Broomstick Chariot

The bike with te trailer and the dog on leash, with Aegean Sea in background.

So, it all started from making a bamboo trailer with our host. Then, as usual, I started thinking how to improve it. As I appreciate  what Carry Freedom does, I asked them for permission to play with their design. The answer was friendly: “Do what you have to do, we are with you”. So, here it is.

Bill of materials and budget:

  1. Two 21″ wheels, borrowed form our host. New axles, bearings, tubes: 18 Eur (new complete wheels would cost 50 Euro)
  2. Eight broom-handles 130 x 3 cm from gardening store: 18.40 Eur
  3. A pack of zip-ties: 4 Euro
  4. Screw clamps, 30 cm of steel plastic-coated cable, a shackle (my super-minimalist Witch Hitch): ~4 Euro
  5. Wheel brackets: four pieces of 5 x 25 cm 2 mm mild steel (zinc coated), manually bent, drilled and jigsaw cut (very crudely): 5 Euro
  6. Old tubes (joint liner), bracket tightening machine screws (4 pcs.) — reclaimed.

TOTAL: 49.40 Euro, one full day of work (including siesta nap in hammock).

Extras: baptizing of the chariot — 4.40 Eur (3 beers).

Grand Total: 53.80 Eur

Minimal tool set (assuming steel is cut to size already):

  • Jigsaw with steel-cutting blade
  • Drill with steel drill bit 9 mm
  • Knife
  • Pliers
  • Side cutters
  • Wrenches
  • Workbench
  • Clamps etc.
  • Frame squaring rig.

Thanks to good planning and squaring rig, I needed no help (as it happens with classic lashing, where you need extra hands to hold the knots).

See the photostory:

What else to do?

This version will be our main cargo transport for a while. I plan to do some upgrades, testing use of cardboard as a structural, waterproofed material:

  • Cargo platform floor and raised sides.
  • Cargo platform cover.
  • Mud-guards.
  • Folding support to keep trailer level, when unhitched.
  • Replace borrowed wheels with new pair (needs 50 Eur donation).
  • Antenna with a pennant.
  • Lights.

Next version, funding permitting, will be made of wooden square beams (3 x 3 cm), joined using xyz nodes. That one will be ready for sale both as kits and ready-made, acryl varnished and all. For community (group) orders, I hope to put CSM in action.

Meanwhile, have fun with the WitchMobile!

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1 Comment

  1. Construction update.

    After some road time there are two things I recommend:
    1. Replace zip-ties and rubber in the towbar nodes with straight nylon rope lashing. It cannot be too flexible.
    2. Turn the steel cable in WitchHitch 90* so the loop is vertical.
    See the picture for details.

    Soon I will also redesign the towbar working end node — it takes the most load and needs to be really strong.


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