Woodshop Tools: Building a Wheelbarrow

A two-day do-it-yourself project building a wheelbarrow made of sturdy wood, includes detailed instructions and diagrams as well as a materials list for the project.

| December 1997/January 1998

MOTHER's Woodshop shows readers the steps to take when building a wheelbarrow from scratch. (See the wheelbarrow diagrams in the image gallery.)

If you, like me, get tired of making repeated trips to the tool or potting shed, and carrying stuff by the armloads: stop! Maybe it's time to build yourself an old-fashioned wheelbarrow. This backsaver can be built in a weekend for around $50, and that includes buying the wheel.

The wheel, with built-in bearings, can be bought at any decent hardware store for around $25. But if your are feeling particularly neolithic, you can try building a wheelbarrow on your own. Or maybe you can scavenge one from a piece of broken or unused equipment.

This model has "convertible" stake bed sides: why lug that extra weight around if you don't need to? You can also tote wider things with this design without having to balance them on the top. I like options.

I designed this with ease of construction in mind. That's why everything is "squared off." You don't have to calculate any angles (almost all of the cuts are 90 degrees). Likewise, all the lumber is "off-the-shelf" sizes. Use 1/4 inch by 3 inch lag bolts with washers to assemble all the 2 inch by 4 inch structures (two lag bolts at each union; use at least three lag bolts to attach the legs to the sides; pre-drill). Use waterproof glue and 1 1/4 inch drywall screws to attach the plywood to the frame.

Use a sealing-type primer and paint. Be sure all the edges of the plywood are sealed. You may be tempted to omit the bottom bed panel. Don't. The sandwiched structure is tremendously strong and will withstand both side-loading and wracking stresses. Without the bottom panel, you would need diagonal cross-bracing which involves complicated mortise joints and angle cuts.

5/5/2016 4:21:30 AM

Hi Will, thanks for the cool articlez bout how 2 mek teh carrying case wiv whe3lz. I lik to carry lotz of stufz arund my gardan so dis wiil be vry use. I will useful it a lot. I am goung nown 2 go an mek da thingy. Will wood frum wood pallets from a faktory work???? Thnx agen will also 1st langage wasnt amercan or englash so thnx for reding this soz if not good . thnx frum berbatrov

James Hall
9/19/2012 2:28:51 PM

I got a kick out of your referral to Brother Dave at the end of the article, i remember him from the early sixties, in fact i still have some of his albums. It was nice to see that someone out there enjoyed his style of humor, by the the way thanks for the article on the wheel barrow.

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