Shop Vac Cart

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Project by ramblinwreck posted 04-19-2018 03:38 AM 19691 views 11 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I realize this is not very original around here, but this is my very first project involving more than a few boards thrown together for shelving, and I’m very happy with the way it turned out so I thought I’d share it here as my first real project. I constructed the cart using the ShopNotes 109 / WoodSmith plans, with a few modifications.

First, I must first give credit to Trevor over at Trevor’s Workshop. I watched his video ( about 20 times to guide me step-by-step through the process. And I borrowed a few of his ideas.

Construction was fairly straightforward, but there are a lot of circles and radius curves to cut, and I don’t have hole saws, forstner bits, or a drill press, and I wasn’t about to attempt those with my jig saw. So I popped for a commercial cutting jig to use with my plunge router and it made cutting all the circles/radiuses a snap, and produced nice clean and round holes, too.

I have a very small workspace, and this thing tucks away tightly against the wall when not in use, and I can roll it out as a single unit to hook up to my table saw. No more cursing while trying to move the bucket and vac separately, while watching the bucket tip over and causing every hose connection to come loose.


  • Original plan called for a lot of wood screws going into plywood end-grain, which I’m not crazy about. I used pocket holes where possible. This significantly reduced the number of visible screw heads—most are buried on the inside of the accessory rack or under shelves.
  • On the accessory rack, used 2 shelves instead of 1 and changed the spacing. This completely eliminated the need for the large dowels called for in the original plan. I also had to enlarge and move the shelf/top holes for my 2.5” hose attachments, and used a piano hinge for the cover. The called for utility hinges would not fit after enlarging the holes in the top.
  • Added a slot to the back piece for a handle. Turns out this is what I use 100% of the time to move the cart—I never use the curved slot on front of the cover.
  • Added some metal corner braces to inside corner of accessory stand. It was pretty sturdy without it, but where the accessory stand attaches to the base seemed like the likely point of failure if it were ever going to fail, so why not. These things were only a couple of bucks.
  • I used beefier screws for the casters. I think it was #10×3/4.
  • (Credit goes to Trevor’s Workshop for this)—added an electrical receptacle + extension cord. I use the I-socket auto switch to switch on my vacuum automatically when using my router, oscillating spindle sander, or even my drill (my pocket hole jig has a chip/dust attachment). I also added some rubber-lined clamps to act as a strain-relief near where the electrical cord enters the outlet box.

A note on use of Dust Deputy “deluxe kit” with this cart…

The 2” diameter 36” inch black leader hose that comes with current versions of DD Deluxe kit does not work well with this style cart at all. It relies on a supplied 90 degree elbow to connect to the shop vac inlet, which screws up how the hose feeds through the accessory stand. I found out that older DD Deluxe kits shipped with a larger 2.5” gray hose that uses straight connectors on both ends, and I was able to order that older style hose from Oneida. It works much better—fits better and more airflow (larger diameter + no hose elbows). As a result of this, I’m not sure the DD Deluxe Kit was actually worth it—all I ended up using was the one of the buckets, lid, and cyclone itself.

Well, I think that’s about it. I think this is a great first project for folks getting into this as a hobby. I’lll admit having the a decent set of power tools (table saw w/ cross-cut sled, plunge router, router table, spindle sander) made this job go a lot easier. If you are going to build this style cart, definitely check out Trevor’s video. There are also a few very accurate models of this cart on Sketchup’s 3D warehouse if you’re into that.

-- Chris

8 comments so far

View therealSteveN's profile (online now)


9989 posts in 2033 days

#1 posted 04-19-2018 04:47 AM

You have a dust vac/collector on a separator which takes work off the filtration system, so it makes the system more efficient. It’s mobile, will tuck away after use. You loaded it with accessories, and have a dust hunter killer on wheels. Along the way you probably learned a few things you didn’t already know, and sounds like you did some problem solving to figure out how to use the tools you had.

I’m seeing all kinds of wins here, looks great, and solves a problem common to any shop. Congrats, and thanks for posting.

-- Think safe, be safe

View CampD's profile


1833 posts in 4945 days

#2 posted 04-19-2018 12:24 PM

Looks great, very useful.

-- Doug...

View ScottM's profile


756 posts in 3606 days

#3 posted 04-19-2018 12:35 PM

Good job. I made same one and it works well in my shop. I will definitely be looking into adding that extension cord outlet to mine soon.

View torus's profile


562 posts in 1872 days

#4 posted 04-19-2018 04:28 PM

it is functional and looks good.What else we could wish for?

-- "It's getting better..." - put this on my RIP stone!

View Joe's profile


581 posts in 2546 days

#5 posted 04-19-2018 07:51 PM

You should be happy, I think you did a great job. You’ll get many years of use out of that vac system. Need to build one of those myself. Don’t know it I could do as nice a job as you though. Thanks for inspiring

-- CurleyJoe, "You only learn from your mistakes"

View bobasaurus's profile


3747 posts in 4643 days

#6 posted 04-19-2018 09:12 PM

That looks very useful, well done. I need to make something similar.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Greg the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg the Cajun Wood Artist

569 posts in 2401 days

#7 posted 04-20-2018 04:03 AM

I used an adjustable handtruck to put my dust deputy on. It made sense to me because it had the 10” tires and rolled easy over the gravel driveway between my house and shop

-- Wood for projects is like a good Fart..."better when you cut it yourself" Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does

View BigET's profile


14 posts in 4717 days

#8 posted 05-05-2018 11:04 AM

It looks great! I like the upgrades you added. I need to build one of these for my dust deputy and shop vac. I do like the vertical stacking that Greg used since it looks like it saves space, which I have way too little of in my shop.

-- Earl in Maine

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