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Author Topic: Wagon deck nails or screws?  (Read 977 times)

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Offline Kwill

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Wagon deck nails or screws?
« on: March 28, 2020, 10:07:24 PM »
 

 
So I got my beams and all of the deck boards milled out for my wagon project. Still have to bolt the beams to the wagon. I'm back and forth on whether to use screws or nails on the deck boards to the beams. I'm leaning more towards nails. Nails bend and screws break. The screws might keep it from warping quite as bad but I do have some nails that would also do that. What's your guys preference on this?
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Offline Southside

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Re: Wagon deck nails or screws?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2020, 10:12:01 PM »
Pretty sure mine are nailed and I can't say it's ever been an issue.  My beams are not secured to the frame in the back, just held in place by vertical angle brackets so they can float as the frame twists, which it will. 
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Offline Don P

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Re: Wagon deck nails or screws?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2020, 10:34:10 PM »
I like the galvy spiral screw shank nails for stuff like that. Like you said typical deck screws are brittle, the fastenmaster timber lok screws would not have that problem but they aren't cheap.
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Offline Kwill

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Re: Wagon deck nails or screws?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2020, 11:14:29 PM »
Pretty sure mine are nailed and I can't say it's ever been an issue.  My beams are not secured to the frame in the back, just held in place by vertical angle brackets so they can float as the frame twists, which it will.
I was wondering why the back brackets didnt have holes in them. So should I not bolt mine in the back?
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Offline Southside

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Re: Wagon deck nails or screws?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2020, 12:12:14 AM »
I would not recommend bolting them. You will be surprised at how much flex those frames have at times. Free floating they always survive it. 
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Wagon deck nails or screws?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2020, 10:48:00 AM »
The hay wagons I've used use a board on either side (at the ends of the deck boards) carriage bolted to all the deck boards.  The boards are on the top side of the deck to give a lip to help when putting hay on with the skid steer.  If you want a clear deck, you could put the board on the underside.  It makes the deck one solid unit and prevents one board from warping up or down relative to the others.  I can't remember how the decks are fixed to the beams, I'll have to check? Or how the beams are fixed to the running gear?
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
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Offline OH logger

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Re: Wagon deck nails or screws?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2020, 01:26:11 PM »
We have around 30 wagons on the farm my uncle built most of em and had a real knack for it. The deck boards r nailed to the beams. Then Their is about a 1X3 on the outside of the wagon like brad said. Or if no lip is wanted my uncle would use and angle iron on the outside. Either way they are held together with carriage nails. One side of the angle iron was on the top of deck and the other side of the angle iron was on the outside edge. Not standing up. Then the bed is held down loosely on two corners of the running gear. Catty corner to each other I think? I can check if you want me to
john

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Wagon deck nails or screws?
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2020, 02:06:04 PM »
Ours are built differently but the floor boards are nailed.

Ours have the long beams with cross members attached with carriage bolts.    The 1x floor boards run lengthwise and are nailed to the cross members. Ring shank nails is what we used.  

The wagons are made to twist to keep all four wheels on the ground on uneven ground.  The wagon needs to be fastened to allow the twist. Otherwise fasteners will break or come loose. 
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Offline btulloh

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Re: Wagon deck nails or screws?
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2020, 02:11:15 PM »
SawyerTed, that is the way I see them built usually.  The dont seem to have any problem carrying a bid stack of green hay bales. I guess you can build the deck anyway that suits you and your needs though. 

I vote for nails on the deck boards. 
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Offline kantuckid

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Re: Wagon deck nails or screws?
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2021, 08:28:56 AM »
Thread revival-of sorts... 
I'm headed out to pick up an old wagon running gear today. It's a Sears & Roebucks gear so probably branded a David Bradley back when new? It's still got the tag on the axle. It's a nice gear with 4 matching ag tires on the original wheels. Traces of old paint but steel all good. 

I don't hay but need a materials wagon to tote lumber and cabin wall logs to a remote building site lengthwise, not on forks cause trees to close so 10' is about the limit sideways. I've done some 12' to get there but a genuine pita so this wagon thing. 
I've seen plenty of hay wagons from baled hay days but this one will be used otherwise until I no longer need it, then sold for farm use.  

My question is this: How to build the deck so it sells best after I'm done with it? As it sits it's a 14' gear per the seller's measurement, I've only seen pics so far. I asked him to measure the axle centers but uncertain what he measured to get 14'? It has no deck or wood on it now which is fine with me as I don't have to mess with removal or pay for an old deck to begin with.
 
