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Mother's Three-Way Wood Cart

This wood cart hauls wood, stores wood, and can carry many other bulky items. It will make your trips to the woodpile a chuckle instead of a chore!

| November/December 1981

  • 072 wood cart - diagram
    The multipurpose wood cart in its hauling mode.
  • 072 wood cart - photo
    The multipurpose wood cart in its hauling mode.

  • 072 wood cart - diagram
  • 072 wood cart - photo

Wood stoves have come a long way in the past few years, but we haven't heard of one yet that fetches its own fuel! So, to make life just a bit simpler, the fellows down at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS research shop put their heads together and came up with a nifty carrying cart that doubles as a wood storage rack and can even be used to truck trash cans and other unwieldy burdens from point A to point B.

We made our multipurpose wood cart from one standard length of 1/2" thin wall electrical metallic tubing and two sections of 3/4" E.M.T., four 36" lengths of 1/4" threaded rod, two 7"-diameter wheels with a compatible 19" axle, a total of 167" (almost 14 feet) of 1/4" X 1 1/2" lath, a chunk of 3/4" plywood measuring 18" X 26", and some assorted bolts with nuts and washers.

The tools required are a power drill with an array of bits, a screwdriver, a wrench, a hacksaw, a saber saw, a 7/8" hole saw, and a 3/4" tube bender. (This last implement—although it'll set you back about $20—will probably pay for itself several times over, since it's an invaluable aid in building any number of conduit-related projects.)

Start by cutting all the components to size (check the image gallery for an illustration). Remember that you'll need to get both the right and left sides of the rack from your one section of plywood, so it's best that you outline the U-shaped pieces on the board—in an interlocking manner—prior to making your cuts. (Hint: The corners of these wooden horseshoe shapes take a good deal of strain ... so heed our advice and fashion them wider—by 1/2"—than the rest of the frame.)

Putting the rack together is simply a matter of drilling 1/4" holes, spaced about 5 1/2 inches apart, through the uprights of the plywood "U"s, then slipping 18" lengths of threaded rod into the six 1/2" E.M.T. sections and "surrounding" them with the wooden frames and some end nuts. The nine floorboards are then spaced about 1/4 inch from each other and held in place with No. 6 X 1/2" panhead sheet metal screws. (You may, if you choose, dress up the cradle with a coat of your favorite wood preservative before you assemble it.)

The cart's chassis is formed from one full (120") length of 3/4" conduit joined to a pair of shaped 27" pieces of the same material and supported—breadthwise—by two additional 14 3/4" tubular struts. Begin the bending process by locating the center of the longest section of tube and measuring out—to the right and left—2 1/2 inches from this central point. Form your 90° handle arcs starting at these spots, then mark off a 24" straight span from the terminus of the bends for each of the truck's "down" tubes (remember that each shaped bend will take up about 10" of conduit, so all your measurements should be made from the ends of the arcs). Finally, form two more "nineties"perpendicular to the first pair—at the 2-foot point, and trim any excess metal so the two resulting "forks" are even in length.

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