Nearly every bit of this rod is recycled — the body is a wheelbarrow, the transaxle is from a mobility scooter, and the frame was welded together from scrap tubing including the wheelbarrow itself, and old bike or two, and some broken lawn chairs. The rear wheels are also from the ‘barrow, though the front ones were purchased (one of few new parts. Power comes from a pair of 18 V tool batteries wired in series and running through the Curtis controller from the scooter. Depending on the weight of the driver, this baby will do 10-12 MPH.
We love the look of this little rat rod, and wish we were [dewey302]’s neighbor. When you’re done poring over the pile of build pictures, be sure to watch [dewey302] and [The Kid] tear up the cul-de-sac in the video after the break.
One of the greatest challenges for a hardware hacker relying only on a bicycle for transport lies in the regular need to carry more than can be slung from the handlebars or on the luggage rack of your trusty steed. One of our favourite YouTube creators in our sphere, [Laura Kampf], has addressed this problem with a trailer for her electric bike made from a pair of second-hand wheelbarrows. She uses their buckets to make a clamshell box, and their wheels alongside a custom steel chassis to make the rest of the trailer.
As always with Laura’s work it’s a delight to watch, with some careful use of the cutting wheel to install hinges and vents in the upper bucket. Finishing touches are a chequer plate top for the trailer and a spare wheel mounted on the back for that extra-rugged look. Experience with wheelbarrow wheels suggests to us that the slightly more expensive ones with ball bearings are worth the investment over the plastic ones, but either way this is a bike trailer that means business.
We don’t see as many bike trailers as we’d like here at Hackaday, and those few we have are old enough to have succumbed to link-rot. Perhaps this project might tempt a few people to try their hand?
Sometimes you’ve gotta haul big heavy loads around a wide area. Regular wheelbarrows are fine, but it can quickly grow tiring when one has to make multiple trips. [Workshop from Scratch] instead elected to build a powered wheelbarrow, with plenty of grunt to shift loads about.
The build is absolutely from the ground up, welded up from sections of steel RHS, and given rear steering for plenty of maneuverability. The actual job of steering is handled by a rack repurposed from automotive use, set up with a single-sided attachment to the rear wheel assembly. It’s quite a neat and tidy way of doing the job, and seems to work well. Drive is sent to the front wheels through a hydrostatic lawnmower transmission. A 17-horsepower engine provides plenty of grunt for the job at hand, even coming with electric start already fitted for the ultimate in ease-of-use.
It’s impressive to see just how much of the rig was put together from raw materials; even the fuel tank was fabricated in steel. We’ve seen similar builds from [Workshop from Scratch] before, like this tidy bandsaw. Video after the break.
One of the best things about making music is that it’s so easy to do. There are countless ways to make interesting sounds out of nearly anything if you’re willing to experiment a little bit — just ask anyone who has ever made a guitar out of a cigar box and a broom handle.
The bass is constructed arch-top style, meaning that the soundboard — the wood on the front with the f-holes — is a flat piece tacked to curved ribs that span the width of the ‘barrow. A broom handle sound post mounted front to back pushes vibrations from the soundboard to the aluminium body. To round out the agricultural aesthetic, [Vicious Squid] strung it with weed-whacker bass strings, which are no doubt inspired by the use of actual trimmer line.
It’s already plenty loud, but [Vicious Squid] added a piezo pickup for wheeling it into the recording studio. Slap your way past the break to hear a little ditty.
[James] went with a straightforward design, fitting two wheels to the rear, and powering them with brushless inrunner motors. The original front wheel was then fitted with a caster mechanism to allow the barrow to be skid steered. A pair of lithium polymer batteries provide the juice, with [James] using VESC skateboard ESCs to run the motors. The whole contraption is radio controlled, with an Arduino handling the mixing for steering duties.
The motorized barrow performed well against its competition, a propeller-powered barrow from [Tom Stanton] and a leaf-blower propelled barrow from [Ivan Miranda]. Inclement weather did cause some issues, but the trio were kind enough to treat us to a destruction derby with their racing machines.
Gardening involves a depressing amount of physical activity: haul this over here, dump it there and then cover it with this. Things like wheelbarrows are still damn hard work, especially for people like who are somewhat physically compromised. That’s why we love this build from [Karl Gesslein]. He usually makes electronic bikes, adding motors to bicycles to roam the streets faster. But this time he applied his expertise to a wheelbarrow. He added a 3000W motor to the wheelbarrow, which drives the front wheel when triggered by the accelerator on the handle.
Everyone must have a few things that are emotive of their childhood, perhaps a sight, a sound, or a smell. For me, growing up as I did on a small British organic farm in the 1970s, my emotive things are the smell of rain hitting parched earth, or of the slightly sulphurous diesel exhaust from a clapped-out Fordson Major tractor. And wheelbarrows, strangely. My dad, you see, is both a blacksmith by trade and an inveterate experimenter in the field of handcarts and barrows. A small self-sufficient farm generates a huge range of different loads that need carrying around, and he fashioned a variety of inventive contraptions for the purpose. Of most use are his oversized builder’s barrows with a full-size van wheel at the front and able to cross the bumpiest of ground, but other highlights included the low-loading barrow for shifting the heaviest one-piece loads, or the two-wheeler for very long objects.
As you might expect then, I have an eye for a barrow, as I’ve pushed a few in my time. So when I read about how traditional Chinese barrows are constructed, they caught my attention and I had to ask: why don’t we do it that way?