Plans for a wooden wheelbarrow

Updated February 21, 2017

Wheelbarrows utilise a fulcrum in the form of a front-mounted wheel to allow an operator to lift a load inside the barrow and carry it over a distance, with far less physical exertion than carrying the load by hand. A simple design for a wheelbarrow is to cut your own, using a single piece of wood for each side of the barrow, from the handles all the way down to the wheel.

Cut a 50-inch length of plank, and mark it with vertical pencil lines across the 12-inch height of the plank, at 12 inches, 22 inches, 40 inches and 45 inches from the left edge to divide the plank into five rectangular sections.

Draw a horizontal line in the leftmost rectangle, 2 inches below the top edge of the plank.

Draw a half circle with a 1-inch radius below the horizontal line, starting at the left edge, and finishing 2 inches from the left edge. This will be the handle's knob. A compass can be used, or if you do not have one, a piece of string can be tied to the pencil, and anchored 1 inch away from the pencil at the point 1-inch in from the edge on the horizontal line.

Draw an arc through the second rectangular section, starting at the end of the horizontal line, and finishing at the lower right corner of the rectangular section.

Draw a horizontal line through the two right-most sections, 6 inches below the top of the plank, then make a mark along the right-most vertical line that is 1 inch above this horizontal line.

Draw an arc that starts in the lower left corner of the second rectangle from the right, passes through the mark on the vertical line, and ends when it touches the horizontal line in the right-most rectangle.

Draw rounded corners in the right-most section in the upper right corner, and in the lower right corner formed with the right edge and the horizontal line.

Cut around the knob in the leftmost section, along the remainder of the horizontal line in the leftmost section, then around the arc in the second section with the jigsaw.

Cut around the arc beginning in the section second in from the right, along the horizontal line until you reach the rounded edges, then around the rounded edges. This will finish cutting out the side section.

Trace the side section onto a second plank, and cut out a second side section.

Drill three holes along the bottom edge of each side piece, 1 inch above the bottom edge, 3 inches, 6 inches and 9 inches from the left edge of what was the middle rectangular section.

Sand the edges of the planks to avoid splintering.

Cut three sections of plank, each 18 inches long.

Position one plank with its 12-inch sides flush against the bottom edges of the side pieces, and secure in place with screws.

Position a plank so that its bottom edge touches the top corner of the back edge of the bottom plank, and lean the plank at an angle away from the bottom plank, then trace the top and bottom face of angled plank along both side pieces of the wheelbarrow and remove the angled plank.

Repeat for the second plank, angled off the front edge of the bottom plank.

Drill three holes between each set of pencil lines, 3 inches, 6 inches and 9 inches from where the lines touch the bottom plank.

Place the planks in between the pencil lines again, and secure with screws.

Drill through the centre of the rounded sections at the front of the side pieces, wide enough for the axle of the wheel.

Thread the axle through one side piece, through the wheel and through the other side piece, and use the wrench to secure the axle with the bolts or nuts provided with the axle.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-foot-by-12-foot planks of wood
  • Tape measure
  • Straight edge
  • Pencil
  • Compass
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Sandpaper
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Wheel
  • Axle
  • Wrench
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