Multi-purpose Table/Cart




Introduction: Multi-purpose Table/Cart

About: Architecture Graduate Student

Hello all, 

About this Project:
This table is the result of architectural/design class assignment I was recently given. The exercise was to explore the connection between wood and glass through the use of steel. One of my passions is cooking, which led to the development of both the function and form of this table. It was primarily designed as a serving/prepping station for when I grill out in my balcony. I am a college student so I live in a modest apt which required me to design something that was both mobile and versatile. 

The project material palette includes the following: Steel, Wood, and Glass
Steel: I used 1/4" Flat bar and 1/2" Flat bar, which were both purchased from a steel supplier in the industrial side of town.
            Usage: It will be used for the wheels, axle, frame, and locking mechanism
Wood: I went to my local Lowes and bought 8 pieces of 3"x3/4"x8' Select pine 
            Usage: It will be used to make the butcher block and wood armature that holds the glass
Glass: Glass is widely available, you can try ace hardware a home improvement store 
            Usage: It will the secondary table surface.

I will go step by step on what you need and how much money it will cost to make this project happen.

Step 1: The Butcher Block

Step 1: Don't be tense, This was my first time making a butcher block and it was quite easy to assemble.

What you'll need:

8 pieces of 3/4" x 3" x 6' Select Pine ( Lowes ) $40 total
Wood Glue, I used TiteBond II ( Lowes)  $5

Tools: Table Saw
            2 Clamps 24" long
            Chop Saw

Step 2: After you have all these materials create a clean and organize work area, I had a wood shop at my disposal, but if you're working our of your garage a 2'x4' table surface will work fine.

Take the 8 pieces of 3/4" x 3" x 8' Select Pine and start chopping 20" Pieces ( One 3/4" x 3" x 8' Select Pine will give you 3 pieces ) You will need (16) 3/4" x 3" X 20"

Step 3: Here you will be laminating the pieces together to make the butcher block. Simple take a piece of 3/4" x 3" X 20" apply a even coat of wood glue on the right side, repeat this process until all the pieces are glued together, you should end up with a 3" x 1' x 20" Block of laminated Select Pine. Do not worry about run off glue. After making sure everything is nice and even (to the best of your ability) use the 24" Clamps and clamp the block on the sides so you ensure a tight bond. As you do this glue will squeeze out from the seams, use a wet/damp towel and wipe it off. Allow the block to sit for 24 hours before releasing the clamps.

Step 4: Take the butcher block and run it through the planar until your 3" becomes 2" (you'll get a butcher block that is 2" thick x 1'  wide x 20" long) Wear ear protection as it is noisy

Step 5: Now that the thickness has been reduced to 2" you will need to chop both ends of the block to create smooth even surfaces on the sides. Take 1" off from each side of the block so that you will go from  a butcher block that is 2" thick x 1'  wide x 20" long to a butcher block that is 2" thick x 1'  wide x 18" long)

Step 6: 
Now we can route out a channel for the metal slide lock that we will be making later. 
              There are two channels that you'll need to make, both will be on center. The first channel will be 2" wide by 18" long and 1/2"        
              deep, create a fence with a pair of clamps so that you may run your router along it to ensure a straight even cut. The second        
              channel will be ontop of the first channel only it will be 3" wide 18" long and 1/4" deep. 

Step 7: Sand the inside surfaces of the channel

Step 2: Steel Cutting

Now that you have your butcher block, you will need to go and purchase some steel. 

The steel will be used for the locking mechanism, the frame, the swinging armature for the glass top.
This next part will be very important.

Step 1: You will need to go buy (1) 1x3x4 Steel C Channel 
              (1) 1/2" Thick Flat Bar that is 6"x2'
               (1) 10' x 2.5" x1/4" flatbar     (I got all this from a steel supplier)

Step 2: You will need to find a business that can waterjet metal 

Attached at the end of the instructions is a Shop Drawing I made that has all the dimensions you'll need.

Step 3: After you have found a business that can water jet steel and have bought the materials you will need to draw some cut files on the computer using a program called AutoCad. 

On Auto Cad, for the wheels, make (4) circles that are 5" in diameter
This will be for the 1/2" Plate of steel

Then draw 4 rectangles 1"x26" on the right side of each rectangle create and arc that is 1" diameter and trim away the intersecting part of the rectangle.  Remember all these dimensions are on the shop drawing included at the end. Double check with that drawing to make sure.

