Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Decorative Wheelbarrow

My mother has a lot of ceramic decorations in her back yard - most of which she made herself.  One of her decorations was a donkey or mule pulling a wheelbarrow.  The wheelbarrow was store-bought and after a few years it was falling apart.

So my mother asked if I could make her a new one.  I was happy to oblige her request.  First thing I did was to take it apart.  The ceramic wheels were salvageable - the rest was not.

To make this wheelbarrow I am going to use palette wood.  I'll run the piece of wood through my tabletop surface planer.  This takes the rough palette wood...

...and makes it smooth and level.

Before I start cutting the level piece of palette wood into strips, there's one issue I must attend to first.  A few days before I started working on this wheelbarrow, I started making a chessboard out of wood.  I discovered that my table saw does not make very straight cuts.  This is do to the table saw surface not being completely flat, plus the fence for the table saw does not lock perfectly straight.

So I constructed a new table top for the saw table.

With this new top, I constructed a sliding fence which is always parallel to the blade.

The fence locks on the front and back with a simple screw which has a hook on the end - so it's easy for me to turn by hand.

The table top itself fits very snugly on top of the existing table top.  I made several test cuts with the new table top and fence and everything cuts perfectly square.

So next I took my palette wood and cut some strips.

I then took measurements, using the old wheelbarrow as templates.

Then I cut the strips of wood with my miter saw.

After a short while I had the wood I needed for the wheelbarrow frame, but I needed a bottom.  The original used a .25" thick piece of plywood - which I have in stock.

Using my table saw I cut my plywood to size.

My old table saw top also had a fence which I made.  This one had a feather board I attached.

I need to put this feather board onto my new fence.  While cutting the plywood, it flew out and hit my arm.  I should have been more careful!

After tending to my wound, I began constructing the frame of the wheelbarrow with glue and brad nails.

Then I attached the bottom.

This time I reinforced the bottom with more plywood.

Then the uprights were attached.

For the cross beams I used a thinner piece of palette wood which had already been through the planer.  I cut these to length with the miter saw.

Like every other part of this thing, the cross beams were attached with glue and brads.

Not long after I began, it was mostly complete.

I attached a thicker block of wood to the bottom.  This piece will have the wheels attached to it.

But before I attach the wheels, I gave the whole thing a good sanding, making sure to soften the jagged edges.

Then I predrilled a hole for the screw that the wheels are attached to.

And with the wheels attached, construction is complete.

Next it was time to give it a coat of brown paint.  I removed the wheels before spray painting.

When the paint dried I gave it a light sanding and reattached the wheels.  And I'm done!

Lastly I brought it over to my mother's house where she set it up.

I'm happy that she really likes it.

According to my mother the 2 ceramic squirrels in the back are chasing the 2 squirrels in the wheelbarrow since they are holding acorns.

I'm glad to see that craziness is a inherent quality in our family.

Thanks for reading!

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