Forklift toy payloader bucket

I previously fixed the drive and lifting mechanism of this forklift toy I built back in 1985. I thought it would be fun to add a bucket to use it like a payloader.

I used a thin scrap of sheet metal that was painted white. This was originally attached to part of the thick particle board that I used for my workbench top. It was already the right width. I marked where to cut it and where to bend it.

I clamped it to the edge of my table saw and bent it by hand, then sharpened the bend with a rubber mallet.

The back of the loader bucket will be a piece of 1/2" hardwood plywood. The back is angled forward so that it can tilt back without hitting the lifting mechanism.

At this point I realized I should cut some more corners off to make it look less awkward.

Clamping it together in preparation for drilling.

Then drilling through both parts to make sure the holes are lined up. After that, I took it apart again, drilled larger holes and countersinks in the sheet metal and screwed it together.

Also some screws along the bottom edge.

The sheet metal is quite thin and flexible on its own, but once I had it screwed down on three sides, the bucket was stiff enough.

Making the part that screws to the back of the bucket for mounting...

... and screwing it on. Another part for the bucket tilt actuator.

No pins or bushings for the tilt. The bucket just rotates on wood screws that aren't tightened all the way. Not the best solution long term, but this is a toy, and I'm sure I'll get bored with it before that wears out.

Bucket mounted.

I then dumped the collection bucket of my small dust collector on the floor and used the toy to scoop it up and dump the shavings in a cardboard box.

This was lots of fun. Also good to test it right in my workshop. I had all my tools handy for making adjustments as needed.

After that, I took it out to my big garage workshop in the country. I dumped some coarse gravel on the floor, then scooped it up and dumped it in the loader bucket of my big tractor. If only my big tractor was this much fun to drive. You can't see in front of the bucket from the driver's seat. My forklift toy is much more fun that way. Also, I can bash into things with this toy without damaging much.

I then took it out to where I have a pile of gravel and tried it on that. But driving it over the uneven gravel, the short wheel base makes it quite tippy, and driving uphill with an empty bucket would cause it to tip backwards. I also didn't have enough traction to push the bucket into the compacted gravel, and I was running into problems with stuff caught in the chains. I didn't have enough tension on the chains. Also the gear teeth on the back of the lifting mechanism would touch the sand. So if those had grease on them, the sand would stick.

I had to walk to the gravel pile five times to carry the toy, the extension cord, power supply, controller switches and tall cable mast. Battery remote controlled would have been much easier. So it's not a very practical toy in the gravel pit. But I have no intention of making this wireless and battery powered. I had my fun with it already.

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