and a lock.

The exterior will require some pretty rugged finish, including paint to match the motorcycle. And I think I'd add a panel across the front/bottom, to protect the ply from road dings and damage.

Nice project. Looking forward to seeing some pictures of your build and the final product.
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G'day Shawn, welcome to the forum.

One of the members was building a 'tear drop trailer' some years ago. If you search for those post, it may provide some assistance.
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