I'll use the newer type (Fastenmasters, etc, as Don P mentions above) coated screws for the decking- that are strong and weatherproof too. 
The main question is to decide if I go short boards sideways or long boards lengthwise. I'll allow for a back board when I built the deck but leave it undone for now as it would be in my way. I like what I see above in this threads first picture, i.e., short, thick boards on top of beams with a longer one bolted to the ends. I'll use White Oak or Chestnut Oak as I have several laying down now from ice/snow/rains. 

Ideas for my sawmill cut list as you'd choose to re-do it? 
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Offline btulloh

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Re: Wagon deck nails or screws?
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2021, 08:43:37 AM »
Ive got one of those DB/Sears running gear. Mine can be adjusted lengthwise, so pick your poison on the length.  I plan to use a traditional deck design with 4x4s bolted crosswise on the stringers, then deck boards lengthwise. Using thick deck boards crosswise directly on the stringers is certainly an option, just depends on your preference. 

Youre lucky its got good tires. The original rims are 4 wide and take 6.50x16 tires.  The only thing I can find to fit are the tires for the original army jeep and thats not what I really want. Havent had any luck finding wider rims to fit. 

Nice find on the running gear. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.  

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Wagon deck nails or screws?
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2021, 08:45:29 AM »
2 angle irons alongside the beams carriage bolted to the deck boards then 4 sloppy bolts through the sides of those beams.

Offline GAB

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Re: Wagon deck nails or screws?
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2021, 09:33:28 AM »
When using hardwood for a wagon deck if you dip the ends of the fasteners in oil fewer of them will need to be removed/replaced.  The last wagon bed boards I was involved in installing were beech and when we started dipping 
the nails ends in oil we had to remove/replace very few.
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Offline barbender

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Re: Wagon deck nails or screws?
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2021, 02:09:40 PM »
I used GRK torx screws on a white oak deck and a bunch of them have snapped off👎
Too many irons in the fire

Offline bannerd

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Re: Wagon deck nails or screws?
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2021, 02:29:10 PM »
Drill out a hole and pound a wood peg in there.  Glue it with whatever and then take some old cut nails and drive it home.  Sort of like an axe handle/wedge.

3 or 4 " cut nail would do.

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Wagon deck nails or screws?
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2021, 07:26:36 AM »
Picked up my wagon gear-I told the kid I bought it from that it was a "holy roller wagon" based on location :D.

The story goes like this-
Loretto, KY a small place that makes the map is nearby and known for two things:
It's historically known as the location where Catholic pioneers came in and settled the area. His uncle is one of them, got cute nick name of "Tootle" ;D, he's 80 yrs old and my seller is young and farms the place on some sort of shares.
Most every farmhouse thereabouts has a Virgin Mary display in the front yard. The other aspect of Loretto is there are bourbon distilleries everywhere you look! It's on what they call the Bourbon Trail, a tourist thing to promote tours, etc. My gear seller works at Barton Distillery nearby.

I took it apart at the tube ends and loaded each axle assy on my 5x10 utility trailer with two tubes laying lengthwise. Now to get it unloaded , bearings serviced and de-rust and paint it. Mostly it has old paint on the frame, not rust so an easy one since I don't have to deal with the mess of old deck removal.
The odd tires comment above isn't true for this wagon which is a Sears David Bradley as expected. It has Ag 7.60-15 float rib tires which are bound to  still be sold- but unlikely I'll ever need one.
Well designed gear.
Fastenmaster exterior screws are not brittle and will bend-tough screws as are SPAX which also bend but very tough. Either easily goes into green hardwood w/o any pilot hole.

Now, back to my question: short cross deck boards or long deck boards? I lean toward short and thickish with typical side board edges.

I think I'll assemble it back to 14' gear frame and a 16' top deck. Dead tractor here so I'm taking it down the road to unload and assemble at neighbors with loader house then tow home to rebuild.  A design aspect I like on this gear is that the main wood beams are perched at the front axle on top of a cross perch which tips left/right so as to allow torsional, i.e. slight twisting movement of the deck above on rough terrain to keep loads stable. Most you see are same front and back and no allowance for torsion other than what you build into the wood deck parts. 
Kan=Kansas;tuck=Kentucky;kid=what I'm not


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