Introduction: More Than Just a Lumber Cart

About: I'm just a guy that likes to make things.
A mobil cart to hold anything from small cutoffs to larger pieces of lumber. It also includes plenty of storage drawers and a clamp rack.

Step 1: Tools Needed and Materials

Tools needed
*Mitersaw or circular saw
*Reciprocating saw or hacksaw
*Drill press or hand drill
*Bandsaw or jigsaw
*Brad nailer and compressor or a hammer.

I used mainly scrap pieces of 3/4 plywood and mdf I had laying around in the shop.

I purchased 10 2×4 dimentional lumber. I also had some cut off pieces of 2×4 that I used to complete the build.
3 Ten foot lenghts of 3/4" emt conduit.



Step 2: Base Assembly

Using 2×4 material I made a simple base measuring 5' by 3'.

I added two center supports to the middle of the base.

I assembled the pieces on the floor of my shop.

After predrilling, I joined all pieces with 3 " screws.

I cut some spacer and layed them deside the frame base. I made sure the spacers would allow for a perpendicular 2×4 to fit snug.

I glued and screwed the spacer blocks. The spacer blocks with make the assembly of the upright supports easier as well as prevent lateral movement.

Step 3: Install Casters and Attach Plywood to the Cart Base

I marked the placement of the four casters and affixed them to the underside of the cart with the provided hardware.
I purchased casters that I thought were "strong enough" to handle the weight of the cart. The casters are rated for heavy duty loads up to 270 lbs each.

The cart rolled pretty easily when empty, but when I put it under a load it was really tough to roll.

My advise :buy high quality casters.
(I learned the hard way)

I used two scrap pieces of plywood to create the floor of the cart. I marked the location of the area where the up right support would be. Using a jigsaw I cut a 1 1/2 by 3 1/2 rectangle.

I made sure the up right supports were a snug fit and screwed the plywood down using 1 5/8 screws.

Step 4: Corner Up Right Supports and Cutting the Conduit.

I set my drill press to 5 degrees and set a temporary fence to drill a centered hole on the side face of a 2×4.
I drilled a series of one inch holes on four of the up right supports. The holes will receive a 3/4 emt conduit tubing.

The tubing will slide into the hole, creating a shelf support bracket.

Using a Reciprocating saw, I cut several pieces of emt tubing to 11" lenghts.The cutting process left a burr on the tubing. I used a 1" belt sander to remove the burr. (if you do not own a belt sander, a file would also work).

I slide the outside four upright supports into position and clamped them down. I predrilled and drove in 3" screws.

Step 5: Upright and Horizontal Support

I temporarily clamped a horizontal support in place and securely fastened it with 3" screws. I repeated these steps for the second support.

I flipped the cart on its end and slide the remaining upright supports. Once in place, I securely fastened them to the base of the cart with 3" screws.

Ensuring I had a 49 in clearence, I added a piece of 2×4 to act as an end support.

Step 6: Base Cabinet

Using 1 5/8 screws I secured plywood to the middle of the cart. THIS ARE WILL STORE LARGER PIECES OF PLYWOOD.

I cut one piece of 3/4 plywood for the base cabinet. By using a compass, I created a radius on one corner.

I cut the radius out on the bandsaw and use it as a template for the remaining pieces.

I used a pocket hole jig to drill several pocket holes on the bottom of the side and front pieces of the bottom cabinet.

I used 1 5/8 screws to attach the sides and front panel of the cabinet. I secured the middle divider panels in place and the bottom cabinet was complete.

Step 7: Top Cabinet Assembly and Drawers

I cut several pieces of 3/4 plywood to create a cabinet that would fit on top of the cart.

Using glue and screws, I assembled the cabinet with evenly spaced dividers.

Since I was using scrap plywood, I did not have enough material to make a cabinet that was long enough for the available space.

Using mdf, I made a smaller cabinet to fill the void. I made three small drawers to fit inside the small cabinet. These drawers would store THOSE SMALL PIECES OF WOOD THAT I JUST CAN'T SEEM TO THROW AWAY.

Step 8: Hardware Storage

Flat surfaces in my shop become a dumping ground for stuff. I wanted to be concious about not creating clutter on top of the cabinet.

My idea to prevent clutter was to store something on top of the cabinet. My thought is if I know something is already being stored up there, (hopefully)I will be less likely to randomly throw stuff up there.

I started by making ten drawer or trays out out plywood. I used glue and Brad nails for all joints.

These trays would store items that are not often used, such as drawer pulls and hinges.

In order to prevent the trays from falling off the cabinet. I glued and nailed a piece of 1×3 on the sides and rear of the cabinet.

For easy access to the trays, I installed cabinet hinges to the front piece of 1×3.

Step 9: Paint and Finish

Because I used scrap pieces of plywood the look of mismatched wood was not very appealing to me.

After I sanded everything, I primed and painted several areas of the cart.

I applied two coats of water based polyurethane to the cart and all drawers.

Step 10: Clamp Rack and Labeling

I wanted to use all available space on the cart. I made a couple of simple shelves. These shelves would mount to the sides of the cart and store spray can paint.

I decided to use the back of the cabinet space as well. It occurred to me that I can use the same emt tubing process, to make a clamp rack.

The process of making the clamp rack was the same as the side lumber rack. The only difference is the 5 degree angle is perpendicular, since the piece of 2×4 is affixed horizontally instead of vertically.

I looked to find a cheap and easy way to label the trays that would be stored above the cabinet.

I found that aluminum duct tape makes a great label. Using a permanent marker, I labeled each tray. If i need to change the label, the permanent marker can be rubbed of the label by using mineral spirits.

The last thing I did is place all the pieces of emt tubing in the holes I drilled previously.

All that was left to do was load it up, and boy did I load it up.

Step 11: More Information

If you would like further information, please check out my build videos.

2x4 Contest

Participated in the
2x4 Contest