Introduction: How to Make a Log Truck...quick and Easy!

About: Retired, doing art work now. Great. Have the time and the money to spend doing what I want to do.

This instructable shows how to put together a log truck using simple tools and materials. I realize some people will not have all these tools, but any well equipped craft or art studio should have some of them. I enjoy making things, lately I have been doing scale models. Please follow along as steps taken are shown.

Step 1: Design, Tools, and Materials.

I use just about every tool I have in the shop on all my projects. Power tools are used alot, but almost all of project can be accomplished using hand tools. Just takes more time.

Step 2: Design and Construct Under Carriage

I decided to start here for no particular reason, it really doesn't matter. I had painted some branches to simulate pine logs and that sparked the idea to go ahead and make a truck! Funny how the muse works, eh?

Step 3: Design Truck Body or Cab

As I was working on the under carriage,I was thinking of how the truck should look. So I proceeded to sketch my design on the cardboard that I was using as a work surface. After I had decided on the dimensions, it was out to the shop to begin construction.

Step 4: Starting to Put Things Together

I started by cutting my pieces for the cab. I used 1 x 2 pine lumber as I had much of it in stock, and I like it because it's a soft wood, easy to work with and relatively inexpensive. The main part of the cab consists of 4 pieces of wood, the longer ones being the hood and the shorter pieces make up the cab. I like to get these glued up early in the process so that they will be ready after I've worked on the other parts. Various clamps are used as shown.

Step 5: Doors Are Glued in Place on Cab

As the photo shows, doors and windshield are cut from very thin pine, cut off the surface of a 1 by 2. When cut this thin, probably 1/16th in., it is easy to cut with a craft knife or the box cutter as shown. These pieces are then glued onto the cab and allow for some dimension to the cab build. When gluing, some clamping is necessary to hold the doors in place until glue has set firmly.

Step 6: Next, Start on Wheels

Wheels are fun to make and relatively easy with the right tools. I used the drill press and two bits: a 3/4 in. forstner bit for the inset of the wheel, and then cut the wheels out with a 1 and 1/8in. hole saw. The wheels are sanded to round over the edges and to score treads around the rims of both sides of the wheels.

Step 7: Tool, Sand, and Shape Wheels to Desired Look

When wheels have been cut out, some sanding helps to remove burrs and slivers that result from the cutting. As per the previous step, the 1in. belt sander is used to round over edges and then score treads around the rims of each side of each wheel.

Step 8: Install Wheels on Bottom of Under Carraige

I had these nail clips on hand from a prior job, and they fit the 1/4 inch axles perfectly! They are nailed on to the under carriage by first drilling a hole that is slightly smaller than the nail used, then the nail is tapped gently into place. The nail is a little longer than necessary, so I simply cut the point off with a pair of wire cutters.

Step 9: Make Air Filter and Gas Tank: Install

The air filter and gas tank are made of dowels, selected to be proportionate in size. To attach to body, I sanded a flat on each item then simply applied some glue, placed items on cab and let set til dry. Very easy!

Step 10: Add Stacks

Two dowels (1/4 in.) are used for the smoke stacks...a 1/4 in forstner bit is used to drill out the holes for the stacks as shown.

Step 11: Windshield, Bumper, Headlights and Stacks Are in Place or Added

The order of these installations is of no concern. Just do what feels right. Here, these four embellishments have been added to hasten completion of the project.

Step 12: Two Eye Bolts Are Used As Hitches

Two eye bolts from my picture hanging parts are used as the hitches. One is cut so that a section is removed from the eye bolt and it then resembles a hook that can be latched unto the other eye bolt on the log bed.

Step 13: Painting

Acrylic paints are used to complete the project. As shown, I decided to use an orange/red body paint and of course the tires are black/gray. Accents of silver is used on the stacks, air filter, gas tank and part of the bumber. After all painting has been completed, and various features drawn on with an ink pen, the body is protected with a few coats of acrylic varnish.

Step 14: Finish Truck With Detail Painting and a Sign

Here, I detailed the body with lines for the door, hood, air filter and gas tank. This was done with a fine tip marker, not a paint brush. The sign was printed out from the word processor on plain copy paper and glued into place. Polyurethane varnish finishes and protects the final details.

Step 15: Final Pictures of the Completed Log Truck

This was a fun project to do and I titled it quick and easy because I had all the tools and materials, and was able to complete 95% of the build in less than 8 hrs. Detailing the truck, and painting took a few hours more, but is a great way to spend my time!

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