September 10, 2011
zen and the art of wheelbarrow maintenance
The two communal wheelbarrows at our community garden plot were in need of repair: flat tires, loose and rusty hardware, and wood handles that gave me splinters just looking at them. So I took some time to fix them up today. I stained the wood to protect it, greased all the hardware and axles, and inflated the flat tires. So gratifying to get things working again!
One of the tires was tubeless, which seems to trouble many wheelbarrow enthusiasts, including me. I tried applying dish soap to the bead and a compression strap (belt, bungee cord, or rope would work too) around the circumference to press the bead to the rim, but it still didn't hold air. I ended up using some silicone adhesive sealant leftover from another project around the rim (rubber cement may work also). In conjunction with the compression strap, this worked!
Installing a tube would have been a last resort solution.