Restoring a slightly abused cart

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Restoring a slightly abused cart

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    07-06-2012, 04:40 PM
Restoring a slightly abused cart

Hello all,
I bought a cart last summer and had many happy hours with my little guy pulling it. In the fall, it was stuck in the corner of a barn and left for several months. I would like to get back to driving but want to get the rust off the cart and keep it in good condition. Any suggestions for removing rust and then, I don't know, maybe using a sealant or something to keep it rust free? Any particular product work good for anybody? I'm not showing, so it doesn't have to be beautiful, but I want it to last a long time. Thanks!
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    07-06-2012, 05:03 PM
I just use a wire brush on my cordless drill. Wipe with paint thinner then apply Tremclad or Rustoleum. Both controll further rusting. Watch that neither brand is water based, a newer product. It's the fish oil in the others that helps prevent the rust.
    07-06-2012, 06:24 PM
Green Broke
Careful not to inhale the paint dust, could have lead in it!
EvilHorseOfDoom likes this.
    07-07-2012, 01:53 PM
Lead was removed from paints years ago.
    07-07-2012, 02:46 PM
Check the Mechanicals

You will want to pull and grease the wheels, check and tighten the nuts and bolts over the whole vehicle to keep it safe. Moisture can collect in the hubs, no grease, so you tear up the axle or lose bearings. Loose bolts can finish working loose, make big wallered out (technical term!) holes so parts give way while being used!!

Just tipping the cart up to view and test the nuts on bolts for tightness, is a big step forward in being safe.

Just guessing, but cart is probably an inexpensive metal one, bike tires like in many sale catalogs? They are very cheaply made, so you really want to look at things close to prevent problems. You can easily tighten things down as you look them over. Wheels come off fairly easy, need the hubs and bearings to have LOTS of grease to prevent metal wearing down as it rubs together. Check air in tires, should give you numbers on the sides of tire for inflation level.

Go over your harness, add some conditioner if leather, to keep it soft and pliable to buckle things. Check all folds for wear, cracks, dry, probably need to be replaced before they break. I use leather conditioners, NEVER use Neatsfoot oil because it is so harsh on leather. NOT what your Grampa used to use!

Synthetic harness needs you to open and shut each buckle, check for wear in the folds, before using. All folded places need checking for wear that can break on you. Worn places need attention from the harness repair person, maybe replacement to prevent breaking. Usually cleaned easily with just some Ivory liquid dish soap, soft brush on dirt, with a good rinse to remove soap. Hang to dry. NO conditioners, which will actually damage many of the synthetic products.

I do not recommend using any snaps on harness, they are cast metal and often break under very little pull. All harness parts should be removed from cart after each use, so you TOUCH them to feel any wear points.

This total checkover of harness and cart is recommended each year or if you haven't used them for a while. You can't just put them away and expect them to stay greasy, usable with no attention over time. Leather in particular is subject to breakage from wear, mouse chewing, dirt wear on stitching, so you need to look it over closely. One part failing, can lead to other parts breaking in stress, so then there is a "Driving accident" with your equine, that didn't need to happen.

Be safe by going over things before hitching, so your driving time is ALL fun.

Sorry, no help with rust and paint choices to get the shine back on. Cordless drill and wire wheel for rust sounds good. You DO want to wear some kind of mask and safety glasses when removing paint so you don't breathe it in. Same with painting new stuff on. Even with new paints, the tiny pieces dry or new paint drops will get in the air to get breathed in. That air laden stuff gets into your lungs to coat it. Doesn't work out easily. Prevent the problem with a mask for removal and painting times.
    07-07-2012, 03:07 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
Lead was removed from paints years ago.

Yes lead was removed from paint years ago, but who knows how old the cart is?

Plus paints from other countries are not always up to US regulations. Who knows where the cart is from of what country it was made in.

I would not want to take any chances.
    07-13-2012, 02:44 AM
Ditto on the lead thing - we knew a pregnant woman who lost her baby because she became ill from lead paint while restoring an old cot. If you must, wear a proper dust mask (not the cheapies), spray the work area with water intermittently, wear gloves and have a shower after working. I've had mild lead poisoning before from working with lead solder in an area that wasn't well-ventilated - it is no fun at all, and the lead remains in your system.

Good luck, have fun and stay safe!
Taffy Clayton likes this.
    07-15-2012, 04:52 PM
What kind of cart do you have? Sounds like an easy entry type?

Electric sander and rustoleum - that's what I did for mine - kept it going for over a decade. I've since up graded to a trail cart that is a little bigger and fancier (once I knew that the driving wasn't just a phase

Enlist the help of another driving friend or look up your local driving club and go watch a show. Get to know some folks and find out who they use for trainers, etc. Unless you train horses yourself, you'll want to get some help.

Some horses can be driving in 15 minutes and never make a wrong move and yet others aren't 'settled' enough to take to the cart until they are teenagers. And some of my best driving horses were teenagers when they started driving, too, I might add.

I break/train my own horses and also teach them to drive (well, the ones that have the right 'stuff between the ears' that is) and LOVE it. I currently only have one who drives right now (my half Welsh) but I've already begun ground driving and dragging things with my big 16hh foxtrotter.

He's coming along slowly - most definitely not the one who picks it up in 15 minutes - he's probably going to be the one that needs weeks and months of practice. But he is a dead broke, solid and safe animal under saddle so once he realizes the cart isn't going to eat him, we will be home free.

Lot's of patience and time. Find someone who has done this a bunch of times and enlist their help. I say start a progress blog and have some fun with it!
    07-21-2012, 08:18 AM
Ilove, when are we going to see pics of this cart? We're waiting, Lol.
    07-21-2012, 08:46 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
Ilove, when are we going to see pics of this cart? We're waiting, Lol.

Yea, I was thinking the same thing.

cart care

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