Making a Cart – Part Two: Wheels on a Budget!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about our cart building progress. This weekend I was finally able to take some decent photos! I just added the last coat of stain to the cart boards and put the wheels back together which means by next weekend, I should be able to assemble the cart.

Last month I visited a great store in Winnipeg called Casterland that has everything from cart wheels to chair casters and anything else that rolls. They had a really nice BMX-style wheels with a pneumatic tire and plastic spokes but the cost was nearly $40 per wheel! I’m not sure about you, but $80 for wheels for a cart that may or may not ever be used for competition sounded ridiculous to me…and so I put my thinking cap on…

What I needed was a bicycle wheel. After a quick online search I decided that a new wheel would also be cost prohibitive but then I got to thinking about how the wheels on a used childs bike would be just perfect! I had a look on our local buy/sell site and found a used boys bike with 20 inch tires for $20!

I brought the bike home and took off the wheels but soon realised that the gears on the rear wheel were impossible to remove. Another quick online search told me that I needed a special tool (apparently everything on a bike needs a special tool). Since I don’t have that tool or any friends with that tool, I took the wheel down to A & L, the local bike shop. The nice young man there took the gear off for me in about 10 seconds for free!

Next, I wanted to recondition the wheel as there was some rust showing and scratching/wear from the brake pads. Since I’ll be using aluminum trim, I went for handy dandy metallic tremclad (in aluminum gloss) which costs around $5 a can. 

I took the tires and tube off the wheel, scrubbed it down with some steel wool and then gave it two coats of paint. Apparently there’s a special tool to take tires off and put them back on but I used two screwdrivers to get the tire off, and Sean’s strong hands to get the tires back on!

Now I have a great looking pair or wheels for less than $30 which is much, much better than $80!

Next Up…Axles, trim and assembly!

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