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Full instructions on how to make a wheelbarrow planter for your garden.

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garden wheelbarrow planter

For those of use
making this in the UK I would suggest you check out the User
Comments at the foot of the page before proceeding and it could
save you a lot of time, money and frustration!

Step by step instructions on how to build a rustic garden
wheelbarrow. This particular wheelbarrow is an ornamental,
decorative planter box and is also fully functional and can be
wheeled from place to place.

In this page

  • Making the wheel
  • Cutting the pieces
  • Fitting the tray base
  • Fitting the tray side panels
  • Fitting the wheel and legs
  • The finished wheelbarrow
  • Notes and tips
  • The material list and cost

NOTE: All pieces used in this project are cut from standard
150x19x1800 sawn h3 fence palings – excepting the handle and
legs which are cut from 100×40 pine decking. (see material
list below).

Making the

Cut 1 standard fence paling (150x19x1800) into six pieces 300mm
long. Lay two pieces side by side, then glue (with sturdi bond or
similar exterior glue) another two pieces on top of the first two,
running at right angles to the ones on the bottom. Then glue
another layer on top of the first two layers, again at right
angles to the layer below. Place a weight on top and leave for the
glue to dry. (24 hrs or longer).

When the glue is dry, draw a circle with a 130mm radius (see
diagram) and cut with a jigsaw. Drill a 25mm hole (or slightly
larger than the dowel axle) through the middle of the wheel.

how to cut the wheel from a block
the pieces

Refer to the diagram for cutting sizes. The grid lines in the
diagram are 100mm apart.
Cut the 2 support rail and handle pieces (1180mm long x 50mm wide
x 40mm thick) out 100×40 pine decking. Shape the ends for the axle
and handle (optional) as shown in the diagram. Cut the two legs
out of 100×40 pine decking and cut to the shape as shown in the
diagram with a jigsaw.

All the tray pieces (tray base, side panels and end panels) are
cut from standard 150x19x1800 fence palings.

plan for wheelbarrow pieces
the tray base.

Place the two handles on flat ground so that the axle ends are
60mm apart (or slightly more than the thickness of the wheel) and
the handle ends are 400mm apart.

Lay the tray base (3 boards 150x19x400) on the two handles in the
position as shown in the accompanied diagram and fix with 50mm
galvanised flathead nails.

how to fit the wheelbarrow tray base
the tray side panels.

All the tray side and end panels have been cut at 15 degrees.
Screw the end panels to the side panels with 8g x 50mm csk
stainless steel screws. Drill the holes first with a 2.5mm drill

The side tray panels will sit on the tray base, but the end tray
panels will sit against the tray base. See accompanied diagram.

wheelbarrow side plates
the wheel and legs

Turn the barrow upside down.

Cut a piece of dowel 200mm long (the axle) and put it through the
hole of the wheel.
Place the wheel and axle on top of the two support rails so that
the wheel is central and straight.
Fix the wheel in place by securing the axle with metal pipe sadles
screwed to the support rails.

Screw the legs to both the handles and the tray end panel as shown
in the accompanied diagram.

how to fit wheelbarrow wheel and legs

finished wheelbarrow.

More details and larger images of this project.

finished wheelbarrow
Notes and tips.

The wheel in this project is made up of three layers of timber
glued together. Two layers would also suffice. It is just personal
taste. A thick wheel or a thin wheel.

The rounding and shaping of the tray panels can be changed to suit
your taste and artistic flair.

Make the hole in the wheel slightly bigger than the dowel axel.
(The dowel used in this project is only 200mm long. piece off an
old broom perhaps).

The timbers used in this project are h3 treated (except for the
dowel axle, which probably isn’t). The dowel will need a
preservative, so might as well do the whole wheelbarrow for longer

Apply light coats of boiled linseed oil thinned with mineral
turpentine. Both can be purchased from most hardware stores and
are inexpensive.




radiata decking
and legs
fence palings
tray and wheel
x 50mm stainless steel screws
and legs
bond glue
axle to support rail
the wheelbarrow
thin linseed oil

interesting and diverse

User comments

I had been searching for just such a project and was glad when I
discovered your site. One or things need to be ironed out if this
is being made in the UK.

Fence palings are what the Brits call Gravel boards and are
available from Wickes. Just make sure when you buy them they are
perfectly dry, they are stored outside because they are used for
outside projects – logical really.

I printed all the details and started work with a couple of small
modifications due the available timber size available in the UK.

The Wheel was cut and stuck using what we call “No more
nails” – do not use this for this project it don’t stick. Use
waterproof PVA or Evostick and make sure that the garage is warm (
do not try to do this in the winter because the wheel still falls
apart after 3 days of being glued and clamped).

Eventually the
wheel was complete and when cut out was tapered toward one side
because the blade in the jigsaw had flexed on the way in. Either
drill a pilot hole before starting to cut the wheel out or use a
table scroll saw.

All the other bits went together well, just make sure that when
you lay up the bottom tray you leave approximately 5mm between
each plank to ensure that the tray fits snugly along the lower
section of the side panel.

Also pipe saddles are called saddle clips in the UK and you get
them from Homebase in the plumbing section.

I look forward to my next project.

regards Clive   UK

We made your wheelbarrow. we’re not what you call handy people
but we were up to the task. Marvellous.

Adam and Eve   Auckland