How to Repair a Rusty Wheelbarrow




Introduction: How to Repair a Rusty Wheelbarrow

My school garden class had a rusty wheelbarrow out in the backyard that needed to either be thrown away or be repaired.
The rust was so bad that stuff would fall through. It was both inconvenient and dangerous to use.
We came up with an idea to fix it without having to go out to the store and purchase a new one.
In this Instructable I will show you how you can repair a rusty wheelbarrow.
Hope you enjoy it!

Step 1: Materials Needed

Here's the tools you need to have
Safety Glasses/Gloves
Pop Rivets
Pop Rivet Tool
Tin Snips
Electric drill 
3/16 drill bit
Aluminium Sheet Metal (aluminum flashing from a hardware store will work)

All these items are easy to find at any hardware store. 

Step 2: Make a Pattern

First ,You find old cardboard and cut the right pattern for your wheelbarrow.
You cut the right pieces to make your pattern fit. Make sure you make the pieces much bigger than the rust holes so that you can attach it to metal that is still solid. The area near the hole will be to badly rusted for the rivets to hold.
You will use the cardboard cut out later to trace it on to the sheet metal.

Step 3:

Trace the pattern that you cut out onto the sheet metal.
Once you trace it use the shears or tin snips to cut it out. 

Step 4: Rivet Sheet Metal With Pop Rivets

Place sheet metal where damage is done. Using a electric drill you drill holes through wheelbarrow and sheet metal  using 3/16 drill bit.
Now attach the sheet metal with the 3/16 pop rivet. You can  use the back up washers on the back side of the rivet to make sure the rivet does not pull through. 

Step 5:

Now repeat the same process by riveting and making sure the other pieces of sheet metal are attached to the wheel barrow and cover the holes.

Step 6: Ready to Use!

Now that all sheet metal is in place covering up damage,  it is ready to be used again.

1 Person Made This Project!


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Bill WW
Bill WW

9 years ago on Introduction

Good job, good Instructable.

I repaired my rusty wheelbarrow a couple of weeks ago. But yours - you should get some kind of award!

Your repair should be fine.

Bill WW
Bill WW

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Not expensive. I keep a roll of the .010" aluminum flashing in my shop for just such repairs.


9 years ago on Introduction

You might want to put some caulk under the flashing if you want to haul liquids in your wheelbarrow.


9 years ago on Introduction

a good sanding and a coat of rustoleum to before adding the flashing may prevent any further rusting and will help prolong the repair.


9 years ago on Introduction

A wooden box is another way to go. Fixing things with what you have is worth it in my opinion. If you have sheet metal use it. If you have wood use that. I think the sheet metal fix will hold up well and was a pretty quick fix. Besides working with sheet metal and pop rivets is fun.


9 years ago on Introduction

Not worth the effort. Remove the tub and replace it with a wooden box. I am saving my ratty barrow for better Instructables.