In this cart design, the guns actually sit in front of the storage areas, which are accessible from the rear of the cart when the guns are in the rack. We need to fabricate a spacer/holder for the guns when in the cart. To make mine (Photo B), I used a scrap of 1x4 and 5 3-inch lengths of wood dowel, but any piece of wood left over will suffice. I drilled 1/2" holes in the 1x4, then glued in the dowel pieces. Then, I anchored that assembly to the front of the upper storage box with some glue and deck screws (1 1/4"). Since I plan to tack on some kind of protective covering at a later date to protect the guns in transit (probably 1/2" rubber hose), I left generous spacing for the guns. I use a bungi cord across the front of the pegs to secure the load, and haven't had a spill yet.
My cart has one option, a lid for the top compartment. You should have enough of the 1x10 left over to make one. I chiseled out the lip so the lid would sit tight on the top and be more waterproof in case of a sudden shower. If you use an oversized board, you will have a lip that hangs over the front of the box to help you raise and lower the lid. You only need 1/2" overhang for the lid to be functional. I used the 12-inch piano hinge to secure the lid.
Each side gets a washer, then the wheel and another washer before the hex nut goes on. Don't tighten the hex nut too much, you want the wheels to turn freely. Depending on the thickness of your wheels, you may want to trim the length of the axle to suit your taste.
In order to make the cart fairly level, you will need to attach something to the front of the cart to compensate for the distance the wheels lift the bottom off the ground. I like to use scaps of 3/4" plywood for this piece if you use only one in the front, but if you use one on each side you can get pretty creative with scrap lumber. Make sure about 2 inches of the support are attached firmly to the cart. Here again, depending on your budget, you could buy metal brackets, etc., for front supports if you desired to. Let creativity be your muse.
A handle will complete the project, and it's only purpose is to make the cart easy to move. I have used pieces of old lawn mower handles, gas pipe and wood handles on carts, all with good success. Our plan calls for two 2-foot pieces of 1/2 by 4 inch red oak, and a piece of closet pole. The closet pole should be cut square on each end at 16 inches. Find the center of the two pieces of red oak, and about 2 inches from the end drill a 1/2 inch hole. Next, line up the end of the pole so it is centered in that hole in the red oak, and drill a hole 1 inch deep. Cut a piece of 1/2 inch wood dowel about 1 1/2" long, and put a smidge of glue down in the hole you drilled in the closet pole end. Don't be sloppy with the glue; no glue should be on the end of the pole. Put the dowel in the hole. Repeat on the other end.
You should now have a closet pole piece with two nubs sticking out the ends. Place those nubs in the holes you drilled near the ends of the red oak pieces, and you have a handle sub assembly. Using basic trial and error and a couple of deck screws, move the handle around on the cart until you find a position that will be comfortable to maneuver the cart. Try it with guns it in to make sure; now is the time for trial and error. After you find a favorable position for the handle, you may want to clean up the front ends of the handle to fit smoothly with the lines of the cart. Here again, it is a matter of personal preference and taste. I use the slight overhang on the front of the handles on my cart to attach stuff like scopes and cleaning rods with extra bungi cords.
You now have a serviceable skirmishing cart that will serve you well in the future. You can finish or stain the cart as you like, I imagine we'll see a few painted and marked like limbers in a very short time. I hope this little summer project was useful for you, and your cart helps you shoot happier if not better. Until the next time, promote responsible gun ownership, shoot safe, and have fun.
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