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Saturday, February 7, 2015

A New, Old Garden Project

I will post the pictures later.

About 15 years ago, I found an old wheel barrow for $5. One handle was duct-taped together. That held up for about ten years. However, the flat tire worked for all of two minutes after it was pumped up. I replaced it with a $35 tire and charged for taking the other off and putting on the new one. For another 13 or so years, it all worked.

Then, exbf could not easily get it out of the basement or put it back. So, it stayed in the weather and the duct tape failed. The wood handles rotted and the wheel came off. The little loop thing that attached to the wood was on the rotted, detached piece of wood. Then, in a stroke of luck, I found that piece.

Let's just say--I now have a pile of rust and rot.

Last fall, I could only find two wheelbarrow handles, one at Lowes and one at TSC. I bought the one at TSC and took it to Lowes. Nope, they did not match. The guy's comment of "but, it's close" did not sway me. At both places, a single handle was $17.50 + tax.

Remember? I have all sorts of gift cards. One is from Lowes. So, on  the off-chance that wheelbarrow handles had come in, I checked. Lo and behold, handles came in. At this point I suppose everyone is buying handles to repair their wheelbarrows since it is cold outside. I chose two handles.

My plans
The surface needs to be sanded to get off whatever was put on the handles to finish the wood surface. After that I will put on boiled linseed or tung oil. Since I am not sure which will protect better, I need more research unless one of you know.

If I can paint over the new finish I use, I will paint them a pretty color. Then, I need to mark where the wheelbarrow and the wheels will be attached. Remember, I am not so educated in the makings of wheelbarrows.

Hopefully, next I can get the metal wheelbarrow part off the broken handles and discard the wood. Maybe I can sand the metal by myself. Otherwise, I will need some help. A pink metal body will be pretty. We will see.

If the wheel is still good, I will try screwing the wheel braces on and the metal body attached. The metal body has a rolled edge, which I am told is a good and rare component. The metal body is so heavy and very deep. But, this will be difficult for me to work with as I try to repair my $5 wheelbarrow. This will be stronger and cheaper than a sturdy, new wheelbarrow.

Oh, one last thing. There is a wedge of wood between the handles and the metal body. No one seems to know what I am talking about. A picture of these wedges and measurement will go to the guy at the hardware store who does my wood things for me--small cuts so I can continue with my simple projects.

I know a guy of moderate skills and strength or a woman who did this stuff easily could fix this in one day. I have obstacles to overcome, so we will see how long it takes.

Oh, one guy at a store said, "Why don't you just buy this little $10 wheelbarrow? The plastic won't rust or rot. Plus, it will be cheaper for you. It will be good for you."

"It will be good for you." Translation: "you will not need anything heavy duty because you are a disabled girl who never does anything that will be heavy." ...... Grrrr I do find guys who will help and are grateful to have the proper equipment or tool.

New handles: $12.50. I wonder why they are cheaper this year. ???

Two eggs
One dream.

Your turn
Should I use tung oil or boiled linseed oil on the bare wood of the handles? Does your wheelbarrow have a wedge of wood between handles and metal body?


  1. Good luck. I would opt for linseed oil - mainly because I don't know anything about tung oil. So basically ignore me.

  2. Clever and frugal rules once again.

    But, I'm kind of with the guy and the plastic wheelbarrow.

    1. Plastic does not fare well with UV rays. Besides, the wheelbarrow is not for me. It is for guys who would put heavy stuff in it and abuse it, too.

  3. I would keep your eyes pealed for a cheap one at a garage sale.
    We still have salt and shovels out at the stores around here. I wish it was warm enough for wheel-barrels here.

    1. Sonya Ann,,
      Yard sale wheel barrows are not cheap around here. Everybody is a real gardener or hangs onto things. The $5 wheelbarrow I bought is as cheap as they come.

      I am still wondering about the tung oil and boiled linseed oil.

      My snow shovel has not made it out of the basement since 1993. I hope never to have to buy another.

    2. I wish that my shovel hadn't seen the light of day for over 20 years. It was a bunch of heavy snow this year. Blech.
      How is your car doing?

    3. Sonya Ann,
      I was musing that the light had not come on for a few days. Or, maybe it happens so often that the light flash seems normal now. I decided last week to take it to the radiator shop this week. Thanks for asking.

  4. either will work just fine. If in doubt and you have both, do one with one oil and the other with the other oil and see which works better.

  5. Gill,
    I don't have either right now. So, I only want to buy one time. Once it is applied, it won't come off. It soaks in and dries. I used linseed oil long ago. I am so afraid it will combust that I gave it away when I finished using the little bit I needed. Thanks.


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