Chop a shopping cart into a tool cart. Simple!

Picture of Chop a shopping cart into a tool cart. Simple!
I have a bunch of hand tools. I dabble in a lot of things, and suspect I mostly do so to get the tools that come with. If you find yourself looking over your shoulder every time you park the car to go for a burrito just to make sure your boxes are safe in the back, maybe it's time to consider the convenience of the on site shopping cart tool rack.
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Step 1: Firstly:

Picture of Firstly:
You must procure a shopping cart. I'm not going to tell you to steal one. Stealing is wrong. If one happens to come your way, however, far be it from me to ask you to turn down a wayward orphan. You'll need the kind with a full metal cage to follow this instructable, as well as access to a decent of metalworking tools. I used an angle grinder to do most of the work, a hacksaw will gladly switch hit.

So, you will need:
  • A metal shopping cart
  • An angle grinder with a cutoff and a buffing disk
  • The ability and equipment to weld
  • Scrap bar stock (I used another cut up cart)
  • The desire to spread your wings and take flight on a voyage of metallic freedom

Step 2: Cut supports to be welded

Picture of Cut supports to be welded
Now, this next part isn't 100% necessary. You could get away without the bracing, but I didn't feel like skimping.

I measured the distance between the front corners of the wheel base and the metal basket. I traced those measurements onto my bar stock, and cut with a sawsall. You could also use a hacksaw, bandsaw or angle grinder.

Step 3: Clean up bars

Picture of Clean up bars
No, I'm not talking about the prerogative of the elderly council of your local municipality, I'm talking about hot metal. To get a good quality weld, you will want to clean and grind your metal stock to fit snugly into the space between the basket and the wheelbase. For me, that meant putting a shallow concave groove in one end of my metal stock. I used a bench grinder, but this could easily be replaced by an angle grinder, a round or half round file, or a rotary file and dremmel.
blanky545211 months ago

I'll attempt to make this this week, though I can't weld so mine will be the wooden-zip-ties-simpler version I suppose. But like all my projects it will probably come out pretty awesome. I'll upload a pic when its done.

twopussez1 year ago

Hopefully Homebase and others will see what a fantastic multi-use design that is. Flatbed, raised section (easier to lift to/from) somewhere to wedge a fractious toddler and a place to hang your purse/keys. I love it. If anyone's looking for a free shopping trolley there's usually a few parked in gardens at Drumchapel, Easterhouse and Castlemilk Glasgow :)

why didn't you just make your cart out of wood and purchase the tires from Northern tools?
dumb minds think alike!!!! hahahaha
That's very nice, I made one similar. Since I used a smaller cart, I actually have the welder sitting on the remains of the basket, used the bottom space for a tool space, added a place to wrap the welding gun and electrode and attached two smaller baskets on the back to hold tools. I also welded on a couple hooks so i can hang my mask and ear protection.
well time to go steal a shopping cart
dont forget to leave your name and address like a good little boy.........
youd think this was written by timanderson
Vspec5 years ago
lol it puts the divisions in the basket.
gamer7 years ago
very nice idea. i like this C.R.A.P. lol. i think i will make a car, like ledzeppie said.
Derin gamer6 years ago
I am actually planning a car made from old bikes!
bofthem (author)  gamer7 years ago
C.R.A.P. on, my wayward son. There'll be peace when you are done.
Brennn107 years ago
Very well made, and great!
bofthem (author)  Brennn107 years ago
Coati7 years ago
I am a union electrician and have used them unmodified on large commercial jobs before.Great Idea!
bofthem (author)  Coati7 years ago
They're so useful. I don't know how mankind moved bits and bobs en masse until he looked out into the inky void and returned with the phoenix-like shopping cart.
hay_jumper7 years ago
Awesome. I've been asking for something similar at work, and yours looks much cooler than Harbor Freight's cart.
bofthem (author)  hay_jumper7 years ago
And about a million times less expensive. You can also just ditch the basket all together and have yourself a nice lowboy cart.
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bofthem (author)  teaaddict3147 years ago
I'd prefer the C.R.A.P. Cart for Rapid Access to Parts