Intro: Radio Flyer Restoration
A quick walk through on how I restored a Radio Flyer Town and Country wagon.
Step 1: Finding the Wagon.
While walking through a local Habitat Restore I spotted something I could not leave without.
A 1980-1983 Radio Flyer Town and Country (if you know more about year please leave a comment)
Step 2: A Closer Look
Just a few more pictures of how it arrived before the restoration process takes place.
The red slats were pretty faded and front piece you'll see in the next few sets broken.
Main bottom pretty stained.
All the metal was rusted.
Step 3: Tear Down and Inspection
After tear and parts layout the the worst part was on the front slat. It appears the handle has just hit it one too many times.
Everything came apart pretty nicely. Other than the wheels they are put on with Safety Nuts or Lock washers (what ever you would like to call them) I was afraid to take them off being a once use item and unable to find the correct ones again.
Step 4: Fixing the Front Slat
I Pulled the single slat off the front runners. Once i had it off it fell into two separate pieces.
Grabbed some titebond 2 and clamped it all back together.
Let it dry really well then take the clamps off and inspect before working with it.
Trying to get of the cracked chunk out in the prettiest way I traced a line to the best of my free hand ability.
Grabbed my Router table and using a flush trim bit I took away as much of the meat of the wood before moving it to my (Ridgid) table top spindle sander.
Out come was pretty nice.
Step 5: Sanding Frame of Base
The frame of the base as pictured had a bit of build up from the years. Old varnish and clear cracking and just needed some attention.
I went back to the table top sander and ran the boards a few passes all the way around. I did this with the sander over a joiner or planer as I wanted to keep as much material as I could.
The last picture was right before I hand sanded for a smooth clean finish.
Step 6: Washing Sanding and Painting
Moving on to the metal.
First I took some good old soap and water and just scrubbed as much as I could off.
(NO PICTURES SORRY) I sanded it all down
again I didn't pull the wheels so had to tape it all off Strung it up and shot some paint.
And the out come here was BEAUTIFUL...
Step 7: Sanding and Prepping the Base Bottom
I was a bit unhappy with the out come here but its what is expected with 30 years of use.
As I was sanding I had to continue to sand deeper into the wood issue here I started to sand through the top layer of plywood which is NOT a good thing.
So i had to back off just smooth it all out and move on.
At the same time its not a new one and it is a restoration piece so just chalk it up as character!
Step 8: Assembling the Base and Frame
Pretty straight forward step here
I just reversed my tear down and added a bit of wood glue and some extra brad nails here to try and help it last another 30 years.
Step 9: Coating / Weatherproofing
I coated the entire base before assembling the wheels and sides with Helsman Spar Urethane ( https://www.amazon.com/Minwax-63205444-Helmsman-Ur... )
It gave it a Deep rich look and will protect it from the weather and even more staining over the years!
Step 10: Clear Coating the Slats
Again wanting to keep the wagon as close to factory as I could I cleaned them really good and added a few really good coats of spray on clear coat!
And WOW the red really pops
Step 11: Time to Put It Together.
Adding all the wheels and slate holders.
Step 12: And Its a Wrap!!!
could not be happier with the outcome of this little wagon.
Being able to build and restore this little wagon for my son puts a smile on my face and I truly hope one day he will understand what that means as well.
I can only hope it holds up for him and lasts another 30 year!
I would love any comments positive or negative I enjoy learning from others and giving back to this awesome community!
This is an entry in the
Fix It! Contest