MALAWI CART 2002 PHOTO UPDATE

1. 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.
2. Stand 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 stiffer joint.
3. 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.
4. 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 for repairs.
5. 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.
6. 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.]
7. 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 this prototype.
8. 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.
 

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