Shade Tree Tool Box Cart

Splitting stand, mounting stands, etc, etc.
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Location: Aggieland, Texas

Shade Tree Tool Box Cart

Postby drspiff » Fri May 29, 2009 6:27 pm

Shade Tree Tool Box Cart
I think that right after fire, wheels are the the most important tool used by humans. I am always on the lookout for ways to reduce work effort and putting objects on wheels is one of the first things I consider. In the best of all possible worlds, I would have a large, well lighted, air conditioned shop where I could tow the Cub if it quits or needs service. But the reality is that when I need to work on the Cub, it is usually easier to bring the tools to the Cub rather than the other way around.

I have a plastic tool box that holds all the wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers, etc. that I need to work on the Cub. As you might imagine, once all that steel is loaded into the box, it becomes quite heavy. In addition, the weight puts a strain on the top-mounted handle. Since I don't want to lug this thing around, wheels are called for.

  1. Problem Definition
    The problem definition is "Make a cart which will allow this 60 pound tool box easily to move over rough terrain."
    The cart should meet the following requirements:

    1. A minimum wheel diameter of 6" and preferably 8" to 10". Dirt clods, ruts and rocks will act as chocks on smaller wheels.
    2. A tricycle wheel arrangement for stability.
    3. A handle to grasp and allow the cart to be pushed and pulled.
    4. A low center of gravity to prevent the box from tipping over.
    5. Allow the box to be opened without restriction.
    6. Support for the top tool trays when the box is opened. With no support, the box will flip over backwards with the top tool trays opened up.
    7. Tool box supports that allow the box to sit on the frame securely but not require the box be bolted to the frame.

  2. Tool Cart Frame
    A search of the "parts pile" turned up a pair of 10" wheels from a golf cart, a swiveling front caster from an old wheel chair, a broken push scooter that some kid abandoned by a dumpster, and assorted pieces of steel. Here is a picture of the assembled tool cart.

    The main wheels are mounted on 5/8" bolts that had the heads removed and inserted in the square tubing. This makes a strong and light axle that will easily support the tool box. The tool box supports are pieces of angle iron with a tab turned up to prevent the box from sliding to the rear and side to side. The front support is also angle iron preventing forward movement.

    The size of the front caster required that the neck of frame arch up to the caster bearing. This arch also provides support for the top and tool trays when the box is opened. The steel straps which wrap around the caster bearing also provide the location for the steering handle taken from the busted scooter.

    Here is a picture of the tool box placed in the frame. Notice that the tool box is placed forward of the center of the rear axle. If the tool box is centered over the rear axle, any upward movement on the cart handle will cause the box to roll over and fall off the back of the cart. (Trust me on this one...)


    Here is a picture of the box opened up showing the support for the tool trays.


  3. Wrap-up
    This is a pretty simple and cheap item to build and will make working on your Cub a little easier. I expect that your "parts pile" has different stuff than mine, but with a little imagination you can probably find something that will work for your own toolbox cart. BTW If you have not been haunting pawn shops for old SAE/American tools, I suggest you put pawn shops on your list. Almost all the tools in my "tool box on wheels" came from pawn shops or garage sales. Keep your eyes peeled and dig through the junk tools until you find the good stuff. It is there, you just have to look for it.

I would appreciate any feedback you have. This link will take you to the Feedback thread: Shade Tree Feedback

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