Mobile Kitchen, a Bike Trailer Kitchen on Gas




Introduction: Mobile Kitchen, a Bike Trailer Kitchen on Gas

We are group 08 of the Intensive Program 2014 Urban Gardening
This is a collaboration between Howest, Ugent, IDC, Velt, Transitiestad Kortrijk, BUDA::Lab, Designregio Kortrijk and stad Kortrijk.

This instructable is about building a "mobile kitchen", it offers a firm base for any mobile kitchen from this base you can personalize your kitchen to fit all of your needs. This will be the main tutorial and will focus an creating a tag along workspace.

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Step 1: Features

This instructable is about a firm base for a mobile kitchen, altough it could be interpreted as a base for all mobile things.
The strength is in it's versatility. There is a possibillity to add numerous items on one single base.

The purpose of this instructable is to guide rather then to dictate, we advise you to use the same global measurements for ergonomic reasons, however it is up to you to decide where screws are needed to add strength and what the size of your drawers should be to fit all of your stuff.

Our final kitchen has a ton of extra features, the "how to" of these features will not be specified in this instructabe simply because it's to easy to explain and it would dull your creative mind. Succes!

Step 2: Tools and Materials


- Panel saw
- Mounted drill
- Electric screwdriver/drill
- Sander
- Diverse drillheads


- wooden beams (35mm by 35mm)
- wooden planks (12mm by 90mm)
- a wooden board that can serve as a tabletop (18mm by 600mm by 2400mm)
- screws (35mm in lenghth)
- two hinges
- wheels you can connect to wood. (wheelchair wheels or bike-trialer wheels)
- a bike-to-cart anchor

Step 3: Building the Undercarriage

Let's start building.

you'll need:

4 beams of 600mm, they should have the exact same length or your table will not be level.
The main idea is for the countertop to be 90cm of the ground, so you should scale up/down these beams to fit that criteria and allow for easy cooking.
2 boards with a with of 600mm  and a length of 900mm
2 planks with a length of 900mm
2 planks with a length of 624mm

screws of 35mm and 8 screws of 80mm preferably with serrated edges.

Start off by cutting your wooden beams, boards and planks to size.

Place one board on a flat workspace and position the planks around it.

Get a friend to hold them in place.

Carefully mark where you want to drill if you want a recurring distance between screws, we just eyeballed it.

Predrill the hole with a 2mm drillbit to prevent the planks from splitting.

You can add glue if you want, this will provide extra rigidity but will prevent you from making repairs later.

Screw the planks in place.

Ask a friend to position the first beam in the corner.

Predrill and screw it in place.

Repeat until all 4 beams are fixed.

Turn the table around and use 4 of the long screws to fix the board to the beams.

Turn the table back around and position the top board.

Line out each corner with the side's of the board before you fix the corner. Pine beams have a tendancy to not be as straight as you want them to, but they will become straight if your contruction forces them to.

You should now have the mainframe, the last picture.

Step 4: Fixing the Wheels

Altough it might seem early to install wheels, it does have a lot of benefits.
You can already start using the undercarriage as a transport for your stuff while you're continuing this build.
You will be able to build legs for the cart and have feedback on the height adjustment while you build them.
You can test drive, make shure to wheigh down the bottom, if the cart is too top heavy it will tip.
For ergonomic reasons the counter top has a 600mm width. This makes the cart 750mm wide, slightly wider than the bike steer, be shure to takes this into account when navigating tight surroundings.

How you fix the wheels and the anchor will depend largely on what you've found.
We found a bike-trailer for €40 in a thrift shop. Wheelchair wheels would also be fine.
You could use regular BMX wheels but then you'll have to weld a bicycle fork to a mounting plate.

We needed to mark the holes, drill them in the correct size and tighten the bolts.

Step 5: Making a Stand

Our cliënt wanted a kitchen he would be able to roll around through the city and setup in gardens and public places.
Obviously terrain that won't always be level. So we constructed a height adjustable stand for the kitchen.

you'll need:

2 beams of 636mm, this is 18mm + 600mm + 18mm so when the stand is put away it sits flush at the bottom and top.
1 plank of 180mm
4 bolts of M8 100mm (only the last 20mm needs to be threaded)
4 wingnuts M8

Start by cutting everything to size. The plank of 92x180 should be cut into two 35x180.

