Build a Pony Cart Techniques Can Apply to Carts for Dog, Goat, and Donkey Carts

Learning how to build a pony cart can be a great rewarding experience. If you’re not accustomed to the transcendent experience of creating things with your own two hands you may be surprised how satisfying it can be to create something as simple as a pony cart.

Pony Cart for Bug Out

Photo courtesy of Christa Richert

Not only that, but once you learn how to build a cart, you will have the knowledge necessary to create a donkey cart, goat cart or even a dog cart, any of which could be useful in a walking bug out. Just imagine how much easier it would be to haul a gallon of water and a few extras, if you didn’t have to carry it all on your back.

Getting Started

If you’re going to build a pony cart you’ll need to decide on what kind you want to build first. Do you want one of those old side by side carts like the chariots the Romans used in the movie Ben Hur? You can also build a more traditional cart. Pony carts have been around for centuries and originally they were used on farms to carry around people’s belongings, household goods, farm implements, and things like hay and grains. To build a pony cart then was a simple process and still is today.


Build a Pony Cart, or Dog, Goat, or Donkey Cart

The following instructions are for a simple cart using many items that can be found around the home. That should limit your trips to the hardware store which will keep your costs down. Here’s how to build a pony cart:

  1. The axel: Measure the hole in the wheel then find a metal pole or pipe that will fit in the hole. It shouldn’t fit so tightly that it can’t turn. It the pole is too small the wheel will wobble, so it has to be just right. Thread the pole on each end.
  2. Insert the pole into the tire. To hold the wheel on put a washer on the inside of the wheel then thread a nut on the end of the pole.
  3. Put the other washer on the pole then slip the other tire on the pole. Now finish by putting the nut on the threaded end of the pole. As it stands the tires will be able to touch each other but when you put the cart on the wheels will separate.
  4. Now you need a wooden crate that is proportional to the wheels. You can find crates at marinas, sea ports or large department stores. If you have to you can buy one online or make one yourself.
  5. Cut three 2-inch by 2-inch wooden strips that are the length of the crate. Drill holes in the crate and attach the strips but do not tighten yet. The holes should be cut in the front, center, and bottom of the crate.
  6. Place the crate on the axel between the tires placing the axel slightly off center. You don’t want the cart to drag on the ground while it’s being pulled.
  7. Spread the three 2 by 2 inch strips out so the ends line up with the axle, putting one strip on either end of the axle next to the tires and one in the middle of the crate. Drill holes all the way through where the strips, the axle and the crate meet.
  8. Bolt the crate with the 2 by 2 strips to the axle tightening all bolts.
  9. To make the shafts of the cart saw the ends off two brooms making sure they are the same length.
  10. Drill 2 holes through the ends of the broom handles and through the crate. Bolt the broom handles to the cart.
  11. The broom handle shafts need to be long enough so that when the cart is hooked up to the pony the pony is not too close to the cart. He has to have room to maneuver. The size of the pony will determine the length of the shafts.
  12. Shafts need to be long enough that the cart is not right up next to the back of the pony. The size of the pony will determine how long the shafts need to be.

A Rewarding Experience

If you’re looking for a fun project that can be done cheaply and is not too time consuming you should build a pony cart. Not only is it fun it can be useful. You don’t have to be an experienced woodworker either. Most everything you need can be found around the house. If you do need to go to the hardware store your cost will be minimal. The process is simple and can easily be done in a single afternoon even if you want to paint it or stain the wood.

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