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Thread: Sawtooth XL Build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    337

    Default Sawtooth XL Build

    Many of you on this forum remember Jess Neal and his epic build of the Sawtooth XL, a trailer of his own design. http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...light=sawtooth Through an inspiring feat of perseverance he built a versatile little trailer, for which he now sells plans. http://sawtoothent.com Since I am lazy, and not very original in thought, I bought a set of plans and decided to give this a try. I packed up my Subaru and headed south to Kitsap County, Washington, where my brother the semi-retired carpenter lives, along with his myriad friends in the construction trades, and most importantly, our good friend Wayne The Welder. I can glue, but I can't weld, and Wayne is an artist with any welding machine. As a tease, here is the frame tacked together;

    IMG_5472.jpg

    This build will start out slowly, as I am waiting for suspension parts to arrive (May 16), and then I have to drive to Salem to pick them up. Also have to find two Subaru wheels to take to the powder coater, and that is not proceeding as smoothly as I would like. While waiting for the suspension and wheels, I will buy the wood today and get that to the shop where the body will be built. And I also have to clean that up so it is usable. By the end of this weekend, I should have some noticeable progress.

    Many thanks to all Jess Neal and all of those who have posted their builds, as I have without shame or blushing adopted (stolen) your ideas and the execution of those ideas.
    2103 BMW R1200GS Adventure
    2008 Subaru Outback 3.0R
    Sawtooth XL http://forum.expeditionportal.com/th...light=sawtooth
    1980 BMW R80/7

    "If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it's lethal." - Paul Coelho

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kuna Idaho
    Posts
    653
    Can't wait to see more progress Daniel. Subscribed
    Please visit the following links!
    YouTube
    Plans now available! - SawTooth XL Off Road Trailer
    Sawtooth Enterprises
    Modern Forge

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    337
    In typical trailer build fashion, I'm off to a slower start than I planned. I ordered the wood yesterday, but it can't be delivered until next Tuesday. After working on the frame this coming weekend with Wayne The Welder, on Monday I will drive to Sequim to pick up the wheels for the trailer, and bring them back to Kitsap Powder Coating for powder coating. On Tuesday, I wait for the wood to arrive, then drive to Portland and Salem to pick up the suspension and other parts, returning on Wednesday. Then up to Port Angeles to deliver the suspension parts to WTW. On Friday, I can cut some wood, but then it is back to Port Angeles to work on the frame with WTW. It is going to be busy, but I really want to be making some sawdust. To paraphrase Helmuth von Moltke, no plan survives first contact (with the enemy).

    Still pretty excited about getting started in any fashion, and the logistics are coming along. So pictures no later than Monday of the trailer frame.
    2103 BMW R1200GS Adventure
    2008 Subaru Outback 3.0R
    Sawtooth XL http://forum.expeditionportal.com/th...light=sawtooth
    1980 BMW R80/7

    "If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it's lethal." - Paul Coelho

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    337

    Default Still slow

    I went up to Port Angeles yesterday to work on painting on the trailer frame. However, Wayne the Welder has been working overtime at his day job, and was unable to work on it all week, and grandkids captured his weekend. This week is not looking to good either. I will be able to check on it Thursday when I deliver the suspension to him. However, I was able to pick up all the parts that I had shipped to him for the trailer body.

    IMG_5521.jpg

    We also discussed a rear tire carrier swingout for the Subaru. That would be nice to have.

    I moved all the parts to the shop where I will be building the body, assuming I can ever get the wood to work with.

    IMG_5497.jpg

    This morning, I received a voice mail that the six sheets of 1/2 inch birch plywood I ordered that were to be delivered tomorrow were actually on back order, and not available for another week, maybe two. A few calls to other local lumber yards were all negative. So I checked the local Box Store, and sure enough, that had 47 sheets. I should be able to fins six good sheets in that bunch. I moved all the parts up to the shop, and now I need wood tomorrow. In the afternoon, I start down towards Salem to pick up the suspension from Scott at Compact Camping Concepts. Scott has been very easy to work with, as have the folks at Vintage Technologies and Oregon Trail'R. Very good people throughout this community, most particularly Jess,who freely answers my questions as I move ever so slowly through this process.
    Last edited by DanCooper; 05-23-2016 at 01:24 PM.
    2103 BMW R1200GS Adventure
    2008 Subaru Outback 3.0R
    Sawtooth XL http://forum.expeditionportal.com/th...light=sawtooth
    1980 BMW R80/7

