PVC Dog Cart

ciano_cart.jpg - 36770 Bytes

Original Cart plans by Michael Marcus of the Columbia River Newfoundland Club
Pictured cart adapted and constructed by Angie Meroshnekoff.

It all started with a quest for a cart I could lift by myself, and transport - along with a Great Pyrenees and necessary equipment - in the back of a Saturn Station Wagon. The dog barrier behind the front seat limited the total length of anything I loaded.

I found Michael Marcus' plans for a PVC cart on Warrick Wilson's carting page. Visiting a local hardware store, I discovered [*] furniture grade PVC pipe. It is Schedule 40 (the heavy stuff), is UV-resistant and comes in 3/4 and 1-1/4 inch diameters. It also comes with fittings no sane plumber would use, but they make wonderful furniture. The pipe itself comes in 5-ft lengths, so I wouldn't need a truck to haul it. I already had plenty of wheelchair wheels (my son wears out chairs almost as fast as we can buy them) so I selected a 26-inch diameter set that had bearings and nuts intact. For a smaller dog, twenty-inch front bicycle wheels work very well.

Parts list

Total cost, without the wheels, about $35.00

[*] PVC mfg by Available Plastics Inc,
5020 Beechmont Dr NE
Huntsville, AL 35811-9309
Phone 256/859-4957

Making the Frame

In general, we followed Michael's plans for the base. The 90-degree "Y" pieces were substituted for the tees at the corners. The upright opening of the 90-degree piece would allow for the front and back to slip into place. The base was also made a little bit wider than the original design so it could hold our exercise pens lying flat.

pvcbott.jpg - 27550 Bytes The bottom assembled (seen from the bottom after attaching a piece of peg-board to the topside for flooring)
Before assembling the center cross piece, Angie put the Tees on the drill press and, using a bit the same size as the exterior of the smaller PVC pipe, drilled through the outside of each Tee. Some round-rasping smoothed the edges. The smaller pipe was threaded through one Tee, through the larger pipe (which had already been cut to size) and through the opposite Tee. The smaller pipe was sawed off not-quite-flush (we left about 1/4 inch extending) and the pieces were glued. After drying, the excess- less than 1/16th of an inch on each side - was filed off

Here's a picture of the Tee with the cross member and insert glued in place Outside of Tee with smaller pipe glued in place
Axle inserted in place The threaded rod had to have a small amount cut off one end because of damaged threads, but except for that, we used the whole 36 inches. It slips easily into the 3/4 inch interior pipe. (The axle isn't hollow; that's just a reflection from the grease.)
A large washer and spacer were used to give the wheel room to rotate without rubbing. Axle ready for the wheel
Now we're ready for the front part.