How to build a child's pushcart.
This is the Metric version
Author: Les Kenny
for the Imperial (ft & ins) version
This project shows how to make a child's pushcart.
This type of cart which is made from timber, is by no means new. In fact the
basic design has been around for years and years which is really a testament to
the usefulness of such a toy; a toy that has helped many a child to take their
first step to evolve from crawler to toddler. Apart from helping children to
learn to walk, it also is a transporter for your child to move toys and blocks
etc. to and fro around the room. The pushcart is probably one of the most
practical and entertaining toy a crawler or toddler can have!
A bit of load in the tray can of course help to steady or balance against the
child's weight, but we've designed this particular plan with balance in mind!
We've given consideration to such things as the rear wheels being placed as far
back as possible, the handle being placed as far forward as possible while still
retaining easy workability and a block built into the front of the pushcart to
act as a counterweight.
This pushcart is constructed using common stock and can be built in less than
half a day.
Note: All dimensions are in millimeters (mm). The lengths referred to below are
the exact lengths. When purchasing allow extra for wastage.
[A] 75x25 (approximate finished actual size 70 x 19) 2 pieces @ 475 long
[B] 75x50 (approximate finished actual size 70 x 45) 1 piece @ 250 long
[C] 50x25 (approximate finished actual size 45 x 19) 1 piece @ 250 long
[D] 4.75mm thick hardboard (or other panel sheet such as plywood, MDF board or
similar) up to 6mm thick, 1 piece @ 450x260
[E] 50x25 (approximate finished actual size 45 x 19) 2 pieces @ 462 long, cut
back one end of each piece 25 degrees off square, (see The plans)
[F] 18mm diameter dowel. 1 piece @ 326 long
Wood screws 8 @ 50mm long and 4 @ 32mm long
Wheels, bolts, washers and nuts, (see Step 6 for description)
A dozen little panel pins (very small nails)
A piece of sand paper
Follow the steps below and refer to the plans as necessary.
The plans. Click to enlarge.
Cut all the timber as per the cutting list above. Drill a 18mm diameter hole
centered 28mm down from top end of handle arms [E].
Cut a groove 6mm wide and 6 mm deep along members [A]. Measure so that the
groove will be just below members [B] and [C]. The groove can be cut with a
router or by repeated cuts with a circular power saw with the blade set to a
depth of 6mm.
Or an easier option...
If you think that making the grooves might be too difficult, then don't do them.
Instead, cut the bottom panel sheet [D] so that it will fit in between members
[A]. The panel can be glued and nailed at the front and rear to the underside of
members [B] and [C]. Then cut a couple of sticks of wood about 20x20 @ 300mm
long and glue them to the underside of the sheet panel and members [A] to stop
any sag in the middle.
Glue and screw members [A] to members [C] and [B]. Refer to
placement. Use 50mm long wood screws, 2 at each meeting and pre-drill the holes
through members [A] first.
Glue the handle [F] into the holes in the handle arms [E] and then screw the
bottom of the handle arms [E] to the side members [A]. Refer to
placement. Use 32mm long wood screws, 2 at each meeting and pre-drill the holes
through members [E] first.
Slide the hardboard panel [D] in the grooves until positioned as shown in
and then glue and nail (with panel pins) to the undersides of members [B]
Step 6. The wheels.
For this project we used 100mm diameter wheels which were 20mm wide with a 6mm
center hole. We used 6mm gutter bolts 60mm long for the axles. The bolt was
first put through the center hole in the wheel, a washer was then put on,
followed by a nut and another washer. The shank of the bolt was then put through
a 6mm hole in the side board [A] and then another washer and nut was added. The
two nuts were tightened against the side board [A] in such a way that held the
bolt rigid yet allowed play for the wheel, thus allowing for it to spin freely.
Because there is now such a wide range of wheels available, and prices, types
and sizes vary from place to place, basically any wheel with a diameter between
60mm and 120mm will suffice. The important things to note are:
to use bolts that have the same shank thickness as the diameter across the
center hole in the wheel.
the bolt should be long enough to go through the wheel center and the side board
[A], and also be able to take 3 washers and two nuts.
The hole size in the side board [A] should be the same diameter as the wheel
The hole in the side board [A] should be in from both ends the same distance as
the radius of the wheel.
The Finishing Touches: A bit of paint if you want (non-toxic of course) and
Editor: Maree Anderson