    "If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it's lethal." - Paul Coelho

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kuna Idaho
    Posts
    653
    Dan - Good to see progress... hate to see the delays. They are inevitable though... Keep after it. That is cool you are working with Scott on this. Good guy...
    Please visit the following links!
    YouTube
    Plans now available! - SawTooth XL Off Road Trailer
    Sawtooth Enterprises
    Modern Forge

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    337

    Default Trailer frame

    Picked up the axle suspension parts for the frame last Wednesday from Scott at Compact Camping Concepts. A great guy and so easy to do business with. Hauled them up to Port Angeles on Thursday and tucked them in the shed out of the rain.

    IMG_5540.jpg

    On Sunday, Wayne the Welder tacked up all the suspension parts. He hasn't closed up the ends of the tubing yet as we haven't decided on where to put the wiring loom. The tabs for mounting the body to the frame are fabricated and he was welding them on when I left.

    I'm having difficulty uploading pictures. As soon as I figure that out, I will upload some shots.
    2103 BMW R1200GS Adventure
    2008 Subaru Outback 3.0R
    Sawtooth XL http://forum.expeditionportal.com/th...light=sawtooth
    1980 BMW R80/7

    "If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it's lethal." - Paul Coelho

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    337

    Default Tacking the suspension to the frame

    DSC_2291a.jpg
    DSC_2288a.jpg
    DSC_2287a.jpg
    DSC_2292a.jpg

    Also (not pictured) welded on the shock mounts and the tabs for mounting the body to the frame. In the process, I realized that I ordered the wrong hubs, in that I have free-wheeling hubs and I need drum hubs for the electric brakes. I keep learning that there is no problem in trailer building that cannot be solved with time, effort, money, or a combination of all or some of the three. Thankfully, Scott from Compact Camping Concepts can source the necessary hubs, and it will just be a little longer to get them and install them. I have plenty to do before I need them, and I'm not going to worry.

    We also noticed that the front cross member has a slight bow in it caused by the heat from the welding. That will be straightened out this week so the top of the frame is flat and true.

    We have not closed up the frame yet pending a decision on how the wiring loom will run. I should get that sorted out this week.
    2103 BMW R1200GS Adventure
    2008 Subaru Outback 3.0R
    Sawtooth XL http://forum.expeditionportal.com/th...light=sawtooth
    1980 BMW R80/7

    "If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it's lethal." - Paul Coelho

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kuna Idaho
    Posts
    653
    Looks great Dan. I had the axle brackets for brakes but never put them on...
    Please visit the following links!
    YouTube
    Plans now available! - SawTooth XL Off Road Trailer
    Sawtooth Enterprises
    Modern Forge

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    337
    Quote Originally Posted by stomperxj View Post
    Looks great Dan. I had the axle brackets for brakes but never put them on...
    I don't think this trailer actually needs the brakes, but I am a belt and suspenders kind of guy. Regardless, I have the drums ordered through Scott. Most of the rest of the day has been spent chasing down the correct lug nuts for the Subaru (OEM - who knew that a Subaru dealer would only have five lug nuts in stock in their parts department?) and tooling up. Being 3000 miles from my own shop kinda is not good. (Sentence structure intentional and edited several times to make it suitable for a general population forum). Picking up the rest of the plywood tomorrow if it is not raining too hard, as well as some MDF for jigs. Then I will get started on the body.
    2103 BMW R1200GS Adventure
    2008 Subaru Outback 3.0R
    Sawtooth XL http://forum.expeditionportal.com/th...light=sawtooth
    1980 BMW R80/7

    "If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it's lethal." - Paul Coelho

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Salem, OR
    Posts
    641
    Nice to see your project off and going, also seeing one of Jess's Sawtooth trailers getting built. Yes, every project has a hiccup or two ...
    Scott
    2000 2dr Chevy Tracker
    2006 Subaru Outback Sport
    Camping, The Compact Way

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