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Tack Trunks??

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  • Tack Trunks??

    I need a tack trunk, and to avoid spending 1K on a really nice one, I'm going to make it (with help! ). Before I design and build it, I'd like to know... What do you love/hate about yours? What would you change/add? How do you organize yours? If you've gone down this road, do you have any tips/tricks/advice for me?

    Thanks for your help in advance!!

  • #2
    This may sound funny but I love my sliding tray - so handy for little miscellaneous items and really makes it easier for me to pack and organize things.

    Comment


    • #3
      My dad made me a beautiful wooden one when I was younger. He made a lift-out tray so the trunk would hold more, but if I were doing things over, I'd have him make a smaller tray that would slide back and forth and wouldn't have to be lifted out to get at the things underneath.

      Wooden trunks are really heavy. Avoid the temptation to make it big enough to hold everything you own. Moving it will get old fast.

      I have to admit, I don't take my wooden trunk anywhere anymore. It's too hard to move. I bought a big plastic tool trunk with wheels for shows and got a nice cover made for it.
      I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne

      Comment


      • #4
        My dad made me one too when I was in college. (Im now 43 and it's still in great shape) I don't know what kind of wood he used but it is thick but not too heavy. I painted my trunk rather then stain it. I also have the tray and a spot for a grooming tote to fit right in. Oh and the top cover is a built in bandage box. I love it!

        Comment


        • #5
          I have a phoenix west which came with a grooming caddy, I wasn't thinking when I ordered it but our barn has a communal brush area, so that piece is more clutter, and I ended up just taking it out. I love the sliding tray, I have seen some that have 2 sliding trays which I think would be very handy!

          I also have a thin lid with a cork board and mirror on the inside of it instead of a thick one that holds wraps. Again we have communal wraps, and the lids are pretty heavy if you get them made deep.

          Also advice, use good hinges (and stoppers) on that lid, I have seen people break there boxes when they fling the lid open and it breaks those pieces causing the lid to fly off.

          Comment


          • #6
            I strongly suggest having wheels or casters put on the bottom. I had two trunks made with wheels on the bottom... and almost every horse show always get thanked by the people moving it because its so easy! It is also nice to have the wheels on the bottom so it keeps the bottom of the trunk elevated where it is less likely to get ding-ed up.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks so much for your opinions!
              Does anyone have the stand-up, locker style? If so, how do you like it? I've heard of people with a saddle rack and bridle hook in theirs too, and wondered what people thought. Do you prefer the bandage lids over the white board/chalk board/cork board/mirror lids? Is the bandage lid with compartments preferable to the version with stretchy cord/webbing?
              I'm thinking about making one side of it have a place to keep all of my different pairs of tall boots with a bar to help keep them standing up and out of the way... Yes or no?

              Thanks!!!
              Last edited by blueribbons; Jan. 6, 2014, 01:07 PM. Reason: Inadequate speed proofing ;)

              Comment


              • #8
                My dad made me my monstrous one, and is about to start on my show travel one. My big one is enough to hold EVERYTHING I used on a daily, monthly, just-in-case basis.

                I opted for the bandage lid. Hold standing wraps, wilker's quilts, polo wraps, and I threw my ice boots in there. I felt that opting the lid for storage was better for me organizationally than a white board- as this trunk stayed at home. Mine has the compartments, worked well for me.

                Sliding tray is a must. Spurs, ear puffs, clipper blades, mini purple shavers, hairnets. All those miscellaneous items that are bound to get sucked to the bottom of no return found a place in the tray to stay.

                High quality locking wheels were a must for me. My life was much easier to roll this bad boy.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you are going to the effort to build one I would suggest you, 1) use marine mahogany, and 2) deep enough to fit your saddle.
                  http://STA551.com
                  845-363-1875

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My trunk is a heavy duty plastic/polymer made by Stanley that costs a fraction of the price of the fancy ones in the catalogs - it is durable, capacious, and has wheels. I LOVE it - I can fit a fleece cooler, show sheet, anti-sweat, boots, polos, grooming supplies,clippers, boot jack, girth, you name it, it's in there - and it came with a compartmentalized sliding tray. No need to spend tons of money to find a nice useful trunk.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Trunks

                      Here's my two cents on trunks.

