Ever since I attended a drafting seminar in New Brunswick way back in 2007 (put on by the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Canada I think), I have been meaning to make a cart for Bear…I mean how hard can it be right?
I found some cart plans that made sense to me on-line at http://www.bmdinfo.com and I have had these plans on one hard drive or another for a few years now. Four years later, we’ve just booked Sue Ailsby for a seminar at Prairie Dog Daycare and Two Brown Dogs for the fall and drafting is on the schedule so I figured I should be ready!
I headed down to the local Home Depot this past Saturday morning with my blueprints in hand, hoping -no praying- that I wouldn’t have to wait forever to find someone who could cut a sheet of plywood for me. I did have to wait, but not forever. The guy that I accosted for help was pretty good – I told him I needed a sheet of plywood cut and he went and got me a wood cart and then we hauled a piece down fr cutting which took all of 5 minutes on the coolest plywood saw you ever s did see. When he handed me my last piece of wood I said thanks and he said,
“I love helping women out here, they always know exactly what they want”
I laughed but did not tell him that I was extra prepared because I can not stand the condescending looks you get if you happen to go in without knowing what you need or want and are lucky enough to also get the one sexist jerk in the store.
Anyway, since you get five cuts for free, I got the 4′ x 8′ piece cut into manageable sizes (that would fit into the car) and then I headed to the other side of the store to pick up some wood stain. I had visions of doing some fancy stencil work but then I saw the basic black wood stain which I thought would look awesome – especially with the aluminum trim I’m going to need.
I brought all my supplies home, had some lunch and then set about trimming my pieces down to size. One sheet of plywood makes 2 carts so I’ll be making one for Bear and then one to sell which should at least cover the expenses of making the carts – and maybe a bit extra to pay for a harness.
One thing that is apparent is that this is going to be one heck of a big cart. I’m not so much worried about the weight – bear is rather strong – but it may be difficult to maneuver should we ever make it to a Draft Test. For now I’m not going to worry – I can always adjust the plans and make another cart if need be.
I’m using minwax products to finish the cart and picked up a small can of both wood conditioner and the stain and finish 2 in 1 in classic black. In hind sight I should have purchased the larger cans of each.
Once the pieces were cut, I applied the wood conditioner to both sides and then the stain & finish product.
I was hoping for a more transparent stain but I still like the look and texture of the classic black.
- Apply a water resistant finish (we could be working in wet weather)
- Track down some aluminum angle for trim
- Keep an eye out for 20″ wheels