Place one of the smaller planks flush against the top of a beam. Now hold this against your cart and check where you'd like to put the bolts. Make shure you take an easily dividable distance between both. Mark down the "folded away position" of the bolts on the beam.

Mark down how you'd like to put the bolts on the plank, for instance 12cm apart.

Mark down where you'd like to put the screws to fix the plank to the beam.

Fix the plank to the beam.

Drill the holes for the bolts using a predrill to center your 8mm drillbit. Make shure you either drill from the visible side or clamp the exit hole tight to another beam. If you don't tightly fix a wooden beam at the exit holes you will splinter the wood.

Optionally you can now glue the bolts in these holes using 2 component glue or silicone compound glue. Doing this will make it easier to change the stands's position.

Remember the distance you've put the bolts at? Divide it. Make shure you divide to something bigger than 2,5cm.
In our example I chose 12cm, so I divide over 4 and get 3cm apart.

Tip over your cart to it's side and set up your chair next to it.
Grab a measuring device and mark down a center line on the front beam.
You should already have 2 marks at the top of your beam. These are the holes for the bolts when you want to put the stand away.
They should be 12cm apart. Start from the bottom mark and mark each 3cm down the centerline until you reach the bottom of the beam.
When you start on marking the second beam make sure to line up the holes. Measure how far you've put the first hole from the top (say 4cm) on the original beam and mark down your first hole on the other beam at that same offset.

Clamp down the beam with another beam.

Predrill each mark on the centerline to center your 8mm drillbit.

Make shure you follow this procedure for left and right, you will need both stands for good stability when using the countertop.
When you'v chosen your positioning well you should be able to level the cart on an already level surface. The additional holes are to offset slopes in the park.

Step 6: Multifunctional Drawers

You'll wanna ride with a kitchen, so you'll need to bring your stuff along.
Rule of thumb for a smooth ride; heavy things at the bottom.
That also means light things on top, so we'll provide some custom multifuntional drawers.

You'll need:

- 2 washing basins. We've chosen 16 liter 38cm by 38cm ones.
It's very important that they have big edges!
- 3 beams of 600mm
- 1 plank of 600mm

As usual we'll start off by cutting all wood to size.

Now start positioning both basins by turning them upside down and positioning them at the bottom of the cart.
Put a beam left right and centre of both basins. Make sure the centre one lies on the bottom board but the left and right ones lean on the edge of the respective basin.

Attempt to place the plank onto the center beam. It should cover both edges. If you cannot fit the plank onto the beam you slim it down until it fits, if you cannot cover both edges at the same time you should go get a wider plank that will.

Once you corrected the plank to a size that will hold up both basins, you can start on fixing them.

Mark down the center of the top board, the centre beam and the corrected plank.

Drill the plank to the beam by lining them out, predrilling and screwing them together.

Line out this rail to the top of the board, ask a friend to hold it in place while you predrill and screw.

Now take a spare beam, and your left beam. Squash the square beam in between the top board and the left beam.
This way the left beam will be fixed at the corresponding height and the basin will be leveled in the rail.

Predrill and screw, repeat for the right beam.

Insert the basins and you've got yourself two drawers.

Step 7: Fixing the Drawers

Now the drawers can slide freely from side to side and can be taken out for seperate use as a washing basin.
All well and good but you don't want them falling out whilst driving.
So we're going to make a clamp.

You'll need:

- two 3mm x 18mm x 150mm aluminium strip
- a workbench and a hammer or a folding bench.

Start by marking the centre of strip at 75mm.
Now mark 18mm to each side, that's were the beam will be.
Now mark 30mm to each side, this is were we will fold.

Fold the edges of the strip down.

Fold up on the 30mm mark.

Keep bending and unbending until you find the sweet spot between "easy to clip on" and "fixing the drawers"

Step 8: Extending the Countertop

A decent cooking experience requires enough room. We chose a 60cm by 150cm countertop.
But, as you'll have noticed, we currently only have 60cm by 90 cm.

You'll need:

- a board of 600mm by 600mm
- 2 hinges
- 18 screws of 15mm
- 2 screws of 25mm
- 2 Lightweight aluminium L irons that support 24kg each

Cut the board to size.

