Introduction: Flip Top Tool Cart From Reclaimed Desk
I found a small desk on the street curb and took it home. At the time I didn't know what I was going to make with it. Eventually I decided to make a flip top tool stand for my sanders. This way I could have them both in one place. I replaced the fiber board with plywood scrap that I had and used an electrical conduit as the pivot. I didn't really have a plan when I started building just a rough idea of what I wanted. The handles I made aren't ideal but they will work for now until I come up with something else.
The first thing I did was take it apart and made sure to save all the hardware so I could reuse it.
Next I figured out what size I wanted the top and bottom shelves to be then marked and cut those pieces to length using my circular saw. I cut 5 pieces that were all the same width and length. Then I cut one of those pieces in half. I took these two smaller halves and removed about 7/16 of inch off of one side of each halve. This will make more sense when I glue everything up.
With all the pieces cut I took one full size piece and covered the whole side with glue. Then I took one of the smaller half pieces and glued it to the full size piece. I took the second half piece and stuck it to the other side of the full size piece making sure to leave a gap for the electrical conduit. The last picture shows what it should look like.
Now I added more glue to the two half pieces and spread that over the entire surface. Then I laid another full size piece on top of the two half pieces sandwiching everything together. I didn't want to wait for the glue to dry so I screwed all three layers together.
I made the bottom shelf by gluing 2 of the full size pieces together and securing them with screws. Again I didn't feel like waiting for the glue to dry.
Next I found the center of the two desk sides and used my stepped drill bit to drill a hole in the center of the top rail on each desk side. I made sure the hole was just big enough for the electrical conduit to slide through.
I did a quick mock up with a test spin to see if it was going to work. It was looking promising so far.
Using the same hardware from the disassembly I attached the bottom shelf to both sides of the desk. I made sure to pre-drill pilot holes before screwing together.
The desk felt a little flimsy at this point so I cut a scrap piece of plywood and attached it to the bottom shelf and lower section of the desk sides. This helped stiffen up the entire piece.
I was going to leave the bottom shelf open but looking at it I decided to enclose it and make a couple of compartments for my angle grinder and palm sander. Again using some scrap plywood I made two storage compartments for those two tools. I screwed these together, no glue incase I want to change the configuration.
I used my porta band to cut the electrical conduit to length. I drill one hole on each end so that a screw could be used as a keeper of sorts. The screw head will stop the conduit from sliding out of the holes almost like a cotter pin would.
With the bottom shelf done I installed the top. I made sure to use washers on both sides of the rail so four washers total. Then I secured the conduit with the two screws as mentioned in the previous step.
In order to lock the flip top in place I decided to use some 3-1/2 inch long 5/16 inch bolts that I would modify as handles, more on this in the next step. First I predrilled 1/4 holes in all four corners then using the same 5/16 inch bolt I tapped all the holes to make threads in each hole. A threaded insert would work better for this but the hardware store didn't have any in stock so I used this method instead.
In order to make it so that I could easily remove the bolts I decided to add a 90 degree bend to each bolt. I heated up each bolt and got it red hot. Then I clamped it in my vise and using my pliers and a few taps from a hammer bent them to 90 degrees.
Now it was just a matter of threading the bolts in to all the corners to lock the flip top in place.
The last thing to do was to put my sanders on the flip top and mark the mounting hole locations, drill the holes and attach the tools with a few nuts and bolts.
I hope to get a lot of use out of the addition to my shop. Having all those tools in one place helped clean up my shop a little bit too. I was also able to use the sides as clamp storage which was a nice bonus. I hope you found this Instructable helpful.
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