                      Use the best hardware you can get. The lid stays (the hinges that keep the trunk from falling on your head) are key. They have a spring in them to let the lid go down slowly. If you've ever been wacked in the head with the trunk lid, you know how important these are. They also keep the trunk lid from going backwards and ripping the lid from the trunk.

                      Make sure you have handles on the sides of the trunk for carrying it. Make sure that they are big enough to fit a man's hand in. You'll be surprised at how small some of the handles are. Phoenix West uses spring loaded handles and I think they are great. BTW Phoenix West will sell the hardware via its retail locations. Probably not the cheapest way to go but at least you'll know it was meant for show trunks which travel. You'll also know you'll be able to get replacement parts at a later time too.

                      I don't like the bandage lids. They make the trunk heavy and really aren't that convenient.

                      I personally wouldn't do wheels. I don't know how you travel to shows. If it is a big show barn, they stack trunks when shipping them and the wheels make that difficult. Most of the big show barns have dollys etc to wheel the trunks from the trailer to the aisle. Also, if the aisles are muddy etc, the wheels are more trouble than they are worth.

                      I wouldn't do a wardrobe sized trunk because they are big and bulky. Full to the brim with stuff, saddles etc, they are pretty heavy. Not sure that your barn staff wants to unload and load that.

                      If you pack your trunks well, the Phoenix West large trunk (I think McGuinns and Oakcroft also make roughly the same size) will fit a saddle, bridles, coolers, wraps, crops, spurs, helmet, boots, girths and blankets quite nicely. If you are someone who brings all of your own grooming supplies (brushes, vetrolin, poltice, shampoo etc), then you probably won't be able to fit your saddle in there too. I personally always take my saddle with me at night because it is a difficult size and I'm nervous about letting it stay at the showgrounds. I know too many people who have had things stolen from their trunks. Bridles etc, I can replace but the saddle would be a custom order and would take months to arrive. That's just me though

                      I do think that the large trunks are about the best of both worlds, you can fit your stuff in it but it is still manageable to load and unload from the trailer.

                      If you do decide to do a wooden trunk, make sure that it is finished with marine varnish. This is what they use on boats which are underwater. This will keep your trunk looking good even if it should rain etc. I would varnish inside and outside if it were my trunk. Never seems to fail that coppertox or the like gets spilled inside the trunk. This way, you'd be able to wipe it down without a huge stain that has sunk into the wood.

                      I second the notion of keeping it covered. Generally our trunks are only uncovered at the shows. That way the vinyl looks good and it saves a bunch of wear and tear on the trunks. I'd never ship a trunk without a cover. They can get banged around in the trailer.

                      If you stick to a standard size, you'll be able to just get a ready made cover. It isn't too costly to order them customized through Phoenix West in your barn colors either. The Clothes Horse is pretty awesome at 100% custom items. I second whomever put that out there.

                      Think about what you want and use. If your barn uses communal brushes etc, you probably don't need the carryall that comes with the large trunks. I do like the sliding tray. It is very useful.

                      At our first barn, we used all of our own brushes so the carryall was used daily. At later barns, the barn had communal brushes etc so we didn't really use the carryall much. It does take up a lot of room so think about that.

                      I usually do a dry erase/corkboard on the trunk lids. The mirrors seem to get broken fairly easily and they are pretty small.

                      If cost were no option, I would have a show trunk and a barn trunk. I'd keep my show trunk at home and only pack it with what I was taking to shows etc.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I also made my own trunk (with the help of my dad)! It's actually really simple. If you're not experienced with woodworking, it's a good idea to have someone who is show you how to use all the tools and help you if you need it.

                        Mine is enormous and I have two dividers in it. I like it because I can keep things more organized.

                        In one section, I have a dowel that I planned to hang saddle pads on but I have so many that the tray can't slide across that section if I put them all in there Instead I use it to hang spare halters, lead ropes, draw reins, etc.

                        I also have a small box thing in the bottom of one of the sections that I can store small things that I don't use very often in. I put my grooming bag on top of the box.

                        A sliding tray is a must! It's so useful for crops, hairnets, ear plugs, small brushes, and so much more.

