Introduction: Hang Your Wheelbarrow on the Wall or From the Ceiling
Years ago when I bought my first house and had to haul around tons of landscaping material I bought myself the largest wheelbarrow I could find. When the job was done I was stuck with this huge tool with no room to store it. You see I live in Arizona, and if want you something to last until the next project you cannot store it outside where the sun will literally turn it to dust in a season or two.
I originally designed this project to store my wheel barrow on a wall because I had the floor space. However in my second house I needed to store it differently and directly above my wife's car. It turns out the design worked for both walls and ceilings.
Time Required: Can be completed in an afternoon
Parts & Tools Required:
- 2x4's or 2x6's (depending on your wheelbarrow & preference)
- 3.5" Drywall screws
- 2 x 4"x1/2" bolts
- 4 x 4.5" lag bolts
- 8" scrap metal bar, rod or wood
- Wood glue
OPTIONAL: for ceiling mount; recommended for ceiling mount
- 6'-10' steel chain or cable
- 2 x quick links that fit the chain above
- 2 x 4" eye hook lag bolts
- Table saw, but a hand saw will do
- Router is a nice to have but not required
- Cordless drill with drywall Philips head driving bits to make life easier
- Access to a welder is NOT required and alternatives can be used instead
- 2 x large "C" clamps
- Stud finder
Step 1: The Frame Shelf
Regardless of the way you want to hang the wheelbarrow, it will ultimately be fully supported by the "lip" which surrounds the top edge of the tub. The tub will be supported in the front by a wooden cutout about 1" deep and in the rear by 2x 4" x 1/2" bolts pushed through the frame.
The basic frame depends on the size of your particular wheelbarrow, large or small. You should start by making the cutout for the tub lip. This can be created quite easily with a table saw or a router if you have one. The lip should support the tub from the underside by at least 1 inch. In other words the tub extend at least 1 inch into the shelf created. It should also rest inside this shelf so that the top of the tub is below the top surface of the frame.
If you have a router you can alternately make the lip to the exact shape of the tube. To do this, center the beam under tub lip and trace its curved shape with a pencil. Add about 1/8 to traced line to add a little wiggle room. Use your router to remove the traced area to the proper depth allowing the lip to fall below the top surface of the frame.
At this point you could also consider changing my design from a rectangular frame to an I-Beam frame. This means you minimize the frame width to a single vertical main beam and 2 cross beams. Both cross beams can be somewhat narrower than with a rectangular frame. This design will require a single mounting stud instead of two. The drawback is if you hang additional weight on the wheelbarrow handles, as I do, the wheelbarrow may twist in the hanger, contact the wall / ceiling leaving marks over time.
Step 2: Location of the Hanger
Before you start the frame design or assembly you should find a suitable location for the hanger. Once you have the location, find the studs behind the wall with a stud finder. If you lack one of those, you can use a magnet to locate the heads of a couple of drywall screws. Those should align to the path of the stud behind the wall or ceiling.
Studs are usually 16" center on center so you should find a second one 16" away from the first. Note this can vary depending on the construction in you home so measure twice and be sure. If the studs are a different width apart, note that length so you can make your frame to align to that width. If you don't take this step now, you may have to add additional framing to your final hanger so that you can mount it directly to wall studs or ceiling joists.
Step 3: The Main Beams
The main beams run the length of the wheelbarrow tub plus the widths of the cross beams plus about 1/4 inch more. I will explain this later. If you have the wood to spare you can make a rough cut of the main beam by overlapping the shelved cross beam just created, plus the length of the tub + and additional 3".
The 3" is due to the fact that the rear cross beam is a 2 x 4 turned edge wise to fit over the back of the tub. Edge wise a 2 x 4 is about 1.5" thick. The remaining length allows for a required gap and anything left over can be trimmed off later or used for mounting with a lag bolts later.
Step 4: Rear Cross Beam
With the main beams rough cut, the last part of the frame is the rear beam. This is 2 x 4 mounted edgewise so that it extends down and below the bottom of the tub lip when the entire frame is resting on the tub.
Use a nail or screw to temporarily attach both main cross beams to the front "shelved" cross beam approximating a 90 degree angle.
When the rear cross beam is positioned correctly it should be so that about there is about 1/4" to 1/2" of play, forward and back between when the lip seats in the front shelf and butts up against the rear beam. The rear cross beam, when attached should allow the frame to be rotated off the tub when lifted from the rear while simultaneously keeping the tub from falling out of the shelf when lifted from the front.
This is very important because you don't want the front of the tub slipping off the shelf when its mounted to the wall or ceiling!
When the frame is assembled, place it on top of wheelbarrow tub with the lip engaged in the shelf and the rear edge of the tub pushed up against the rear cross beam. Drill 2 1/2 holes through the rear cross beam so that when you push the 2 bolts through the holes they will completely fit below the lip with a small gap. The holes should be centered on the beam about 6" - 8" apart. Once drilled, insert the bolts fully and test the frame to make sure the tub cannot release until you pull those bolts out again. Using 2 bolts prevents twisting of the tub in the frame when mounted.
If you have a welder, its a simple matter to insert the bolts fully and tack weld a steel bar between them for a handle. If you don't have a welder use a piece of wood between the bolts to create the handle instead.
If for some reason you find yourself with too big a gap, and the front of the tub is close to slipping off the shelf you can fix it easily with a small shim. Cut a thin piece of scrap that will close the gap between the tub lip and the rear cross beam. The shim need not run the entire length of the cross beam and can be as short as a couple of inches centered on the beam. Just leave enough of a gap to allow to easily rotate the wheelbarrow in and out of the frame.
Step 5: Mounting the Frame
The frame must be mounted directly to wall studs or ceiling joists. Do NOT use wall anchors!. If your intended location does allow you to mount the frame directly to studs use additional wood to extend the frame so that the additional wood will engage at least 2 studs(1 stud if using an I-Beam frame), then mount the frame to those instead. Use at least 4 lag bolts to make the attachment to the studs/joists. Drive the lags as close to the corners of the frame as you can. If you are mounting the frame to a frame extension you can use 4 or more drywall screws to make that attachment. I don't recommend using glue between the frame and frame extension since you may want to move the frame to a location that does not require the frame extensions.
In my photos you can see I needed additional framing since my ceiling joists did not line up with the frame. The additional framing allowed me to securely attach the frame to joists with little effort.
Step 6: Installing a Safety Chain
If mounting the frame to the ceiling I recommend the use of an additional safety chain. Mine is mounted above a car and in a traffic path. If it ever falls it would not be good.
I used 6-8' of medium duty chain. That was enough to wrap around the wheelbarrow legs and securely hold it in place in case the frame fails. I used eye-hook lags that are screwed directly into the ceiling joists. Do not attach them to the frame itself! I then used quick-links to attach the chain to the eye-hooks.
Step 7: Operation
To hang the wheelbarrow, retract the handle so the bolts no longer extend into the frame area. Lift the tub up and insert the front of the tub so that it rests on the front shelf. Rotate the back in and up. While holding it against the frame, push the handle in until it stops. Attach your safety chain if used. Its basically the same for the wall mount except you will have to fully remove the handle before mounting.
To remove, release the safety chain. Then lift up slightly on the tub supporting its weight. Pull the handle out to disengage the rear of the tub and lower the wheelbarrow to the ground.
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