Introduction: Yard Cart (Wagon) for Hand or Tractor Use From Golf Cart.
This is my first submission and it is for the Epilog Challenge so votes and comments will be appreciated.
I have wanted a yard cart to use around the yard for some time. I could not find any plans for one and the commercially available ones do not fold flat for storage and are expensive. Being inspired by some of the bicycle trailer instructables I did come across on the site I created this little gem and decided to share it.
I utilized old pieces of plywood and materials I had around the house so it cost me nothing to manufacture. If you had to go purchase the materials it may not be as economical however gleaning on large trash day in your neighborhood could probably resolve that and stop items going to the land fill. Another green aspect of the project.
Since it does not destroy the golf cart it also allows for multi purpose use of the materials. It can be used by hand or towed behind your lawn tractor,
Step 1: Assemble the Materials and Components.
I sized the floor to accept four lawn trash bags however I failed to take into account bag bulge so you may want to make yours a little larger because I can only get 2 or 3 previously filled bags into the trailer. If they were filled in the trailer it would accept 4 and the bag bulge would not occur until it was above the sides of the trailer so fill them to the top and when you remove they will settle below the fold line on the bag.
Again all the materials I used were already laying around the house. If you cannot make yours identical to mine I hope at least this will inspire you to create your own from what you can obtain.
�ood. (mine was well weathered as it had been stored outside for a couple of years) See pattern for sizes.
Folding golf cart (mine was called caddy wagon)
2 x 4 ripped down the center.
2 pieces of Velcro hook 2 in x 4 in
2 pieces of Velcro loop 2 in x 8 in
Screws and wood glue.
Cut the floor board to size.
Mark the centerline of the floorboard and then place the cart on the bottom side of the floor board.
Mark the location of the straps that would be used to hold the golf bag to the cart on the floor board.
Drill out the strap locations creating a slot large enough for the strap to pass through the plywood (I used a � inch bit and 3 overlapping holes for each slot)
Now strap the plywood to the cart.
Step 2: Assembly of Bracing
As I said previously I used an existing golf cart. Since they probably are not all manufactured exactly the same you may have to modify your braces to suit your particular cart. If you do the important factor is to center the support braces over the axle and to provide a brace across the front that supports and deters the box from rotating sideways around the cart.
Tip: I placed the floor board onto the cart lined up with the centerlines of the board and the cart. Then I measured, made a paper template, verified the template against the cart/floorboard before transferring it to the plywood. This gave me a tight fit without wasting the wood or miscalculating the geometry. (I should note carpentry of any sort is not my strong suit so I am extra careful before I cut to ensure I do not waste material. Even then I still had to make some adjustments when locating the braces)
Using a straight edge I transferred the axle alignment to the underside of the floor board so I new where to put the 2x2 to support the braces.
Also I transferred the location of the bracket on the front of the cart so I could locate the 2x2 for the front brace at this time.
Using the location needed for the 2x2 glue, clamp then screw from the top side to affix in place.
Do the same for the 2x2 for the front brace.
Re attach the floor board to the golf cart and strap it in place.
Turn it over again.
Now glue and screw the triangular braces in position making sure the snug up to the axle. (if your angles are off at all it is more important to touch the axle than the underside of the box. The 2x2 gives you some leeway here). Screw through the triangular brace into the 2x2 you attached previously
For the front brace it is full width and it is glued and screwed to the 2x2 support. I then determined the location and depth of the notch required to seat down over the golf cart bracket and cut it out with a jig saw.
Step 3: Adding the Sides to the Cart
Now that the floor is made and attached to the golf cart I added the upright panels to enclose the trailer. I wanted it to fold relatively flat when I did not need it so the sides are 12 inches tall and fold flat against the floor when not in use. Locate the hinges to the floor and the sides over the 2x2 braces and use a 1 inch screw through the hole in the hinge that is over the brace for added stability. Then use 1/2 inch screws in the balance of the holes.
For the front upright I constructed it to fit inside the side panels and then placed the hinges at the top edge and use the hinge pins to hold it in place. (Note: remove the pins completely then replace them leaving half an inch exposed at the top this way they can be removed by hand later) Then attach them to the sides and front panel. Be careful here to keep them as straight as possible to avoid having binding (the hinge will shift if you do not center your screws)
The tailgate (installed wrong in the pictures btw) is full width. Properly installed will fold to the underside of the floor board when not it use. To install attach the hinges to the outside face of the tailgate with the hinge pin facing rearward then place the tailgate in the desired position and attach the other side of the hinge to the underside of the floor board. (the hinge will be offset the thickness of the tailgate). I used Velcro Hook on the sides and put the loop on the tailgate. (I happened to have this on hand) You could easily use any type of strap, hasp or bootlaces etc to hold the tailgate closed and hold the structure more rigid. To attach the hook and look I just used screws through the fabric into the plywood. You could glue them as well but I would be concerned about long term adhesion. Staples would also work.
Step 4: Hitch and Storage.
For the hitch I took a 2 inch conduit P strap and using my vise straightened it into a J. I then took another lightweight piece of steel (mine was a deconstructed light switch) and bent into a Z to provide a positive closure. (I found when using it that it helped to zip tie the handle to the hinge as it would pop out on rough terrain).
Now paint it with whatever leftover exterior paint you have around to seal it up
Now when not needed it folds flat and leans against the wall and the golf cart can still go to the course with me. (It was at this point that I realized I had installed the tailgate hinges incorrectly)
Sorry about the photo quality my leftover paint was flat black which does not provide a whole lot of definition.
I hope this is useful to some of you and inspires you to build your own.