Making a Bottle Cart

One of the projects I’ve had on my list was to make a cart for moving our 100-pound propane bottles. We’ve thought about getting a bulk tank, but we only use about 40 gallons of propane a year. Even a small, 200-gallon tank would last us four to five years between fills. Since I only have to change ours out every five to six months, it just hasn’t seemed practical to get a bulk tank. It was time to change another tank so rather than manhandle a 190-pound bottle of propane (again!) I decided to make a bottle cart.

In order to make a cart, I cannibalized two other items. The first was a hand truck that we’d picked up for free (because it had a bent handle). We have a similar one that’s in good shape so we still have one on hand for “flat” goods. The other item scheduled for modification is the frame from a jogging stroller.

I took the wheels and axles from the jogging stroller for the new bottle cart. The axles fit perfectly through the guides used for the hand truck’s axles. At the left of the orange cart frame, you can see another piece of thin-walled tubing. I cut sections from it to lengthen the frame on the new cart. I also cut the axle adjustment sleeve off of the stroller to use it on the new cart.

I then used the circular saw with a metal cutting blade to cut the curved brace from the stroller, the straight brace on the back of the new cart frame and to grind off the tops of the bolts holding the bottom plate on the new cart.

The larger wheels made it necessary to extend the frame on the new cart so I cut sections off the thin walled tubing to extend the lower frame. I then welded the base plate to the extensions and welded the extensions to the frame. I could have drilled holes and bolted everything together but the welder was faster and cheaper. I have no intention of taking it apart again anyway.

A side view of the finished cart. I immediately put it to work. I had to repair a tube in one of the tires but the other held air OK. The large wheels roll easily over rough ground and the wider axles make it much more stable than my old method of using the other hand truck. The handle is from my other hand truck. I may make a handle for the cart or may just swap them as needed. Painting will have to wait for warmer weather.

Rear view. The curved bar from the stroller had just the right radius for the 100-pound propane bottles. The axle adjustment sleeve is not welded to the frame of the cart. It works well like it is. The only cash invested is the price of the wire for welding and a tube patch.

I invite you to take a look at my homestead blog at Living Life Off Grid.

  • Published on Nov 21, 2014
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