For Earth Day I wanted to see if I could repurpose a pallet for a bicycle trailer, ideally without power tools. The hardware could be transferred to another pallet when it wears out. It's only a 1/8 scale model, but I hope to get others thinking about how this could be deployed in humanitarian or disaster relief situations.
Step 1: Find a Pallet (or Make a Model)
There are many "standard" pallet sizes around the world. I chose to model a 48" x 40" size that's common in the US.
Step 2: Find Side Supports and Attach Hinges to Both Ends
I cut pieces to represent wood salvaged from another pallet. I found small hinges that could represent typical door hinges. Door hinges aren't very wide and the holes are close to the end of the wood, so a better option might be a longer strap hinge.
Step 3: Attach Wheels
These Lego wheels required me to drill a hole for an axle. A better option would be a wheel (swiveling vs. non-swiveling?) which can be attached from the bottom with screws.
Step 4: Attach Side Supports
The first hinge is close to the end of the wood and could pull out if the wood is weak. For the opposite side I used a 2nd hinge as a reinforcing plate.
Ready for attachment to the bicycle...or so I think. It may not be obvious, but once the swiveling arms are attached together the trailer does not pivot. Time to consult engineering...
Step 5: Modified Attachment
Since the pallet is wide, I tried cutting one support shorter to create a single connection point to the bike.
There are several Instructables regarding bike trailers and attachment methods, so I look forward to feedback. Remember my original constraints - 1) No power tools needed for assembly, and 2) Hardware is easily transferrable to another pallet.
Note: A wooden pallet weighs 40-50 lbs (20 kg), so in practice a full size pallet may need to get cut in half or have boards removed.