Instant Outboard Motor Stand From Shopping Cart




About: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output devices. His detailed drawings of traditional Pacific...

Here's a slick outboard motor dolly you can make from a shopping cart in a minute.
It's good for moving the motor around and keeping it from falling over.

Step 1: Start Cutting

My granddad used to say: "To make a carved bear, take a piece of wood and cut off everything that doesn't look like part of a bear."

So start cutting.

I'm lucky to live in an area with lots of homeless people, so there's never a shortage of shopping carts.
I picked an especially small sturdy one for this project.

Step 2: Deburr It

Grind off the sharp burrs you made when you cut off the basket.

I left a little bit of the basket part attached. You'll see why in the next step.

Step 3: Reshape the Bottom End Rest

Bash on it until it's shaped like this.

Remove the baby seat back wall of the shopping cart.

Step 4: Pad the Bottom End Rest

Wrap it with a carpet scrap and wrap that with a bicycle innertube to hold it on.

Step 5: Dolly Away

Hook your motor's clamp over the push handle and use innertubes to secure all the dangling cables and stuff.

I innertubed the clamp over the push handle cuz I was in a hurry. If I had more time I'd bolt a board to the push handle and clamp the motor to that.



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    12 Discussions


    5 years ago on Step 5

    Every time I clicked on the "Next" button I kept expecting to see a Rick Astley video pop up. There is so much rich material in there that I don't even know where to start. I mean, is this for real, or did I just get pranked by the five of the most perfectly sublime Internet pages in history?

    Either way, Tim Anderson, I am raising a toast and a hearty "Well Done!" to the best Instructable ever.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Just because a "homeless person" stole and abandoned the cart that you later converted still doesn't make it right. It's called "receiving stolen property" and it's a crime in its own right. Stolen shopping carts cost all of us money in the form of increased prices at the supermarkets. If supermarkets lose enough money due to cart pilferage and shoplifting, they go out of business and everyone in the neighborhood loses.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I work at an Apt complex,we get people dropping off "your stolen carts a couple times a week. I have contacted the store which is 1 mile from the complex. They will not come and get them. So we compact the carts which are about $00 a piece. My boss will not direct anyone to take the carts back to the store as we don't have a truck on property. and get them,why should anyone else care about returning them? Answer me that? So if the store doesn't care enough to come even though they are losing $800 a week to our property let alone all the other carts that end up at other Apt cpmplexes in the area.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    ENOUGH ALREADY about STEALING SHOPPING CARTS. Nobody needs more ideas on using stolen stuff!!! YES This is a POSITIVE and CONSTRUCTIVE comment on legal use of bright ideas....not more reasons to RIPP OFF stuff for personal gains.

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    How do you know it was stolen? I find broken shopping carts all the time the stores discard.


    9 years ago on Step 5

    Looks pretty sweet, Im actually trying this later today


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Funny, my father did exactly this at least 10 years ago. Only he added a piece of 2x6" or 2x8" to act as a transom for mounting the outboard. Works great for shuttling the outboard around in the garage. And for flushing after a run in sea water.


    12 years ago

    This is a nice idea, I currently have my 8hp outboard mounted on a dolly. The problem I see with the shopping cart is people like me who live on lakes need to wheel their motors down to the lake, usually down hills and/or across lawns. The small wheels on a shopping cart wouldn't cut it. Of course you could weld on bigger wheels, but by the time I got done with all that it's basically my dolly that I'm already using :) Thanks for the instructable though.


    12 years ago

    I just edited the intro text to try to answer this question thanks, tim