Modded Harbor Freight Field Cart Build

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Curtis Enlow

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Hey all,

I needed a cart for my work that I could fold up and easily carry in my little Scion xB. So I built I built a removable table & legs and modded a $69 Harbor Freight 2-in-1 convertible hand truck.

It could easily be used as a field cart, though you might want to consider more ground friendly wheels for the smaller end (the larger pneumatic wheels work great on rough ground so you can just roll it to the location as a hand truck). The small wheels bolt in so it should be an easy mod. I can unload it, install the table and be ready to roll in about 1 minute, plus it retains its use as a hand truck or lowboy cart.

There is some simple welding involved, which my friendly neighbor did for me in just a few minutes. It's WAAAY cheaper than a Magliner! You could go the extra step of fitting it to hold a sun umbrella.

What my cart started out life as:

Starting-out-life-as-a-Harbor-Freight-convertible-handtruck.jpg


You need to weld in a cross-piece for the table to hang on (handle is in the 'hand truck' configuration to insure stowage clearance):

After-welding-on-the-handle-crosspiece-for-the-table-hangers.jpg


Then weld on stanchions to insert the folding table legs in to. The holes are for locking pins to hold the leg in place:

After-welding-on-the-table-stanchions.jpg


I also added additional locking pins to the base of the OEM handle to add rigidity:

Drilling-and-fitting-locking-pins-for-rigidity.jpg


Here are the folding table legs in the stanchions. leave some length, you'll trim to fit later:

Table-legs.jpg


Time to make the table out of ply, but first I made these hangers (for the cross-piece welded in above) out of cold-rolled steel. I probably didn't need to heat them to bend them to fit the cross-piece, but it didn't hurt:

Heating-and-forming-the-table-hangers.jpg


Painted the hangers and then fitted them to the table ply, along with two longitudinal pieces for strength & rigidity that were also fastened to the table:

Painting-the-table-hangers.jpg


Fitting-table-hangers.jpg


Then bolt on the hangers with carriage bolts:

Installing-the-table-hangers.jpg


This is how the table hangers rest on the welded cross-piece:

Table-hangers-installed.jpg


You need to adjust the length of the legs to level the table. I just hung the table on the cross-piece and measured and marked the legs for final trimming:

Fitting-the-table-for-height.jpg


Then you need to fabricate hinges to mount the legs to the table. I didn't get a picture of it, but I just used snap-in garden implement tool hangers from the local hardware store that fit the diameter of the legs to secure them to the underside of the table when stowed for transport. I formed the hinge halves from some aluminum angle I had and made them wide enough for some plastic fender washers so they would rotate easily with Nylock nuts. then I located and fastened them in the appropriate places on the underside of the table:

Fitting-the-leg-hinges.jpg


I covered the table with outdoor carpeting (they have it on rolls at many hardware stores. I am lucky to have one of those awesome small farm town hardware stores that isle after isle of anything you can imagine) and then fitted it with aluminum U-channel edging:

Fitting-table-edging.jpg


I then re-painted the cart & handle to make it look pretty and re-installed the wheels:

Painting-the-cart-handle-and-legs.jpg


Here it is with the legs unpinned & stowed and the table resting on the cart. You could remove the handle, install it horizontally and use it as a hand-truck, as intended by the manufacturer, as well:

With-table-legs-stowed.jpg


And then with the table legs unfolded, mounted on the hangers and cross-piece and pinned, ready to roll:

Final-with-table-installed.jpg


I've carried much more on this cart than you see here (the airlines always charge overweight fees for flying that big, black case, so it's extremely heavy) and it works great!

I figure it would also be great for not only hauling your tools & gear, but also as a table for prepping rockets in the field. It probably wasn't more than $120 to make (much less if you have the steel at hand already). If you have some basic tools and can build a rocket, you can build this.
 
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