Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Trailer mods 101

Caitlin asked about tools. Jonni's touched on it, but I thought I'd post pics of my MVTs.

Here's my drill. It's just a Hitachi 12v. I wouldn't recommend cheaping out with a 9.4v, but you honestly don't need an 18v either. Have two batteries, and swap as soon as you think you're losing power.

The secret weapon: a drill and tap kit.

When you think you want to hang something, go look in the nails/screws/fasteners section of the hardware store and pick out your hardware. Eyebolts, carriage bolts, and screws all come in wood (pointy tip) or metal (flat tip) versions. Get the flat tip metal kind. Then go over to the drill bit aisle and look for the right size drill and tap kit. They're on little cards, just like the drill bits. You can get fine thread or coarse thread; get what matches your fastener.

The drill bit is just a good quality metal bit. It's a tiny bit smaller than the tap bit, which is where the magic happens.

My thumb is covering up the end that goes in the drill. The business end is slightly tapered, and it reams the metal into threads so you can just screw the fastener in. It's a little tricky to get it going - it usually takes me a couple tries - but when you've done it right, it spins a bit then screws itself into the hole. Unscrew it, then screw in your fastener.

You can see that I label bits with blue painter's tape. Yeah, a roll of it is expensive, but it unsticks cleanly - I've reused that piece of tape on those bits several times.

I like to use a dab of Loctite too.

There's a couple different kinds. This stuff will unlock with hand tools and force - they also make a kind that won't unlock without heat, but that's way overkill for our purpose. This just keeps vibration over time from unscrewing your hard work. (Is your wheelbarrow wobbly? USE LOCTITE.)

Hope that helps! Still thinking about all the good ideas and considerations for my bucket holders. I'll post when I decide something!


  1. I did not know that about metal bits. I'm going to get me some!

  2. How would you, your tools, handiness, and Dixie like to come to Indiana and try a 50 in the hills (in between modifying my dressing room area)? It would only take you about a week to get here. You can bring the dog. I will even consider offering a bribe. I really like zebra stripes ...:) How random was that? I've been up since 4 AM. Still at work.

    ~ E.G.

  3. Your handiness is impressive. I start my own trailer modifications this weekend. Will be off and on posting before and after pictures. My goal is to have it all completely redone by March. Have my first two day 50 planned for then. Thank you for the post.

  4. You never fail to impress me with your handiness!!


Feel free to comment!