Building a Rolling Tool Cart

Size was a paramount concern even before sitting down to get the design of my rolling tool stooge on paper. While 1 wanted the cart to contain all the tools I needed for assembly work, it would have to be small enough to maneuver between my 3-ft. by 7-ft. assembly platform and some stationary tools—a rather tight squeeze in some places. I decided to limit the width of the cart's base to 24 in. and its depth to suit 18-in. long drawers. To maintain a stable footprint, I dared not go smaller. I fixed the overall height of the cart at 35 in., slightly below the surface of my table saw. Sized this way, the cart could then also serve as a support for my sliding crosscut box or as an outfeed table for supporting large sheet materials or long boards. The fold-down extensions I added to the table surface provide extra support when the cart is used for these purposes (see the photo on the facing page).

To make the cart easy to maneuver within the tight confines of my shop, I installed a set of four full-swivel casters, which allow the cart to turn a full 360® in its own footprint. The casters have a locking feature, which I use only when the cart acts as an outfeed table. Because of the cart's weight and the smooth, low-friction operation of the drawer slides, the cart generally stays in one place even when I pull out the heaviest drawer at the bottom.

Since most cutting and planing operations would already be completed by the time I began work at my assembly station, I didn't need to design the cart with large enclosed spaces for panel saws or long planes. I could hang my only awkward-to-store tools, a 24-in. framing square and a 30-in. level, on cleats fastened to the outside of the back panel. Following the train of thought that prompted Steve Johnson to build his all-drawer cart (see the photos on p. 110), I made the most of my cart's limited volume by designing the cabinet with a full bank of drawers, which I mounted on full-extension slides.

Finally, I opted not to enclose the drawers behind a door (or pair of doors) as Eric Smith had done (see the photo on p. 113). Admittedly, doors do offer advantages: They nearly eliminate dust infiltration into the drawers; they hold the drawers shut while the cart rolls about; and the broad expanse of the door panels can beautify the cart. But I decided that doors would only get in the way when my cart was in use, especially in my limited space. I could live with a fettle dust infiltration, and I would solve the locking problem by adding a file-cabinet-type gang lock.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment