Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Tiny Cart for Serious Hauling

rev 10-10-2011

The Really Cheap Solution
As a cruiser, there is often the need to haul food, ice, jerry cans, or laundry. Back packs help, but they don't accommodate awkward sized objects, volume is limited, and a full jerry can is just too heavy after a few blocks. Fold-up apartment dweller grocery carts are too big to store and still don't manage awkward and over-sized items well. Luggage wheels can handle the weight, but they don't handle floppy items and bags. However, when fitted with a folding plywood platform, the shortcomings are resolved. I could have painted the wood, but I reasoned that would only make it slippery. The hinge is nothing more than a few cable ties threaded through drilled holes. Friction tape on the tubes helps too.

A $2.50 thrift store solution that proved itself over a season. Tip: find the sturdiest set of luggage wheels available. Some are junk.

The Pretty Cheap Solution
Mostly, because I found this one at a marine thrift store for $5, but I like it even better and I think I'd pay full price if it came to that. I know, most of us would rather sell our children that buy something at West Marine that is available elsewhere--and often the their price makes us consider that--and sure enough, it's actually a file cart available from Office Depot for $7 less.

It easily manages a 5-gallon can of gas and a few more bags stacked on that and stores in no space at all.I did break the top hinge when I carried my air conditioner with it, but that was my fault; it was too heavy and placed terrible leverage on the sides. It was easily repaired with a few 1/4-inch holes ad some cable ties, reinforcing the partially damaged hinge. Not as rugged as the luggage wheels, but generally more handy.

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