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Wheelbarrow Conversion


Simple & Inexpensive Wheel-Barrow Conversion
No one likes to "tip a load." You spent time and effort filling your wheel-barrow, and you don't want to repeat the process. It often makes a mess and wastes material. In addition, it can be dangerous for all ages, because we tend to twist into odd positions in efforts to "save the load." 

This simple & inexpensive wheel-barrow conversion is especially handy for anyone with physical limitations, and a vast improvement over a wheel-barrow with one wheel -- regardless of strength and agility.

The wheel-barrow itself and the wheels' axle assembly has not been altered, except for one minute detail, explained below.
    Buy a second wheel (if you don't already have one from a relic wheel-barrow), a 2-foot piece of (usually) 5/8" round metal stock ($3 at a steel supply place), four large washers (5/8" center holes - free at any place that replaces shock absorbers on cars; just ask), a piece of PVC or pipe with a 5/8" inside diameter and two cotter-pins.

 Remove just one axle bracket, and slide the old axle out. You can use it for a stake somewhere. The wheels will come off the axle almost automatically.    There are little 'tabs' on the ends of the axle bracket. It's part of the bracket that kept the axle from coming out. Grind or cut them off both of the brackets with a hacksaw or Dremel Tool.
Drill two holes near the ends of the 5/8" round metal stock. That's where the cotter pins will go. There's no need to be exact; about 1/2" will do. You can undercoat and paint the round metal stock to prevent rust -- and it will look better.
Slide the round metal stock into one side of the axle bracket far enough to get the other end of the round metal stock into the other axle bracket.
Put the wheels on, then put a washer on each end of the round metal stock.
Put a cotter pin through the holes in the ends of the round metal stock, but don't bend the ends yet.
Push the wheels all the way out against the washers and center the round metal stock on the wheel-barrow as best you can.
When you have a fairly equal amount of the round metal stock on both sides, take a measurement from the inside of the wheel (hub) to the END of the axle bracket. Make adjustments (Left / Right) until you have an equal space of both sides. This tells you how long a piece of PVC or pipe to cut for each side.
Remove the cotter pins, washers and wheels.    Put a washer on both sides of the axle, up against the end of the the axle brackets. The photo doesn't show them because they're black and a smaller outside diameter than the ones on the ends of the axles (not shown). The 'silver' you see in the photo is not a washer; it's the end of the hub... though you could put a washer here, too.
    Put the SPACERs on each side.
    Put the wheels back on.
    Put a washer on each side.
    Insert the cotter pins in the holes and bend the ends around.
Once I had the materials and the paint was dry, it took just 20 minutes. If you go out and just LOOK at your wheel-barrow, and mentally go through the steps, you'll conclude that it's a job that you CAN do and it won't take long. Think of all the benefits while you're doing that.
I also replaced ALL the bolts in the wheel-barrow with Stainless Steel, which never rusts.

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