I approached the construction of my rolling tool cart by dividing the process into several stages. First I cut out, milled and assembled the top, bottom and face frameworks. Next I cut out and milled the case panel components and assembled them with the three frames to create the carcase, which I then finished with polyurethane. While waiting for the finish to dry, I laminated the top and its side extensions, smoothed them and applied finish to all their surfaces. The drawers were next: I cut out and milled their components and assembled the boxes. After installing the hardware for the drawers, table top and extension supports I attached the latter two items and then slid the drawers into the case. Finally, I attached the drawer faces and the swivel casters.
Lay out, then cut out (oversized in width and length), the stock for the top and bottom f rames from your choice of hardwood. Plane the stock to finished thickness, join the edges square and profile one edge to the shape of your choice (I used a 13/s-in. bullnose bit on my table-mounted router). Now miter-cut the pieces to finished length, orienting the jointed edge to the inside of the frame. Make the slots for the biscuits in the face of the miter-joint meeting surfaces. Be careful to index the base plate of the biscuit joiner to the same surface of the frame components (mark symbols on the stock to help you keep everything correctly oriented).
Dry-assemble the frames to ensure that the joints meet tightly with the frame sitting flat and square (check the corner-to-corner diagonal measurements). Make any necessary adjustments to the face of the miter
Cauls help distribute the clamping force and protect edges. To glue up the frames (left), use notched cauls. Use diagonally cut cauls when gluing up corner blocks (above). Photos by Craig Wester.
joints with a hand plane and shooting board (see the photo at top left). When satisfied with the fit, apply glue in the biscuit slots and on the miter faces, then clamp the frames together. I made up special notched cauls to place across the outside corners—these distribute the clamping forces, forcing the frame miter joints firmly together (see the photo above). If you are working alone, use double-stick tape to hold the cauls in place while you position the clamps. Set the assembly aside to dry on a flat, level surface. When ready, remove the clamps, scrape off any glue residue and install the corner blocks (I glue and screw them in place, but you could use biscuits instead). Diagonally cut cauls allow you to clamp them firmly into the corner.
Follow this procedure for making up the face frame: Lay out and then cut out the components oversize; surface-plane and join the stock to final thickness and width; and then cut the two rails and two stiles to their Finished length. Slot the butt joints for biscuits where the rails meet the stiles; run a dry test to check for tightness of fit and that the frame sits square and flat; and then glue and clamp up the frame. Round over the inside edges of the frame with a router and an '/g-in. roundover bit.
Was this article helpful?
THIS book is one of the series of Handbooks on industrial subjects being published by the Popular Mechanics Company. Like Popular Mechanics Magazine, and like the other books in this series, it is written so you can understand it. The purpose of Popular Mechanics Handbooks is to supply a growing demand for high-class, up-to-date and accurate text-books, suitable for home study as well as for class use, on all mechanical subjects. The textand illustrations, in each instance, have been prepared expressly for this series by well known experts, and revised by the editor of Popular Mechanics.