Shop Projects #2: Rolling Plywood Cart

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Blog entry by Rob_s posted 01-31-2017 02:41 PM 1321 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Copy of Jay Bates Conduit Lumber Rack Part 2 of Shop Projects series no next part

I was inspired by several previous designs from other woodworkers. I know a lot of people have gone away from lumber storage and prefer to just bring home what they need, but I’m a 30+ minute drive from even a Home Depot so it’s helpful to me to have stuff on-hand.

What I wanted was a cart that I could push against the wall, but pivot out to store wood in the back, and that I could detach from the wall to roll out to the truck to load up, or to move wood over to my saws etc.

I’m also interested in modularity, and minimizing waste, so as much as possible I was trying to get this out of three sheets of plywood. The base is made of 2×4s, and there is no glue in the system so I can take it all apart later and salvage the wood if needed, or change it up as-needed. Pocket screws abound, as you may see from the pictures.

Finally, I wanted to be able to stand the cart up on end if my shop needs change in the future and I want to go to vertical storage.

I’m very happy with the overall way this worked out. I’m able to move the cart around, swivel it in and out, lock only one wheel to keep it in place, access everything on both sides, etc.

Downsides are that I have to keep some space clear next to the cart to allow for it to swing out. Not a huge deal right now given the shop layout, but down the road it may not be ideal. Second downside is the overall width of 30”. I went from being able to reach the lumber above up to the third pipe without a ladder to having to get out the ladder to access even the second pipe up. I probably could have gotten away with just two bays instead of three, but in the back, harder to access, bay I now have my hurricane plywood and some scrap cardboard, all of which was stored around the shop before, so I’m glad to have the space.

Basic “cut list” of the plywood sheets.

Initial design in Sketchup

Cart loaded-up and in-place under board storage rack

Finally, the “hinge pin” that I’m pretty proud of and happy with. I attached a 2×4 to the wall, and another to the cart, and put eye bolts in each. The eye bolts are actually counter-sunk in the back, with fender washers on both sides, to hopefully help with pull-out. I then ran a threaded rod through a metal tube and secured it on both ends with a lock nut, using a large fender washer at the top to keep the pin from falling out. Why not just use the threaded rod? No real reason other than I hate that grinding the threads make when pulling it out, and this way I can keep the smooth tube lubed with silicone spray to make it easier to remove and insert.


3 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile


7689 posts in 3066 days

#1 posted 01-31-2017 03:51 PM

That’s a real nice looking set up. Only wish I had room something similar.

View TungOil's profile


1382 posts in 1295 days

#2 posted 01-31-2017 03:59 PM

well thought through. I like how you created the hinge to help keep things aligned. My shop floor is so uneven if I were to implement this I’d need some pretty big clearances in the hinge to keep it from binding!

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View magaoitin's profile


249 posts in 1750 days

#3 posted 01-31-2017 07:05 PM

Ingenious method of fabricating a heavy duty hinge. Very well though out!

-- Jeff ~ Tacoma Wa.

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