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Bender Heaven

52 53 handCarts the frugal side of benders For a minimalist handcart you will need wood from the hedgerow, 4 x 5 inch sections of angle iron, and a handful of large wood screws or bolts. You will also need the use of your trusty bow saw, a small hacksaw and a drill to make pilot holes for bolts or screws to prevent splitting, as well as a screwdriver or spanners. Mountain bike, BMX, or small moped wheels fit beautifully into this type of design. Shafts or handles can be attached straight onto the framework for maximum strength and minimal weight, or uprights can be added to the front of the frame to jack the shafts up, leaving the bed of the handcart horizontal when in motion. You can also get your local blacksmith to construct the basic chassis out of box section steel, attaching wheels, wooden shafts and wooden sides yourself. The more traditionally designed handcarts usually use an axle to connect the wheels, sometimes even with leaf springs for suspension. The shafts are not in line with the wheel axles but are horizontal when the cart is in motion. Pullingweight and human ingenuity are your only design limitations. Your cart could be fully enclosed with drawers and compartments, beautiful wood scrolling and the paintwork of a traditional Gypsy wagon. Handcarts have even been known to double as stages for puppet theatres and to carry slide out beds with covered wagon tops. The possibilities are endless. If you dont mind a bit of frugality the handcart could be for you.
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