Wood Storage Cart - Redux




About: I'm an Electrical Engineer by training and profession. I enjoy working on complex problems and processes, and I especially like finding ways to do complex tasks more efficiently. My current interests are ...

I recently built a second wood storage cart for my son, similar to one I described in a prior Instructable. This Instructable provides the key information you need to build this cart.

I built this cart over a three-day period while helping my son with some home improvement projects. Upon completion, he immediately filled it up with various pieces of extra wood that he had stored around the garage.

It's really nice to have all of that wood stored in one place and readily accessible!

Step 1: Tools/Equipment

You will need basic woodworking tools to make this cart:

o Circular saw

o Kreg pocket screw jig

o Drill

o Table saw (optional) or Kreg Rip-Cut jig

o Router

Step 2: Materials

1. Plywood (3/4") - approx 5 sheets

- 2 pieces are needed for each of the side panels

- 1 piece is ripped to 30 for the top of the base + a 6 rip for the lip (use the extra 12 for shelving)

- 1 piece is ripped to 31-1/2 for the bottom of the base (use the extra for 18-1/2 shelving & dividers)

- 1 piece is ripped to 20 for the side (use the extra 28 for shelving & dividers)

- 1 piece is for the remaining shelves / dividers as needed

Note: The shelves are approximately the following widths (at their widest point):

- Top shelf: 8-1/2

- Second shelf: 10-5/8

- Third shelf: 12-3/4

- Fourth shelf: 14-5/8

Note: to make the dividers, you will need to start with 4 plywood pieces: 9 x 22-1/4

2. Cleats - (4) 1 x 6 x 96 x 3/4 pine (or equivalent) - cut to 48 lengths and ripped to 2-1/2 strips with a 5 degree angle

3. Base frame - (3) 2 x 4 x 96

4. Stiffeners - (2) 2 x 6 x 96

5. Lag bolts (to attach stiffeners & casters)

- 5/16 x 2-1/2 (16)

- 5/16 x 4-1/2 (16)

- 5/16 washers (32)

6. Casters - (4) heavy-duty 4" x 2" swivel locking 700 lb casters

- Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Swivel-Casters-Heavy-Polyur...

7. Kreg pocket screws

8. 1-1/4" inch screws or nails to fasten the cleats

9. Wood glue

Step 3: Make Base

Assemble the base frame out of 2 x 4's.

The outer dimensions of the base are 30 x 96.

I used 3 braces in the middle, equally spaced.

Attach the top with screws.

Then attach the bottom (which has a 3/4 lip on each side, with screws.

I recommend marking where the 2 x 4 braces are on the outside 2 x 4's and bottom and top for future reference.

Note: We accidentally bought 2 x 4 x 92, which is why our side 2 x 4's do not extend the full 96.

Step 4: Attach Stiffeners & Casters

Attach the 2 x 6's using the 5/16 x 4-1/2 lag bolts & washers.

Drill into the 2 x 4's where possible.

If you have the casters, attach them now using the 5/16 x 2-1/2 lag bolts & washers.

Note: When I built the base, the casters were on order, so I added the casters at the last step.

Step 5: Attach Side & Lip

On the 20 side piece, draw a line from the top middle to one of the ends. Use a circular saw to cut off the angle piece. This is where the 4 x 4 wood pieces will be stored.

Use a router to round off the inside and outside edges of the 6 lip and 20 side piece.

Use the Kreg pocket screw jig to drill several pocket screw holes on the outer edges of the 6 lip and 20 side piece.

Add some additional screws to fasten both sides to the base.

Step 6: Make & Attach Cleats

You will want to make the cleats with one edge at a 5 degree angle.

They should be 2-1/2 x 48.

The simplest way is to rip them with a table saw with the blade at 5 degree away from perpendicular (95 degrees) angled away from the fence.

You will want to lay out lines on the (4) 48 x 48 pieces with the following spacing as measured from the bottom:

o 11 (bottom shelf)

o 22-3/4 (second shelf from bottom)

o 34-1/2 (third shelf from bottom)

o 46-1/4 (top shelf)

Round off the exposed edges of the 48 x 48 section with the router.

Secure the cleats to the inner panel sections using nails or screws & glue. If using screws, be careful that the 1-1/4 screws do not penetrate the outside face of the panel.

Note: The 5 degree angle should be pointing UP toward the top of the A-frame. Then, when the A-frame is set at an angle, the cleats will be level.

Step 7: Assemble A-frame & Shelves

Identify which of the 48 x 48 A-frame sections will go in each location and label each piece accordingly.

Draw a line on each piece to identify which way the 5 degree angle needs to be cut.

Adjust your circular saw so that it will cut at a 5 degree angle.

Attach a long board across each 48 x 48 section so that you can trim a 5 degree slice off of the bottom of each 48 x 48 section.

Note: You will probably want to do a test cut on a piece of scrap wood to determine the exact positioning of the board. My son's circular saw needed a 4 setback, whereas my home circular saw needs a 4-1/4 setback.

