Fed up of lugging stuff around on site? How about building your own hover trolley to take the load off? Nick Chan at HiKOKI Power Tools shows you how.
Materials you’ll need:
- 1 sheet of ¾-inch plywood
(get the cheapest you can find; quality is not an issue)
- 1 leaf blower (gas or electric)
- 1 heavy-duty shower curtain
- 2 rolls of duct tape
- A dowel
- And a selection of your favourite tools and fasteners
Cut a 4 x 3ft rectangle from the plywood. Position the extendible pan connector centrally at the back of the rectangle, trace around the nozzle and cut a hole to match so it will fit tightly.
Next make the skirt. Lay your shower curtain down flat and place the plywood rectangle on top. Fold the shower curtain up and around the edges of the plywood and use a staple gun to secure it all along the perimeter of the circle. Cut off the excess curtain and seal the edge, all the way around, with duct tape. Make it airtight. Don’t skimp.
On the underside of the plywood rectangle, screw a rectangle of spare wood in the centre to hold down the shower curtain. Cut a ring of six 2-inch holes in the curtain, all a couple of inches from the wood. The air escaping from the shower curtain “pillow” will be the cushion that puts the hover in your craft.
Next, we need to build the structure for the handle for the trolley. I used what I had available, some leftover pallet wood from a deck chair build and some OSB. By screwing these together it gave me the familiar look of a heavy duty trolley. I then measured the dowel, cut it to length and screwed it between the 2 uprights. I made sure that the dowel could rotate as this will come in handy later.
We now need to secure the leaf blower and connect its nozzle to the extendible pan connector. With securing the leaf blower, again I used what I had at hand, so some wrist straps from old drills and some marker board brackets to apply some downward force to the blower. But you can use whatever you have available, including wildly wrapping duct tape round the blower.
Next you’ll need to create a throttle. You could always mount the blower higher so you pull the trigger and push it at the same time, but where’s the fun in that! Using a eyelet and some string, I tied a simple slip knot around the trigger, then fed it through the eyelet which is secured into one of the uprights. I then drilled a hole through the dowel handle, passed the string through it and secured the string with a few knots. Now if you twist the dowel it should pull the trigger. It might be worth securing one side of the string with a strip of tape so it stays in the optimum position on the trigger.
Now you’re ready to fire it up. When loading, try to keep the weight evenly distributed, so stack items (or people) centrally. We gave this a test in our warehouse and managed to push over 200kg of nails with relative ease.
Remember, this is just a fun project and you should always follow manual handling regulations on your building site.