Wheelbarrow chair

By Ray Ford

How one cottager lounges after lugging


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I’ve always liked the concept of a wheelbarrow,” says Dave Seeley, who cottages on the Muskoka River. “I just don’t like the way it’s usually tied in with work.” In response, Seeley built a more relaxing take on the implement: the “barrowchair.” Part wheelbarrow, part Muskoka chair, it allows you to wheel to a pleasant perch while carting along books, snacks, potables, and collections of Cottage Life.

“I hoard things, and every once in a while I’ll say: ‘I’ve got all this stuff. I’d better build something out of it,’” says Seeley, citing the chair as a benefit of the cottage tendency to accrue useful items (or junk, depending on your perspective).

The chair’s back and seat are made from extra pine boards from a fencing project. The handles are cut from 2x8s. The paint is leftover John Deere green from a friend who had a half-can of the stuff he didn’t want. Seeley plucked the old iron barrow wheel from an east-end Hamilton ditch, where “it must have fallen off the back of a scrap truck,” he says. “I probably had to buy a box of screws, but my whole investment was under twenty dollars.”

About the size of a contractor’s wheel­barrow, the chair is small enough to roll through a 34″ door. “I’ve built Muskoka chairs, and the barrowchair takes about as long to make,” he adds. “It will handle quite a load. If you want, you can load it up with coolers and wine bottles and cart them around.”

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Ray Ford