Tonight, I bolted most of the frame together in the span of about 2 hours. I don't have the axle on yet, but the tongue and two frame sections are done.
My opinion so far? Well, I still think for the money, it can be a great little trailer... Although, I think the failure rate on some of the welded areas could be high due to to poor welding. For example, the bracket that the draw-bar pivots on has one bead on the outside of the frame, but only three tack welds on the inside! Where the draw-bar arm is cut and bent to form the bevel, I can see almost the whole cut in the metal. With this kind of weld, it is hard NOT to achieve penetration through the cut slot. I will be welding up the draw-bar, and it's mounting brackets better. I also plan to weld up the "box" frame in addition to the bolts. I may loose the bolts on the top of the frame corners to make the decking go on better. The welds will hold it just fine with the other two bolts left in place.
The hinges are really thin and I plan to make new ones from a heavy gauge steel. I am sure you can bend them badly when folding the deck if you are not careful.
Now, like I said.... I still think it's a good deal for the money, but to build it "right" you really need a welder to make the frame shine. It may hold up and never fail out of the box, but it's at the fringe edge of staying together.
Here are a few photos of the "problem areas" as I see it.
Ok, here is what the end of the frame looks like where the cross-members bolt in. This "C" is what I plan to bead weld in addition to beads on the side of the rail where it meets the cross-members. You can see that they are not quite an exact fit.
Here is the point of the frame where the draw-bar pins go. This is not only welded to the bare minimum, but if it were not for the parts being off, it would be very sloppy. I think in time, the "tight" spots will wear and then the over-sized holes will allow for a lot of slop. I think drilling the holes so that they are all lined up, and using larger pins is the way to go.
There are just two small welds on the sides like this. Welds along the front and back would be a huge, and easy, improvement. This will be fixed.
Here is the pivot point and arms. The first photo is of the inside (back of the weld) where they cut and angled the arms. There is almost no penetration on this one weld. Granted, the others are better, but this one is not even close. What you see through that crack, or cut, is the WELD!
This is the inside of the bracket where the arms bolt to the frame. (Pivot point) The second photo is of the outside, a much better weld.
This is where the feet with the wheels bolt on. The one bracket that is tilted "could" be the bench, but every where you look, the welding is just crap and it looks like they were held in place with a stick in order to weld them on.
So here it sits for now, I still think it's a good trailer, and the welding is a simple thing to fix, but re-painting the trailer is something that should not be needed.
Oh, and here are the fenders. This "cut & fold" seam design left the fenders un-welded! One catch and they will just bend. I will weld all four seams per fender and paint them in the Massey Ferguson gray. As you can see above, the red is very close!