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3. Back Ramp: stable doors and fold-a-bar #1

Rear stable doors: fabrication and fitting

Measurements were taken for the prospective stable doors, then a design was drawn and a materials list made.
We were to use 16mm steel bar for the framework, and thin sheet metal for the face.
Drawing up stable doors for above the back ramp
After the required radius had been determined, an existing curve of metal with an appropriate radius was used as a template to bend our bar.
The bar was marked where the bends should start and finish, then a vice and human weight were all that were needed to bend the bar.
Using a template to bend bar for the door
With the bent piece completed, 2 straight pieces of the same sized bar were clamped to the bent one, then welded together to create the door framework.
The sheet metal was then marked and cut using a cutting blade on the angle-grinder.
The piece of sheet was then clamped onto the framework, and welded on at regular intervals. The welds were then smoothed over using the grinding disc on the angle-grinder.
Drop pins were fabricated- each male piece was made from 70mm long piece of hollow round metal, with 140mm length of narrower solid bar welded inside the hollow piece. The female piece was another 70mm hollow round piece (as shown below).
Stable door fabrication complete, drop pin female and male pictured.
The female hinge parts were welded onto the stable door frames. One at a time, the male drop pin parts were welded in place on the main trailer frame.
Female drop pin parts
Male drop pin part
The door was then hung to mark where the second hinge would go. The second hinge was welded on and the door hung again. Some adjustments had to be made to the positioning of the hinges, and to the moving parts in order for them to swing smoothly completely open, and to shut flat.
Hanging stable doors
Stable doors shut
Stable doors open

Fold-a-bar #1

We wanted every opportunity to interact with people and our surroundings, so it was decided that we would add a bar onto the rear of the trailer, as well as a main side-opening and a front opening.
To make a fold down bar, we cut the ramp at the relevant height, and added in two 40mm angle irons back to back, giving us 2 faces that could be connected with hinges.
Hinges tacked onto rear ramp for folding bar
The old hinges were cleaned up using grinding discs, then tack welded onto the existing ramp. Then the fabricated fold-a-bar was tacked onto the hinges. We tested they would open and close without resistance, then continuous welds were applied around the outside edge of each hinge.
Fold-a-bar #1 in place, with 3 hinges tacked and one more to go.
We used metal filler to smooth over the hinges, and create an even surface to apply paint.
Holes and welds filled
We applied a primer coat of old paint to the back ramp, to protect the newly bare metal from rust.
We designed a support bar that would support the rear bar at 90degrees, and also hold it shut, allowing us to use the back ramp.
3 large holes were drilled into the uprights of the ramp, and nuts were welded onto the back- so that you can easily undo the bolts with one hand. The topmost bolt would be static, and the bottom two would be used depending on whether we wanted the bar closed or folded out 90degrees.
3 holes make 2 ‘settings’ for support bar 🙂
Pictured below is the support bar in both its 2 positions. The bar was notched to give it clearance of the ramp.
Fold-a-bar closed
Fold-a-bar open!

Rear Ramp- sheet metal and timber

The aluminium sheet was removed from the ramp frame by cutting through original bolts.
The sheet was then sanded using a random orbital sander, to get the surface fresh for the old paint.
Some of the timber originally used as the rear ramp was still salvageable. These boards were sanded and then painted with a wood paint to protect them and to mask some old marks.
We slotted the tongue and groove timber on the ramp on top of the freshly old painted aluminium sheet.

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