Sunday, 19 March 2017

Rescuing an old Wheelbarrow ...

We inherited our garden wheelbarrow from the previous owners of the house - it looked ancient enough then and they obviously didn't even think it was worth taking with them to their new place - but it's served us very well for the last six years.

However, the steel body tray fell off recently when tipping garden waste - the tray's totally corroded around the four bolts which fix it to the tubular frame.


old steel tray totally buggered ....




at the fixing holes ....

I priced up replacement wheelbarrows, and £40 plus seems the order of the day for something half decent, so I decided to refurbish ours rather than chuck it away.

The wheel, bearings and foam-filled tyre are all OK.  The tubular frame had a lot of surface rust, but is otherwise sound and all the welds are still good.

First job was to remove the old tray screws from the frame.  I tried to unscrew them without success because they were totally seized by corrosion, and even penetrating fluid didn't help, so in the end they were all drilled out.

Interestingly (well, to me anyway !), when I cut off the old handles during prepping for the frame painting, an oily black fluid ran out of the open tube ends.  The only explanation I can think of is that the original manufacturer must have poured some sort of corrosion inhibitor inside the tubes before fitting the handles in the factory.

The frame was then given a good work over with a rotary wire brush in the portable electric drill, a wipe down with white spirits and then painted all over with the last of our electric blue Hammerite, of which around a third of a small tin was all that was left, so for future projects I'll need to stock up on metal paints again.

After re-greasing the bearings, the wheel was refitted using a new nyloc nut on the spindle.


rolling chassis after painting ...

The new plastic tray and matching handle grips, both in royal blue, were bought from eBay for £21 delivered.  Galvanised steel trays were available elsewhere for around the same price, but the steel looked as thin as tissue paper ...

The tray needed an initial fit up before holes were marked and drilled using the frame lugs as a guide.  The new handles were soaked in hot water for a couple of minutes and then simply pushed onto the ends of the frame tube.


with new tray and handle grips ...

So, as good as new for around half the cost of a total replacement, and also the satisfaction of bringing something back into use which would otherwise have just been scrapped.



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