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Author Topic: My Balloon Cart  (Read 4436 times)
WowzatheClown
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« on: December 01, 2010, 01:17:03 PM »

Like most twisters, I've struggled to find a suitable method of storage, organization and transport. I've tried a Twist 'Em Up apron, but was unsatisfied with the hook and loop strips. After consulting with folks here on the forum, I started using a Stanley rolling toolbox with PVC tubes to hold the balloons. I was happy with it, but loading the PVC took time, and there was setup and teardown involved at each event.

I recently came across the website for Apollo Balloon Carts (http://apolloballooncarts.com/) and decided I could build one myself. I took my Filbert pump, attached it to a plywood base and added wheels and a stopper to the base. I cut a second piece of plywood to a 16" circle, cut a circular hole in the center for the pump mechanism and attached it to the handle of the Filbert. I took a large storage bucket, cut a hole in the bottom and flipped it over to fit on the plywood circle. I cut an over-the-door shoe organizer and attached the pockets to the bucket. I added Ball plastic jars with twist-off lids to the top of the bucket. To finish it off, I added a PVC handle and two cabinet knobs so that I can remove the bucket for transport.

Total cost of the project was under $50. The bucket was on clearance at Walmart and I picked up the shoe organizer there as well. The wood, PVC, lawnmower wheels, 3/8" threaded rod (axle), pipe straps and various nuts and bolts were purchased at Lowe's. I used a jigsaw, drill, sander and Dremel rotary tool.

I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. If I was to do it over, I would have used larger wheels and mounted them so that the cart was a little more mobile. I also would have had the pockets custom-sewn so that it looked a little more professional.

I know that this seems like overkill, because each pocket will hold 100 balloons easily, but I love it for the ease of loading. I absolutely hated the constant re-stocking of my previous balloon cart. Now, I take a bag of balloons, get all the nozzles facing the same direction, fold the bundle in half and shove it in a pocket -- done. Hearts, Geos, and 321's are in the plastic jars.

Photos of the new cart, as well as my old set-up can be seen in the Balloons Album of the Photo Gallery on my website.

I'd love your impressions and feedback.

Rob
Wowza the Clown
Bubbles and Wowza, LLC
www.freewebs.com/bubblesandwowza
972-689-9780
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PrincessTwister
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2010, 02:29:44 PM »

I love ur idea.. looks organised... i wish i can do that.. Smiley so u can spin it right? It would be nice to have the 'cover' for all the pockets so the balloons won't drop when u carry them... Wink
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Nikolett
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2010, 02:32:49 PM »

Looks great!
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harold_a_shaver
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2010, 08:05:51 PM »

I made one about 3 years ago using a mac Pump in the Middle.

Mine was larger ( I am in the area where these carts have been used for several years) I hade a lady make the pockets ( 48 and twice the size)

So I was in under $200.

I have since retired the cart.  I use two different setups.

1)  A Stanley wheeled tool box from Homedepot $79
2)  2 Colossal Swifty Bags.



I am extremely happy with the swifty Bags.


With the cart you need a hatchback or need to use the passenger seat of your car. I have 2 Suburbans so it was not a big hassle for me...but I was not happy when i had to load it in our Lincoln.

The tool box is great. Rolls right in holds a ton....it has been rugged.

The Swifty bags holds 10k plus ...zips right up and I can make a quick get away!

The bag is so much easier when steps are involved.


The big draw back I had to the cart is kids wanting to hang on the cart or the pockets tearing them!

I also had issues when I would wheel the cart and hit ruts in the sidewalk  and forget gravel.
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2010, 12:59:00 AM »

I made a cart as well.  OK, The struggle (kind of a fun one really!) to find the "perfect" solution to transport and working with balloons is a constant with me....as it likely is with everyone!  I won't go through the progression, but basically RIGHT NOW I am using a beach cart that I got from a "clearance shop"  Here it is called "Tuesday Morning" and they have all the stuff that did not sell at other stores.  you can find a lot of funny and cool stuff there.  But I got this cart with big fat tires for about $40 and loaded it with a couple of Rubbermaid tubs.  this worked pretty well for a while  then I decided to make something a bit more sturdy (and that means.....HEAVY!  damn!)  so I went to my friend who has a FIRST CLASS wood shop and asked for his help.  the design is MINE, but the work is his.

