MALAWI CART 2002 PHOTO UPDATE
Mr. Chika Muchogho (in cart), the Malawi Handcart Project’s only paid
employee, demonstrating the
Malawi Cart at Meeting of the Malawi Congress Party at the Natural
Resources College, Lilongwe, Malawi in June of 2002.
of the Mark II version. It is
now screwed directly to the rear end of the chassis, as opposed to the
rear of the body on the Mark I version.
This not only allows it to be used without the body, but also with
other bodies. In addition
this design is more rigid and sturdier.
Note: The pattern of screws holding the catch-plate has been
changed since this photo was taken, to two staggered rows, so as to make a
Front inside corner detail, showing the three long bolts (actually 7”
bicycle rear axles, nuts and washers) fastening the joint. The bolts were positioned in this pattern so that the bolt
nearest the end of the plank would be less likely to split the wood, as it
is in the middle of the plank. If
it was near the corner of the plank, the compressive force would tend to
split the corner. It is
possible that only two bolts would suffice.
However as the axles are sold by the dozen at a discount, it seems
worthwhile to spread the load and employ three per corner.
To ensure that the inner nut on each bolt does not loosen, the
washer and nut are first screwed onto the axle-bolt as far as they can go.
Then that end of the axle is pounded with a hammer so as to deform
the threads or the end of the bolt so that when the nut is screwed out to
the end, it is an interference fit, and will not loosen.
The bolt is then inserted into the frame joint from the inside, and
the outside washer and nut are threaded in place.
Front top corner detail of Mark II Malawi Cart. Note that 2 ½” wood screws are screwed into the spacer blocks,
and not into the wheel bearers.
Also, the design has been changed so that the outer wheel bearer
is made to project about ½” at each end, so as to enable it to be
more easily removed by hammering on it to allow the wheel to be removed
Front bottom corner detail of Mark II Malawi Cart. Note that fewer screws are used than on the top, as the
bottom transverse member bears no weight.
The screws have been positioned so as not to hit the through bolts
fastening the wheel bearers and their spacer blocks together.
The front of the Mark II-b version, showing the triangular gusset screwed
to the front sidewall of the body. It
function is to resist outward forces and keep the front of the sidewall
from bending outwards. Any
outward movement of the top of the sidewall will be resisted by the gusset
pushing down on the top of the crossbar of the joint it is resting on. The
earlier model had two vertical battens on each side, extending down to the
bottom of the chassis frame. (See the photos of the 2000 “Livingstonia
Cart.”) They not only resisted the outward forces on the sidewalls by
pushing on the frame, but also served to locate the body laterally on the
frame. They have been removed
from this prototype. Their removal substantially increases the wheel clearance,
allowing for a considerable wobble of the rim before the wheel rubs on the
cart body. [Note: If the rear as well as the front of the body is made
removable, with a sliding gate, then triangular gussets must be placed at
the rear corners as well as the front corners.]
Bottom view of the Mark II-b Malawi Cart.
Note the longitudinal cleat clench-nailed to (each side of) the
bottom of the body. These two
cleats serve to laterally locate the cart body.
Also, note (two of the four) swivel catches serving to attach the
body to the chassis. They are
best bolted to the floor of the body, although screws were employed in
Two methods of affixing the handles to the rear sidewalls of the Mark II
cart body. The former method
was by three bolts (bicycle rear brake bell-crank bolts and nuts). The improved method is via four rear wheel chain adjuster
bolts and two 4” nails. The
nails pass through the handle, and through the eyes of the chain adjuster
bolts, much more securely clamping the handle to the sidewall than the
earlier bolt pattern. The
rectangular washers and nuts that come with these bolts are all readily
(inexpensively) available from market vendors selling bicycle spares.