After the excitement of killing a deer subsides, you’re left with the hard work of getting your meat out of the woods. A game cart makes that task much simpler, while also reducing the risk of injuring yourself. For less money than you might spend on a commercial cart, you can build your own that weighs less than 25 pounds but will carry more than 200 pounds of venison. Materials for this model, which folds flat enough to fit in the trunk of a car, cost about $100.
Step 1: Cut and Fit Pipe and Conduit
The rigidity of the cart comes from ¾-inch galvanized conduit fitted inside plastic PVC pipe. Using 90-degree PVC elbows, T-connectors, and cross connectors, construct the lower and upper portions of the cart to the dimensions you prefer, but keep it in the basic L-shape you see in the cart photo at the top of the page. My handle section measured about 40 inches by 17 inches.
Step 2: Add Axle and Handle
Cut a piece of ½-inch round bar stock long enough to extend past the cart to accommodate the 15-inch wheelbarrow wheels. I used pieces of ½-inch PVC pipe as spacers between the frame and the wheel. Drill holes ½ inch from each end of the axle for the pins that will secure the wheels. Add a washer to the axle shaft. The handle is made from ¾-inch conduit wrapped in foam pipe insulation.
Step 3: Add U-Brackets
The upper frame connects to the lower frame with ½-inch galvanized conduit. These metal arms give the cart rigidity and strength. Homemade U-brackets serve as connection points for the arms. Make the brackets by bending 4-inch pieces of 1-inch flat bar stock into U shapes. Then bolt the brackets into PVC T-connectors and drill holes to receive pins.
Step 4: Glue, Paint, and Add Wheels
Once you have the dimensions and fit you desire, glue all the PVC pipes together using plastic adhesive. Paint with body primer. Mount the wheels on the axle, then secure them in place with spring-loaded pins. Pin the metal arms in place in the U-brackets. These pins can be removed to slide out the wheels and lower the arms, letting your cart fold flat for transport.
|**Item Description **||Cost (Each)||Quantity||Total|
|1″ PVC Pipe (10′)||$2.69||3||$8.07|
|½” PVC Pipe (10′)||$1.56||1||$1.56|
|1″ PVC T-Connectors||$0.77||12||$9.24|
|1″ PVC Cross Connectors||$2.66||6||$15.96|
|1″ PVC Plugs||$0.90||6||$5.40|
|1″ PVC Caps||$0.66||6||$4.62|
|¾” Electrical Conduit EMT (10′)||$3.12||2||$6.24|
|½” Electrical Conduit EMT (10′)||$1.56||1||$1.56|
|½” Round Bar Stock (36″)||$6.52||1||$6.52|
|5/16″ x 1″ flat bar stock (36″)||$4.60||1||$4.60|
|15″ Cart Wheels||$15.00||2||$30.00|
|¾” 90-degree EMT Connectors||$3.50||2||$7.00|
|¾” EMT Connectors||$1.10||2||$2.20|
*Prices may vary
The upper frame is 40 inches, and the lower frame is 18 inches. With the wheels on, the cart has a maximum height of about 48 inches and a length of about 26 inches. Some of that will depend on how the reader assembles the final cart, but those will be close. Weight depends on variable like tire brand, pipe density and even paint, but it should run about 40 pounds.