My cart is modified with a couple of bicycle wheels used instead of the cheep crummy 6 inch wheels that it came with.  this raises the whole works a bit higher .  the box has a deep well at the rear that will fit 3 Twist-em-up roll up inserts (which I love!) or (I hope!) a Twist em up triple busking bag. (I am ordering one this week or next)  I can squeeze in 5 of the Inserts but 3 or 4 is easier to deal with. there is a shallow well for the small balloons which I keep in baggies, and I have a magnetic knife holder (Mag Block) to keep scissors and small metal stuff at hand.  The front well is covered with a hinged flap that when flipped open is a small working surface where I can drop the little stuff that I need, but can't hold in my hands.  the mag block is attached on the front of this flap.  I am thinking of adding a second mag block. they are just too stinking useful! 

Under this whole works are two shelves that will fit a total of 3 "Shoe Box" sterilite boxes (wal MArt $1 ea)  Right now the whole thing is unfinished and looks pretty good.  I don't carry a pump but may well have to at some point.  I carry a couple of the little pumps from qualitex and TWO of the red Qualitex pumps because one is modified for water to fill bases.

This whole thing carries about 2000 to 3000 balloons in the top "working" area and ....well a LOT in the storage shelves and all closes up neatly.  I can make ONE TRIP to and from venues most of the time.  I also have a pvc Tube attached to the rear of the cart that acts as a holder for my curling iron when working, or as a mount for my beach umbrella that I use in outdoor events and bright (hot) days.  sometimes for fun in indoor events with high ceilings.  I need to get a photo of it so you can see this work.  It is handy, and it works well for MOST venues.

But I think we need to have MULTIPLE solutions.  I have a single busking bag from Twist em up which has sort of been retired because it is simply too small for  my work these days.  So I am ordering the triple from Alan at Twist em up and a modified "holster" with 6 loops to augment my three loop holster that sees constant use now.

This is interesting!  Harold uses a LOT of stuff  COOL.  I am much slower, but I am good(er?  Hi Harold!   Grin   Just teasing ya bro!)  and the other pump cart looks cool too.  My problem is that most of the time, I CAN use the cart but sometimes, like today as an example, I need to carry my whole kit (or most of it) with me on a trip where the cart just won't make it!  I drive a Semi, and while I COULD (technically) have space....Uh, I really don't.  and I have TWO gigs in the next two days that are on my usual route.  I have a regular restaurant gig in a town where I usually spend the night  and on Tuesday I have a School gig that is right on my way home.  double dipping!  heh heh!  Paid to drive and paid to twist...i LIKE it!

Best to all of you!

Papa
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jillybilly1976
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2011, 07:53:40 AM »

I sit while I'm twisting so a large cart doesn't work for me. 

I recently upgraded to the largest plastic suitcase I could find $100 at Walmart.  I pack inside it on one side; my contraption I use for curling my balloons, my containers that hold my rounds and specials, my markers, my glow sticks, my tip jar and my balloon bracelets.  On the other side I pack my menu board and stand, my table cloth, a collapsible table (those ones meant to slide under the couch when your not using them) and a folding stool.  Both sides close independently with mesh dividers and when I don't have any display pieces I put my mesh pop up hamper in the middle.  It rolls very easily, vertically on 4 casters so I lift up the handle and hang my folding chair over it.  My 160's, 260's and 350's are rolled into overhead projector sheets (secured with elastics) grouped into colours then placed in a brightly coloured bucket (this bucket sits on the folding stool while I'm working).  Attached to each of the bucket handles is a lanyard that has a pair of scissors clipped to it.  This bucket is then placed inside another bucket which is my scrap pail.  I keep this in a water resistant backpack along with my pumps, stickers, business cards, a notebook, my cds for making cd bases (happily donated by friends) and my balloon sticks (which I use for displaying creations I stick them through the holes on the mesh hamper then attach the balloon to the stick).

I have found that snow is my enemy with this setup.  I can carry the two bags with ease, but have to go back for my chair, no biggy, most places are willing to supply a chair anyway!

When I'm doing large events, I use a larger table, which is permanently stored under the seats of my van, and always there if I need or want it
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