Justin Newcombe comes up with a nifty solution to the weighty problem of getting goodies home from the markets.
I love to shop at the local markets on a Sunday morning; it's the closest thing to shopping in Asia I can find in New Zealand. The produce is fresh, (or else you just go to the stall next door) it's cheap and there are always new ingredients to try.
Until now I have used a big shoulder bag to carry everything around in, so I've become used to buying the heavier things like kumara and carrots first and the more delicate things like cress and fresh herbs on my way out. A cart, on the other hand, protects things a little more and makes lighter work of what can become a considerable weight.
Most of the carts I see used by seasoned market-goers are lighter than the plywood construction of mine, but the sturdier construction of mine offers more protection to the contents and the curved timber handle is aesthetically very pleasing. I sloped the lid away from the handle. To keep the cart practical I've made a folding handle and have added side handles to make it easier to lift in and out of the car. To make it lighter still you could build it using thinner ply (4mm marine ply) but I wanted to round all the edges so I went for the heavier 12mm ply.
I also began building a separate section to attach to the bottom and house the wheels but abandoned the idea as it was totally unnecessary.
Instead I housed the wheels on to the bottom of the cart itself. This project was initially quite complicated but I was more than pleased with the more simplified design that evolved.
Cut out the pieces for the box part of the cart. The back is 400mm high, the front 320mm high and the sides have a 80mm slope on top falling from back to front. The cart is 320mm wide and 250mm deep.
Using a piece of flexible timber or plastic pipe, mark out the curved handle shape on to a sheet of plywood. I cut out two pieces from some spare 20mm ply and then joined them together with two-pot epoxy construction glue. If you're using 12mm ply you could glue together three pieces.
Shape the handle using a plane, sandpaper and a small grinder with a sanding disc.
Glue the box together and allow to dry, shape the corners with a grinder and sanding disc then finish with sandpaper.
Using two-pot construction adhesive, glue and screw the handle to the box.
Drill holes for the wheels. Mask the handle with masking tape and paint box inside and out. I did four coats and sanded in between each one. Once the paint is dry, mask the box and polyurethane the handle.
Cut the handle in half and attach a strap hinge so it folds, then attach a suitcase latch to hold the handle securely when it's open.
Attach the wheels and lid. The lid hinges on the front which makes it easier to open and avoids any complications with the handle.