DIY Concrete Mixing Wheelbarrow Made From Recycled Parts

[Dan] had a bunch of concrete mixing to do. Sure, it was possible to stand there and mix concrete and water in a wheelbarrow for hours and hours but that sounds like a tedious task. Instead, [Dan] looked around the shop to see if he had parts available to make a concrete mixer. As you may have guessed, he did. Instead of stopping at just a concrete mixer, he decided to make a concrete mixing wheelbarrow!

The frame is built out of plywood left over from a past canoe project. The frame holds a mixing barrel that was also hanging around the shop. From the photo, the drive system looks simple but it is not. First, the small motor pulley spins a larger pulley that is in-line with the barrel. Gearing down the drive this way increases torque available to spin the barrel, and that gear reduction is necessary to spin the heavy concrete slowly. What you can’t see is a planetary gear system that gears down the drive train again. The gears are cut out of plywood and were designed in this Gear Generator program. The sun (center) gear of the planetary setup is supported by another scavenged part, a wheel bearing from a Chevy minivan.

Now [Dan] can mix all the concrete he wants, wheel it over and dump it wherever he needs it. With the exception of the drive belt and some miscellaneous hardware, all the parts were recycled.

18 thoughts on “DIY Concrete Mixing Wheelbarrow Made From Recycled Parts

  1. Thanks, Hackaday! I have actually mixed quite a few batches with this machine since I built it. The only improvement I would make is to shift the axle to the rear a bit, as the handles get heavy with 2-bag batches and bigger.

  2. It works, and it beats mixing with a shovel. Maybe a skirt to stop the stones getting into the gear areas? You only have to miss once loading the gravel in tired for it to get places it shouldnt. When Im tired I loose control in my arms steering the shovel and miss.
    The commercial ones have the paddles on stands so they are a blade with about a inch clearance underneath to promote a mixing motion rather than having the mix come over the top of the paddle only but thats a minor thing. It matters more when mixing a fine screed type material where the sand will try to clump the barrel, also the order you charge it in.
    Also it may survive the day you are too tired to clean it properly and leave some mix in, because the drum itself is semi flexible and you can take a hammer to the drum when the mix has gone off and crack it out. We do this with steel drum machines but they do come out a bit lumpy looking at times, but they still work, and still beat using a barrow to mix in.
    The belle mixers have wheels at the rear and handles you can steer it with like a wheelbarrow, but they also have a detachable tilt stand which clips on the axle pivot, so you can hold it up in the air, it makes it easier to charge, and if you have a lot of material to do, you can get the wheelbarrow right under it and discharge into that, then a friend (if you have any left when mention of help doing manual work is made) can be putting the next one on :)

    1. I can’t leave it out in the weather such as is done on construction sites. It lives in my garage. ;) I made it to tackle some big projects I have to do, while at the same time scratching the itch to build things.

  3. has anyone built a continuous flow mixer? sand, gravel, cement and water flowing in the correct proportions in one end, well mixed wet concrete out the other?

    1. I have seen machines that lay and then travel on railroad track as well as machines that lay and then roll over brick and even machines that bore and reinforce underground tunnels. But none of those require cure time to reach full strength. That said, it seems logical enough to create. Would be surprised if nobody has done so yet.

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