                        I have a bandage lid (it goes across about 2/3 - 3/4 of the lid) and I really like having it, but it makes the lid very heavy. I also have a whiteboard and corkboard in the lid.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hype
                          The Clothes Horse is pretty awesome at 100% custom items. I second whomever put that out there.
                          Thank you!
                          Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Beezie's Tack Trunks... "Classic Design"

                            We have found all of these qualities and more with David Fowler's tack trunks www.davidfowlertacktrunks.com

                            These are the same ones that travel all over the World with Beezie Madden!
                            Very affordable for a Custom Made Tack Trunk... beautiful stain and finish.
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                            \"All things bright and beautiful,all Creatures great and small...\"
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I am not the proud owner of a tack trunk yet but mine is in the process of being made/designed by my very supportive DB (my non-married version of a DH).

                              My requirements, after investigation and talking to friends, were a bandage rack lid (I think the white board/cork board things are a waste of space unless it's a show trunk) and that instead of a tray (sliding/removable), the trunk have a drawer or panel in front that allows me to access the whole trunk without opening the top. Our plan is to make the trunk, then at some point in the future, make a wardrobe-type piece to place on top and make a tack locker.

                              Advice on staining however: make sure you test all the stains you think you like before actually applying them to your trunk. You'd be surprised how different colors can look on wood, in the sun, ect. than when you look at in the store.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Stanley tool box. Inexpensive, has wheels. Holds lots of stuff.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I built one for me and then several more for selling. I am not doing it anymore since I can make a better profit on smaller projects and lacking some equipment that just makes assembly and finishing unplesant. Some things I learned and misc tips...

                                  1 - DO use one of the wonderful plans from elite tack design. The owner was wonderful, very responsive and even sent me a christmas card later that year!

                                  2- DO have the big cuts (the carcass cuts) done at your lumber mill. The equipment there is made to handle the large stock and cuts more square than what you can do at home. Shuffle around until you see someone that has worked there 20 years and then ask them for help. Measure the pieces as they come off. My first box was cut by a college kid and I didnt check before I left. Some of the pcs were 3/4" out of square, which took me a long time to fix.

                                  3- By with help I hope you mean by someone with a table saw. I wouldn't want to build one without.

                                  4- Stains have specifically been mentioned already but run away from the polyshades. It looked so nice and easy... until I was at the point of no return. It is gloopy and uneven and impossible to get a uniform tint. Really horrible. Additionally on tint I found the lighter ones more forgiving.

                                  5 - I think marine mahogany is a bit of overkill. All of mine have been made with a good sheet of plywood and are great. The trunks you see in dover for 1k also plywood.

                                  6-the nice handles already mentioned you can find here: http://www.rockler.com/heavy-duty-trunk-handles
                                  they also have the small hydraulic lid closer thingy.


                                  any q's feel free to pm me.
                                  Last edited by Manahmanah; Jan. 6, 2014, 07:52 PM.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by hype View Post
                                    Here's my two cents on trunks.

                                    Use the best hardware you can get. The lid stays (the hinges that keep the trunk from falling on your head) are key. They have a spring in them to let the lid go down slowly. If you've ever been wacked in the head with the trunk lid, you know how important these are. They also keep the trunk lid from going backwards and ripping the lid from the trunk.

                                    Make sure you have handles on the sides of the trunk for carrying it. Make sure that they are big enough to fit a man's hand in. You'll be surprised at how small some of the handles are. Phoenix West uses spring loaded handles and I think they are great. BTW Phoenix West will sell the hardware via its retail locations. Probably not the cheapest way to go but at least you'll know it was meant for show trunks which travel. You'll also know you'll be able to get replacement parts at a later time too.

                                    I don't like the bandage lids. They make the trunk heavy and really aren't that convenient.

                                    I personally wouldn't do wheels. I don't know how you travel to shows. If it is a big show barn, they stack trunks when shipping them and the wheels make that difficult. Most of the big show barns have dollys etc to wheel the trunks from the trailer to the aisle. Also, if the aisles are muddy etc, the wheels are more trouble than they are worth.

                                    I wouldn't do a wardrobe sized trunk because they are big and bulky. Full to the brim with stuff, saddles etc, they are pretty heavy. Not sure that your barn staff wants to unload and load that.