Tip the cart so the extension points up.

Position the extension against the top board. Make shure they are flush.
Ask a friend to pick up the L iron and position it against the beams, marking down holes on the extenstion board.

Predrill these holes, taking care not to pierce through.

Screw them on, using one 15mm screw on the far end and one 25mm screw near the edge.

Take hold of the extension and position it once more against the cart. Mark down the the hinge points on the extension.

Predrill and fix the hinges to the extension.

Position the extension board for the last time.
Make shure to stretch the hinges down before you mark them, this prevents play on the hinge.

Predrill and fix the hinge.

When you are enjoying the extension you'll note the two prongs still sticking out.
We will use these prongs to fit a drying rack using washing line.

Step 9: Sticks and Cooking Ware

To bring along all you're stuff we will fit the bottom of the cart with a modular system.
This way you can adapt it to accomodate very large and very small pieces of cooking ware.

You'll need

- 4 beams of 600mm
- 12mm diameter wooden cane
- 12mm drillbit.

Mark down the centre of 3 of the beams, mark these beams each 3 cm with a 1,5 cm offset at the edges.

You can prevent tearing the wood at the exit hole by clamping it down, but as it'll be hidden from sight I would'nt worry too much about the exit hole. So predrill, clamp down tight and use a stationary mounted drill to drill holes in those 3 beams.

Mark down the position of the beams and holes on the bottom of the cart.

Choose 3 screw position for each beam.

Predrill through the bottom board so the holes are visible from below.

Tip the cart sideways and ask a friend to hold the beams in place while you put screws through the visible predrills at the bottom.

Step 10: Seasoning and Finishing

To finish of our mobile kitchen we've provided it with some charming additions.

First up is the spices rack, it allows you to transport live spices and provides a nice aestethic.

Second is additional safety reflectors. Make shure you allways place those at the back of the cart and not on the prongs or cars might perceive the depth wrong.

Water can be provided by a garden hose. You could build a pressured system for streaming water on the go. But we'll just assume people will have a hose in their yard.

But it's a kitchen, 10 steps and we're yet to see the cooking pits!
Because we've chosen to provide a modular kitchen we've refrained from builing in a sink or building in a cooking plate.
The cooking plate will be a mobile gas fire. We've chosen specifically for the campingaz bistro.
It's an economically very expensive decision but it's the cheapest of the campingaz systems and very light (6kg for 2 pits)
We've chosen this over the economically sound option of a 8liter pressurised gas tank because of weight. A full pressurised woven tank weighs 13kg and a cooking plate tips the 7kg, making it a 20kg system. something you'll definitly feel uphill.

To finish of the wood you can laquer it against the rain.

We would like to thank you very much for your attention.
We hope we can inspire people with the ideas presented in this instructable and hope to soon see the mobile kitchen become part of daily life.

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    5 Discussions

    Nice concept and ideas. I've researching camping kitchen boxes or chuck boxes in case I might have to help build one. I do have to say I'm more of a fan of Asian ramen carts and "rear carts" for mobility, but I like the lightweight open concept you have going.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This is a great idea. I could see a couple of our cooking shows doing this. How does it go with mud, dust and dirt coming up off the wheels? I suggest a PVC curtain that could be velcroed on around the cart. Some of the clear PVC that is used in the bistro blinds for outside entertainment. It's fairly thick but durable. It would keep any rain, mud, dust etc from getting onto the utensils while it's in transport mode and be easily removed and folded up when the cart is set up. Plus it would help with security so nothing bounces out especially on roughish terrain like cobblestones. Just a minor consideration.


    5 years ago

    Nicely done. Since I'm planning a ride along the Transamerica trail mid year 2015 I do believe I shall attempt something similar but perhaps a Tad bit lighter. I really have to start posting instructables of my own. I've modified many projects from here, but when I get done I think "Darn I should have taken pics and posted it".


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Hello, this was built for a client who wanted to do cooking shows in an area of 15km (9 miles) around their location. Mostly flat terrain.

    Doing a transamerica trail you'll definitly want something lighter because you're going to feel that weight uphill.
    You should go to

    to find out how much power output you have.

    And an online calculator that'll show you how much the weight will impact you on a slope. We've used this one

    but it's in metric. You being American I assume you'll want to find your own imperial calculator.