Monday, April 4, 2016

Mobile Lumber Storage Cart

It's a happy little storage cart.
To organize and mobilize my shop I built a rolling lumber storage cart.

I didn't know I needed one until I saw Steve's build on Woodworking for Mere Mortals. Steve has a lot of fantastic projects. I tweaked a few dimensions, mainly to allow for more sheet storage, but it's a great plan and there isn't much to improve.

As my shop becomes more full, equipment on casters makes it easy to shift everything around when I need to cut up a full sheet of plywood.

This cart allows me to keep some scrap wood, but provides a limit on how much. If the cart is full I have to toss something.

Materials:
  • (3) 4'x8' sheets of 3/4" plywood
  • (2) Rigid Casters
  • (2) Swiveling & locking casters
  • (16) 1" screws for casters
  • (52) 2" bugle head screws for assembly at the perimeter bracing through 2 sheets of plywood
  • (9) 1.25" bugle head screws for assembly through 1 sheet of plywood
  • wood glue

Tools:
  • circular saw
  • router and 3/4" double flute straight bit
  • drill/driver
  • 4' level or straight edge for a circular saw guide
  • face clamps to secure straight edge
  • tape measure
  • pencil
Cut List:
  • (2) 2.5'x3" base brace
  • (2) 3.5x3" base brace
  • (1) 2.5x4' base with dados for vert storage (5) 10" dados against a 4' full length dado
  • (1) 4"x4' sheet storage vertical lip
  • (1) 1'3"x4' vert wall for vert storage
  • (1) 4'x4' vert center wall with 4' full length dados for shelves
  • (1) 4'x4" angled cut 5* top and bottom vertical sheet storage
  • (5) 10"x2'10" angled top (4" top 1'2 front for angle)
  • (1) 4'x9 3/8" angled cut 5* one side
  • (1) 4'x8 7/16" angled cut 5* one side
  • (1) 4'x7 7/16" angled cut 5* one side
  • (1) 4'x6 9/16" angled cut 5* one side
Process:
I started with drawing the plans in Sketchup. This design provides sheet storage, vertical storage, and shelving.

This project takes 2.5 sheets of plywood. I cut out all pieces from the cut list first with a circular saw. I clamped a 4' level to the boards to guide the saw.

For the 5* angle cuts, set the circular saw accordingly. Cut the shelves back to back so that they share one angled cut and you waste less material. The sheet storage is angled so that the boards don't flip off the cart.

The 3/4" dados were cut with a router using the level as a guide. The dados provide double the surface area for gluing and help stabilize the boards as you glue so they don't slide all over the place while you're trying to glue.
I glued all joints and intersections, then screwed them tight.  I drilled holes through the dados to mark where I wanted to put screws. This is easier than trying to measure it out on the back side of the base of side of the shelf.

Once the dados were done I glued the braces to the base of the cart and attached the casters.

I attached the 4'x4' vertical first and then the angled vertical storage dividers. I clamped the end walls to keep it steady during drilling/screwing. There are (2) screws along the bottom and through the back wall.

I attached the shelves first, drilling through the dados first and gluing them in place. I could have attached the angled wall first and then ensured each shelf unit was the right width, but I was confidant enough that everything would square up (it did).

Once everything was together I painted the cart. It's not necessary, but I like to finish all the surfaces for protection and aesthetics. I went with the splatter because I didn't want a plain surface.

Thank you Steve for coming up with a perfect plan for the storage cart. Check out Woodworking for Mere Mortals for more of Steve's projects.
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