As I developed the concept of my mobile tool cart, I incorporated a number of features that would add stability and durability to the design. Safety was also a concern. For a dimensioned drawing of my cart, seep. 116.
Case and face frame The back, floor, and sides of the case arc of 3/»-in. maple plywood joined together with biscuits. I chose this material for its dimensional stability, relatively low cost and ease of milling. Biscuit joinery is quick and easy to execute yet also strong. To reinforce the cart against racking, I decided on a face frame with relatively wide top and bottom rails. Though the presence of a face frame necessarily reduces the size of the drawers, it does not take up more space than an internal framework would—and it is much easier and cheaper to make. I made the face frame from maple and the drawer fronts from cherry for durability and appearance.
Instead of forming the bottom of the cart from a single sheet of plywood, I constructed a heavy, solid-wood external framework. This does three things: It adds weight to the bottom of the cart (which increases stability by lowering the cart's center of gravity); it protrudes to act as a rub rail; and it evenly distributes the loads from the individual casters to the entire cart, reducing racking stresses. I made the frame from 13/8-in. thick hard maple and joined the corners with splincd miters, adding glue
Tolpin's carl in use as outfeed table. Photo by Craig Wester.
blocks for additional rigidity and support for the casters.
To strengthen the top of the cart and to provide support for the table, I made up an external top frame similar in construction to the bottom frame. But to keep the cart's center of gravity low, I reduced the size of the components and made them from lightweight alder. I
attached the table to the top frame using figure-eight desk-top fasteners. This hardware allows the top boards to move, preventing both the table and frame from distorting with seasonal fluctuations in humidity.
Extension mapie table
Figure-eight desk-top fasteners
Side-mounted drasver guides support
Bottom frame 26 Va in. tW.
28 in. high
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