How to Make an Ice Cream Cart

Written by henri bauholz
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How to Make an Ice Cream Cart
Ice cream carts do not have to be high-tech. (Bolivian ice cream seller image by rrruss from Fotolia.com)

People with a craving for homemade ice cream and a good business sense can take a lesson from Latin America and make a low-tech ice cream cart. The biggest part of the business investment will come in the form of old-fashioned ice cream churns. More precisely, these are the hand-turned models that are packed with rock salt that surrounds the cream chamber. Although the finished product is a bit on the soft side, there are many possible flavour combinations for this creamy treat.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Saw horses
  • 1/2 inch plywood
  • Circular saw
  • Chalk line
  • Tape measure
  • Two bicycle wheels
  • Four butt hinges
  • Two galvanised pulls
  • Three U-shaped brackets
  • Electric drill
  • Ice cream churns (four or more)
  • 2-inch X 2-inch post
  • 1 X 4 board
  • Carpenter's glue
  • Four exterior corner braces
  • Four exterior L-braces
  • Four interior L-braces
  • Waterproof paint
  • Exterior-grade house paint
  • 3-inch polyester paint brush
  • 1 1/4 inch galvanised flat head wood screws
  • 1-inch flat head wood screws
  • 1-by-2 inch furring strip

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Allow one foot in length for every pair of churns, plus decide on a width. 30 inches is good, in most cases.

  2. 2

    Cut the bottom piece and all four sides of the cart from 1/2 inch exterior grade plywood. Set the height of the sides at a size that they are six inches greater than the height of the ice cream churn. So if your churn is 24 inches high, then the side piece will be 30 inches in height.

  3. 3

    Build the basic box using the plywood, glue, corner guards and four exterior L-braces. Use 3/4 inch galvanised wood screws to attach all the metal braces and guards. Use the three-sided corner braces on the bottom corners and the exterior L-braces at the top corners of the box. Use glue to strengthen every point of wood contacting wood.

  4. 4

    Let the box dry and cut two partitions for inside the box. The two partitions can be the same size as the side pieces.

  5. 5

    Attach the two inside partitions, so they run parallel to the sides of the cart. Each compartment should be a foot wide. Use glue and the four interior corner braces to attach the two partitions. You can also run one piece of 1-inch by 2-inch furring strip at the inside bottom edge of each partition for extra bracing. You will need 1 1/4 inch wood screws to install the inside partitions.

  6. 6

    Paint the inside of the box with a waterproof paint. The outside can be painted with normal exterior grade house paint.

  7. 7

    Let the box dry.

  1. 1

    Measure the width of the inside middle compartment and cut two pieces of 2-by-4 to this length. Slide the pieces to the bottom of the cart and screw tight from the outside with the 1 1/4 inch wood screws. The 2-by-4s will be the backing for the wheels.

  2. 2

    Acquire two bicycle wheels from a hitching trailer and attach them to the sides of your box with lag bolts. Make sure the lag bolts penetrate the 2-by4 backing. Another option is to use the front fork from a bicycle and attach the top of the post to the side of the cart with half-round metal brackets.

  3. 3

    Cut two 1-by-2 furring strips to a length that is one foot longer that the cart. Attach them just under the L-braces so they run past one end of the cart in a parallel line.

  4. 4

    Drill a 3/4 inch hole dead centre in the 1-by-2 at a two inch distance from the free end of each board and then run a piece of 3/4 inch dowel through the two holes.

  5. 5

    Cut the ends of the dowel flush with edge of each side piece.

  6. 6

    Cut the centre post from a piece of 2-by-2 stock to a height that is two inches less than the overall height of the cart including the wheels.

  7. 7

    Attach the post to back of the cart to form a third leg. Use wood screws to do the attachment.

Tips and warnings

  • A beach-type umbrella can be added to the front edge of the cart for extra shade.
  • The top of the cart can be covered with a pair of hinged plywood doors.
  • If selling ice cream commercially make sure you have all required food licenses.

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