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  weekender  
by: Paul Lewis
photos: Dave Starrett
illustration: Len Churchill
SPACESHIP SUPERSTAR
This UFO wagon invades just in time for Hallowe'en

space wagon
Watch the skies and get ready for some out-of-this-world trick-or-treating in this retrofitted wagon
Hot off the intergalactic drawing board, this UFO profile and mounting system is designed to transform any child�s wagon into an interstellar spacemobile�just the thing for trick-or-treating missions deep into new neighbourhoods. Although the project is made to fit the popular Little Tikes wagons that are invading the planet, you can easily adapt it for just about anything with four wheels. You�ll have to hurry, though. Hallowe�en is only a few weeks away.


The best material for this project is signboard, also called MDO. This is an exterior-grade plywood covered with a weatherproof cellulose veneer. It�s smooth, lasts forever outdoors, and doesn�t develop surface splits like other types of plywood. MDO costs more than exterior ply, but it�ll more than pay for itself in the long run.


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Since toy wagon bodies aren�t strong enough to support the side panels solidly on their own, we�ve added three 1 1/2" hardwood dowel crosspieces to brace one side against the other. The top front dowel also works as a handle for little aliens on lookout duty. Although you could simply drive screws through the signboard into the ends of these dowels, it�s not as strong. The plans show how metal cross dowel connectors and bolts do a much better job, retaining their strength after dozens of disassembly cycles.


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First, expand the grid diagram, transferring the shape onto your signboard with a pencil before painting it by hand. A hand-held jigsaw (with a 10 teeth-per-inch blade) is the best tool for cutting out the UFO shape. The plans show how this particular wagon needs a spacer base and two spacer blocks on each side to create a flat mounting surface for the UFO profiles that bolt through the hollow wagon sides. Other wagons may not need spacer bases (or need differently shaped ones). Once you have your UFO sides cut, it will be easy to see what you need for the wagon you have.


You Will Need
Part Material Size Qty
UFO sides Sides 1/2" x 31" x 48" 2
Spacer base members Bottom 1/2" x 5" x 24" 2
Spacer blocks Bottom Cleats 5/8" x 5/8" x 5" 4
Cross members Bottom Cleats 1 1/2"dia. x 21 7/8" 3
Bolts, wing nuts and washers for sides 1/4"dia. x 4" 4
Bolts and cross dowel connectors 1/4"dia. x 2" 6
Little Tikes 2-in-1 Wagon #4584

 


 



 

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