Finished my M3A4 Hand Cart

WW1 & 2 Hand Carts Any Country NO EBAY OR COMMERCIAL SALES
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Andy Cole
Sergeant Major of the Gee
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Posts: 479
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:36 am
Location: North Carolina

Finished my M3A4 Hand Cart

Post by Andy Cole » Thu Mar 16, 2023 8:18 am

I have hunted a WWII handcart for years. Meaning, it was always on the radar. About 5-6 years ago I made a facebook post asking my family and friends to be on the lookout for one as well. You know, flea markets, yard sales, and even the scrap yard.
Those of you with facebook know that each day you can see your “memories” which are posts that you made on that certain date for each year of your account.
Well, each year, when my request would pop up in my memories I would repost it.
Lo and behold after 5 years someone actually saw my post and recognized the sample photos that were in it. It turned out that they had recently bought a new (to them) house and when they moved in, there was a rattle little old trailer behind the barn. They were actually going to haul it to the dump until they saw my post. I was super excited! I tried to buy it from them, they wouldn’t accept any money. I tried to give them some gift cards to their favorite restaurants and they wouldn’t take them. I explained to them that the cart was indeed desirable and had value. They finally “let” me pay them with a quart of honey from my bees.
I picked it up in October. It looked like it had been stood on it’s bottom and propped up against the cinder block building and the grass burned under it. It was charred and sooty, and the bottom of the tires had been cooked to the point of blistering. I didn’t care. It was awesome!

Here are some pics of how I got it.
Image

Image

It had undergone some mild “Bubbafication” by having the original lunette ring cut off, and those plates welded to it so that it could be pinned to a lawn mower. It was also missing the drawbar and had some incorrect hardware. Ya’ll know by now that I am chea…..er,ugh,…frugal. I don’t buy things that I think I can make. There are reproduction parts available for these…..nope….I made them from scratch..

The tongue had been shortened when they cut the lunette off. I dismantled the cart and cut the tongue and spliced in a new piece of tubing under the bottom where any imperfections are less likely to be seen. I also used dimensions and photos provided by other forum members to make a new lunette ring and drawbar.

Image

The original center of the crossbar was cast. This started off as 10 individual pieces. I lightly tacked the pieces together with a MIG welder, then brazed it solid. I left it rough so as to appear cast under the paint.

Image

Here are the finished pics....

Image

Image

Image
1943 Willys MB285433 D.O.D. 12-3-1943
1951 M100 trailer D.O.D. 3/51
1951 M37 Truck D.O.D. 5-28-1951
M3 37MM ATG
M3A4 Hand Cart
Wife D.O.Delivery 7-21-1979
Boy D.O.Delivery. 2-15-2007
Girl D.O.Delivery. 4-9-2009
Girl D.O.Delivery. 10-23-2012


Steve Webb
G-General
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Location: Fort Myers, Florida

Re: Finished my M3A4 Hand Cart

Post by Steve Webb » Thu Mar 16, 2023 3:35 pm

To steal a quote from Topkick. "Outstanding"
Stand for the Flag, Kneel for the Cross Psalm 55; 9-11

70th Division
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Posts: 5680
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Re: Finished my M3A4 Hand Cart

Post by 70th Division » Tue Mar 21, 2023 11:05 am

Andy Cole wrote:
Thu Mar 16, 2023 8:18 am
I have hunted a WWII handcart for years. Meaning, it was always on the radar. About 5-6 years ago I made a facebook post asking my family and friends to be on the lookout for one as well. You know, flea markets, yard sales, and even the scrap yard.
Those of you with facebook know that each day you can see your “memories” which are posts that you made on that certain date for each year of your account.
Well, each year, when my request would pop up in my memories I would repost it.
Lo and behold after 5 years someone actually saw my post and recognized the sample photos that were in it. It turned out that they had recently bought a new (to them) house and when they moved in, there was a rattle little old trailer behind the barn. They were actually going to haul it to the dump until they saw my post. I was super excited! I tried to buy it from them, they wouldn’t accept any money. I tried to give them some gift cards to their favorite restaurants and they wouldn’t take them. I explained to them that the cart was indeed desirable and had value. They finally “let” me pay them with a quart of honey from my bees.
I picked it up in October. It looked like it had been stood on it’s bottom and propped up against the cinder block building and the grass burned under it. It was charred and sooty, and the bottom of the tires had been cooked to the point of blistering. I didn’t care. It was awesome!

Here are some pics of how I got it.
Image

Image

It had undergone some mild “Bubbafication” by having the original lunette ring cut off, and those plates welded to it so that it could be pinned to a lawn mower. It was also missing the drawbar and had some incorrect hardware. Ya’ll know by now that I am chea…..er,ugh,…frugal. I don’t buy things that I think I can make. There are reproduction parts available for these…..nope….I made them from scratch..

The tongue had been shortened when they cut the lunette off. I dismantled the cart and cut the tongue and spliced in a new piece of tubing under the bottom where any imperfections are less likely to be seen. I also used dimensions and photos provided by other forum members to make a new lunette ring and drawbar.

Image

The original center of the crossbar was cast. This started off as 10 individual pieces. I lightly tacked the pieces together with a MIG welder, then brazed it solid. I left it rough so as to appear cast under the paint.

Image

Here are the finished pics....

Image

Image

Image

Hello Andy,

WoW !!

What a great restoration you have done with your hand cart :D :D !
It is beautiful, and what a great story on how you were able to find and recover it before it was sent to the dump .

I am sure others would like to get a copy of that "cast" part you made , excellent work !



Best Regards,
Ray
Last edited by 70th Division on Tue Mar 21, 2023 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

70th Division
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Posts: 5680
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:29 pm
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Re: Finished my M3A4 Hand Cart

Post by 70th Division » Tue Mar 21, 2023 11:06 am

Andy,

What is your next project , with your skills you can restore anything ?

Best Regards,
Ray

TonyC
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Location: Guernsey

Re: Finished my M3A4 Hand Cart

Post by TonyC » Tue Mar 21, 2023 2:44 pm

Andy

That is a handcart that anyone would be proud to own.
1942 GPW 16369
1944 MB 331575 (Ex British Army)
1943 MB-T Tandem 25504
1943 Converto 0650875

bugcape
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Re: Finished my M3A4 Hand Cart

Post by bugcape » Wed Aug 23, 2023 3:31 am

Andy,
Clearly you know your way around the shop. That really is some amazing fabrication work.
I had the fortune of meeting the M3A4 parts manufacturing guru, Ed Snyder, at his work
shop in Quakertown. There's no doubt he too would be mightily impressed with the details.
We salute you on your efforts and offer you an official ATTABOY! Wear it with pride. :D
Da Gas Man
Da Gas Man

Hammerhead
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Posts: 929
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 6:13 pm
Location: Missouri

Re: Finished my M3A4 Hand Cart

Post by Hammerhead » Wed Apr 10, 2024 6:03 am

GREAT story and restoration! Another piece of History saved! Thanks for posting.
1943 White M-3 Halftrack, 1944 CCKW 353, 1945 MB, 1944 Bantam T3,
1945 Ben-Hur 1-ton trailer, MVPA 12610, NRA Life Member


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