Box-Cart for a Grind Organ

by Wallace Venable

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Box-Cart for a Grind Organ
The "classic" cart for grind organs did not appeal to me for several reasons, the most important being that they look too much like prams and are too large to transport and store conveniently.  I decided on building a combination storage/transportation case and cart.

I have not given dimensions because each organ should have one custom made.  I started by constructing a box from light panelling plywood, salvaged from a redecorating job.  The framing is external, and the bottom panel is raised above the ground.  The wheels were originally designed for lawn mower use.  I added American circus style "Sunbursts" made from two layers of light plywood.  The axle is a ½ inch diameter steel rod which runs through holes in the box sides just below the floor.  The wheels are retained with washers and "hitch pin"steel clips.

The handle is made from a length of 1 inch dowel, drilled to take a reduced section of ½ inch dowel at each end, although the reduced diameter could have been turned down on a lathe.  These fit in holes in the side bars.  The side bars are held in place with home made hand-screws constructed from bolts and plywood knobs, and screw into what we call T-nuts in the USA (a sort-of threaded steel hole which jams itself into a hole in the wood).

I have not tried to match the case to the organ design. The box is painted in bright red, and I am decorating it with "old fashioned streamer trunk stickers", using scans of rally pins, etc. decoupaged in place where I cannot find them ready made.  I also have a minimal description of the organ fused to the box.

The job of getting the organ in and out of the box is greatly facilitated by a sling made from cloth and foam. This also provides some padding between the organ and box.

I have added a number of rings and hooks to the box so that I can transport some extras.  The red bag provides storage for the handles, parasol, and axle and carries the parasol in the field.  The black bag carries a folding chair.  In making the box large enough to accommodate the proscenium of the organ I ended up with "extra" space at the top which holds a tray big enough for about four rolls in Mel Wright boxes and the electrified monkey doll.  The box and bags fit nicely in the back of my Ford Escort station wagon (UK "estate") with plenty of room for luggage for two.

After lifting the organ, the box is flipped sideways and becomes a stand.  When set up the whole kit is easily moved over short distances, but if I was planning to be a wandering busker I'd change the handle geometry. Since the handles are easily moved, this would probably just mean adding a few more bolt holes and T-nuts.

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