Draw a line across the top base of the cart exactly 7 from each side. This is where the outside edge of each 48 x 48 panel will go.

Use the Kreg jig to drill several pocket screw holes along the outside bottom edge of each of the 48 x 48 panel sections.

Cut several 7 pieces of scrap wood to act as spacers. Align these spacers against the two lines that you have drawn that are 7 from the lip and side panel.

Cut the top shelf. The outside edges should be at a 5 degree angle. The widest section is 8-1/2.

With a second person, set up the A-frame pieces against the spacers and insert the top shelf. Secure the base of the A-frame sections with pocket screws. Add some screws from the outside to screw into the top shelf for good measure.

Now, you can make measurements for the remaining three shelves and cut them to fit. They will be pretty close to the following measurements (10-5/8, 12-3/4, 14-5/8). Cut, assemble, and attach the remaining three shelves.

Step 8: Add Dividers

Now all that is left is to cut and add the 4 dividers.

Start with a 9 x 22-1/4 rectangle for the dividers. On one of the 9 sides, layout out a 7 mark. Draw a line from the 7 mark to the 9 mark on the other end. This is a 5 degree angle that will mate against the inside of the A-frame.

Then measure down about 6 from the side opposite the 5 degree angle, and draw a line from there to the top of the divider on the opposite side. Cut off the top angle piece.

Route the exposed edge.

Secure three dividers to make compartments for the 20 side and add one divider to stabilize the side containing the 48 x 48 wood pieces.

If you have not yet attached the casters, rotate the cart onto its side and attach them now.

Note: This cart is very heavy. You will need a second person to help you rotate it.

Step 9: Load Cart and Enjoy!

Load up the cart with your extra wood and enjoy!



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15 Discussions


11 months ago

Finished this a few weeks ago and it is holding up well. I’ve got a lot of wood in it, so it is extremely heavy.

1 reply

Reply 11 months ago

PadraigC - Looks great! It will hold a lot of wood!



Question 1 year ago

Hi, I am making this now. I noticed you have small storage slots at the bottom (on the base). Did you just remove the 2x4 to achieve this? Or did you also reduce the width Of the base and corresponding plywood? Also, does this affect the strength of your cart significantly?

1 answer

Answer 1 year ago

Hello PadraigC,

The small storage slots were on the first version that I built for myself (see the other instructable). I did not reduce the width; however, I did add two 2 x 6 x 8 supports under the base to reduce the sagging. I did this to both carts, and it they seem to work fine. Without the supports though, my first cart sagged by about 1/2" in the middle as I recall. Would you please post pics when you are through?


Poppy Ann

2 years ago

A great instructable, I just wish I had the space you have I have to put up with a 8'x8' shed and try to do everything inside except for when I have to use full sheet materials then I use a couple of fold up tables and put my old table saw on them outside.


2 years ago

Very cool, I will use it to store my acrylic sheets, and small pieces. Great idea!

5 replies

Reply 2 years ago

If your acrylic sheets are smaller than 48 x 48, you might want to make a cart half this size. You probably wouldn't need the 2 x 6 stiffeners, and you could use less expensive casters.


Reply 2 years ago

The acrylic sheets are 48"x96" so I think it would be perfect. The 15mm sheet is so heavy so I might have to strengthen the base and the wheels. Thanks.


Reply 2 years ago

Narisi - I don't think you'll need to strengthen the base or the casters. The casters are rated at 700 lb each - so they should be able to hold 2800 lb (overkill)! With the 2 x 6 x 96 stiffeners that I added to the original design (see my prior instructable for this cart), the cart does not flex at all. I think you would be able to store several long sheets of acrylic or other heavy material on the 8' side just fine with this design.


Reply 2 years ago

Cool! That's great, when I have a chance to do it I will send you pictures. Thanks again for all of your replies.


Reply 2 years ago

When you start working on it, let me know. I've been trying to think of better ways to cut out the dividers. I cut these dividers by hand using a circular saw and it was a pain because of the difficulty of making a 5 degree angle cut on a small piece of wood. The original plans included directions for making a jig, but that assumes that you have a table saw. The dividers could also be easily cut with a jig saw.


2 years ago

Lowes sells a great polyurethane caster for about eight bucks. It has a brake and it also locks the swivel. Here is a link https://www.lowes.com/pd/Waxman-3-in-Polyolefin-Swivel-Caster/50392288


2 years ago

Very nice! All my project wood is just piled up against a wall and spread around various shelves. Someday I need to make a cart like this! Well done, great instructable :)

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

Prior to building this design (from modified plans), I built another one from plans that was very unstable. After it almost fell on me one time, I looked for another design. This one is much more stable, can be moved around a garage or shop as needed, and helps keep your shop much more organized.


2 years ago

So I'm not the only one that stores cardboard with wood...

That cart is about as big as my workshop :)