                                    If you pack your trunks well, the Phoenix West large trunk (I think McGuinns and Oakcroft also make roughly the same size) will fit a saddle, bridles, coolers, wraps, crops, spurs, helmet, boots, girths and blankets quite nicely. If you are someone who brings all of your own grooming supplies (brushes, vetrolin, poltice, shampoo etc), then you probably won't be able to fit your saddle in there too. I personally always take my saddle with me at night because it is a difficult size and I'm nervous about letting it stay at the showgrounds. I know too many people who have had things stolen from their trunks. Bridles etc, I can replace but the saddle would be a custom order and would take months to arrive. That's just me though

                                    I do think that the large trunks are about the best of both worlds, you can fit your stuff in it but it is still manageable to load and unload from the trailer.

                                    If you do decide to do a wooden trunk, make sure that it is finished with marine varnish. This is what they use on boats which are underwater. This will keep your trunk looking good even if it should rain etc. I would varnish inside and outside if it were my trunk. Never seems to fail that coppertox or the like gets spilled inside the trunk. This way, you'd be able to wipe it down without a huge stain that has sunk into the wood.

                                    I second the notion of keeping it covered. Generally our trunks are only uncovered at the shows. That way the vinyl looks good and it saves a bunch of wear and tear on the trunks. I'd never ship a trunk without a cover. They can get banged around in the trailer.

                                    If you stick to a standard size, you'll be able to just get a ready made cover. It isn't too costly to order them customized through Phoenix West in your barn colors either. The Clothes Horse is pretty awesome at 100% custom items. I second whomever put that out there.

                                    Think about what you want and use. If your barn uses communal brushes etc, you probably don't need the carryall that comes with the large trunks. I do like the sliding tray. It is very useful.

                                    At our first barn, we used all of our own brushes so the carryall was used daily. At later barns, the barn had communal brushes etc so we didn't really use the carryall much. It does take up a lot of room so think about that.

                                    I usually do a dry erase/corkboard on the trunk lids. The mirrors seem to get broken fairly easily and they are pretty small.

                                    If cost were no option, I would have a show trunk and a barn trunk. I'd keep my show trunk at home and only pack it with what I was taking to shows etc.
                                    Agreed with above. I love this forum My husband built my DD a monster box. It had wheels as it could not otherwise be moved. It served its purpose but the travel tack box is a lot smaller and what she uses now she is in college. This is a box we inherited that is not really a standard size. Still, I got the Dover tack trunk cover and just had to shorten it a bit for the trunk. It's navy and I added some burgundy piping around the bottom where it was shortened and then had a white monogram. It looks great and works well.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Most tack stores that sell Phoenix West trunks can order parts. I replaced handles, latches, grooming totes, and the cork board/mirror/white board thing on one of my trunks. The spring loaded handles were $15, lid hinges were $10-15 latch was $5, grooming tote around $40, cork board/mirror/white board thing was $85....all prices are about what I think they were, but I could be off. No sense in re-inventing the wheel for hardware and accessories.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I built my own, but I had access to a full metal and wood shop. It came out great, BUT: I did not take into account shifts in humidity when I built it, and over the past year, some of the wood has shifted so it no longer fits together snuggly... I was always more of a metal shop girl so I can't recommend a way to solve this, just be aware.

                                        I'll take pictures of it tomorrow and post them, but to describe it: it is a monster- seriously, it is HUGE (not quite airplane box size, but close. When my trainer saw it, he literally said, "I thought you were building a trunk. That is not a trunk, that is an airplane box."). Thus, it does not leave the barn.
                                        I welded a frame out of angle iron, so it is pretty much indestructible. I welded on the hinges, and welded in catch chains for the inside. The hasp latch on the lid/base is also welded on- the only way to break into it is by taking a hatchet to the back! I made an axle and used lawn mower wheels (the ones you don't have to inflate) on one side and square tubing feet and a bar handle on the other to make it a push-cart because that sucker is HEAVY. The furniture grade maple plywood I cut so it fit tightly into the frame. The farrier (we have a farrier at the barn who shoes horses and does blacksmith art competitions) made me bridle hooks to put into the lid- he basically shaped traditional American scroll patterns so I could hang bridles from them. And then I took a piece of sheet and cut the barn logo and my initials into it and welded it to the angle iron on the front (before the wood went in, of course!)

                                        On the inside there is a box with a lift lid for wraps, but that's it. I wanted a big open space I could use for lots of things over the years (blanket storage one year, then stacking show supplies the next, maybe a saddle every once in a while).

                                        Comment

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