Step 4: Use the Shop drawing to create files for the wheels, the lock, the lock cover, and arms

Step 5: Take the files to the water jet place and get a quote. Mine costs $98. If you're not a student get ready to be charged $160

Step 6: If the Price is right, get it cut

Step 3: Fasteners

You will need to Purchase some fasteners to attach the wood and steel pieces, also here is a list of items and tolls that you'll be needing in the next step:

Fasteners: I bought a box of 50, "8/32 sockethead cap screws 1" long" they come in a black mill finish or plain finish
                                                   12  "8/32 flat head sheet metal screws 1" long" Black/plain finish
                                                    8   " 1/4" Stainless Flat Head Sheet Metal Screw 1" long"
                                                     1   "1/2 Socket Head Cap Screw 1" long"
You will need a
Mig Welder
drill Press, 
Drill Index
Taps for 8/32 Fine Tread and 1/2" Fine
WD40 Spray
Tapping Oil
Grinder with a sanding disc and grinding disc or cut off wheel
Allen Keys
Countersink Bit 1/4" and 1/2"

Step 4: Attaching the Butcher Block to the Steel Pieces

Step 1: Review placement of fasteners on lock cover, mark your steel lock cover and begin opening holes for the 8/32 fasteners, Do not open the hole with a bit that is bigger than 8/32, you will need to tap it later. 

Step 2: After drilling the holes, use the tap and begin tapping the 8/32 treads into the cover plate

Step 3: Depending on which flat head screw you used, use the appropriate countersink bit and remove 1/8" of material from each tapped hole. This will allow for a flush surface when all the screws are secured into the wood.

Step 4: Use the 1/2 Tap and create the inside tread on the lock slide piece that has ben waterjet. 

Step 5: Take the 1/2" Socket head Cap Screw and use the cut off wheel/ grinder so that you only have 1/2" from the shoulder of the screw.

Step 6: Take the cover plate and place it onto the butcher block, take a pencil and mark where each hole is, remove the plate and use a center punch to mark each hole in prepparation for the drill press. Use an approriate drill bit and drill 3/4" deep into each marked hole.

Step 7: place the lock slide into the inner channel of the butcher block, next place the cover plate, next screw in the 1/2" Socket Head Cap Screw that you had cut to appropriate size, then screw in the 12 8/32 flat head screws. 

Step 5: Almost Done! Attach the Remaining Pieces

What you'll need for this step

Mig Welder
Welding Helment
8/32 Socket head cap screws (4)
Allen Keys

Step 1: Now that the butcher block has the lock secured onto it you will need to water jet the rotational axle holders

Step 2: Weld the holders onto the second cover plate ( reference picture ) the dimensions will be in the shop drawing 

Step 3: Drill and Tap 4 holes into the second cover plate which will be secured onto the front face of the butcher block 
DONT WORRY ABOUT THE DIRTINESS OF THE BUTCHER-BLOCK, you will sand it after everything is complete

Step 4: Take your Steel 1x3x4 Steel C Channel ( 40" long) and cut in half (2) 20" Pieces You can use a metal chop saw, or metal band saw 

Step 5: Cut you 10' x 1/4" x 2.5" Flat bar into the pieces shown in the Shop Drawing that I have created. 
              Two pieces will be the vertical frame that attaches the wheel chassis to the block
              Two Pieces will act as the horizontal wheel chassis
              Both pieces will sandwich the two 20" C Channels

Step 6: Take the grinder with a sanding disc and start grinding a valley where the channels and the flatbars will be welded (Shop drawing)

Step 7: Remember to open 4 holes in the horizontal wheel chassis flat bar members, 

Step 8: Use the Mig Welder and weld the pieces together

Step 9: Run a 10" Steel Rod through both of the chassis wheel holes, this will be the two axles

Step 10: Weld the 5" Wheels that you had water jet from 1/2" Flat Bar

Step 6: Last Part- Arms/ Swing Armatures

Step 1:

Take the measurements from teh Shop Drawing and cut shape out of 3/4" Select Pine

Step 2: Take the water jet steel members and drill the holes so that you can tap them with an 8/32 tap

Step 3: take two of the steel members and sandwich the wood member in the middle, mark the holes with a pencil or center punch onto the wood, then use a slitghly bigger bit to open the holes in the wood members.

Step 4: Attach the steel to the wood with 8/32 socket head cap screws, make sure the head is facing out

Step 5: With a grinder, grind of the remain excess of the 8/32 socket head cap screw so that it is flush.

Step 6: Attach the members to the butcher block by using a 8" long 1/2" diameter steel rod

Step 7: Take the 2'x1' piece of glass and insert it into the slots of the wood members.

Step 8: Polish metal with a cleaner and sand the wood

Step: 9: ENJOY!

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    2 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    awesome combination of materials to achieve the functional, yet artistic design. This is a winner of a design and not too complicated to build!

    The first word that came into my mind is "stylish". Interresting concept, and the protruding knob gives it a kind of "hands on" feel I think. Thanks for sharing!