Flip-Top Cart: My Sanding Station

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Project by christherookie posted 10-03-2018 02:20 PM 1059 views 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The Sanding Station

On one side is my oscillating sander. Flip it over and it’s my DIY downdraft table. That bag underneath, that’s my palm sander. And the drawer holds all my sanding supplies.

Why the Flip-Top Cart

I only have a little room in my garage for equipment as it’s also used for cars, crates, and trash cans, so when I picked up my new oscillating sander (thanks to saving up amazon gift cards) I decided it was the perfect time to build a flip-top cart. Props to Brad Rodriguez for his website and details on the build. It’s made with a single sheet of 3/4” birch plywood, a little poplar, galvanized pipe, and various screws and bolts.


There are a few things I wish I would have done differently, mainly plan my work out in detail. I thought this would be an easy build so I didn’t plan out my steps. Turned out it was more detailed than what I thought and I made a few mistakes. The mistakes, fortunately, only cost me time. If you look close, you’ll see one…so don’t look close.

Also, I didn’t buy the plans on his web site. Instead, I read the article, made only scant notes, and then proceeded. I just didn’t plan enough – I should have bought his plans and been done with it. But, you know how the mind likes to figure things out…

Why I should have reviewed the design before starting

I did find one area I wish I had re-engineered. The securing handles on the front and back, require a number of bolts, washers, and precision wood cuts. These handles are meant to keep the top from spinning when you put pressure on it. The 3/4” pipe through the center is what holds all the weight. Could these also be used to support weight? Yes, if you’re applying a lot of downward pressure, but I do think the design could have been simplified. For example, sliding surface bolts or latches could have been used and saved me time.

That being said, I’m NOT knocking Brad’s decision on his design choice. It’s effective, stylish, and it works. He also helped me with a few questions along the way. I’m only knocking myself for not considering other methods to accomplish the same thing.

The Take Away…at least for me

1. ALWAYS have a plan, no matter how simple something looks.
2. Review the plan, whether your own or someone else’s plan, and look for what could be done differently. That different aspect could be related to the engineering, aesthetic styling, or functionality.
3. If you’ve made your third trip to the hardware store to buy yet one more thing you missed, it’s probably time to halt everything and review the plan….or, in my case, create one.

5 comments so far

View fivecodys's profile


1634 posts in 2406 days

#1 posted 10-03-2018 03:07 PM

That is a very interesting idea.
I have the same cart and have been thinking about building a down draft sanding table.
I may have to give this some thought.
Thanks for sharing!

-- A bad day woodworking is still better than a good day working.

View calisdad's profile


334 posts in 2280 days

#2 posted 10-03-2018 03:56 PM

That’s cool.
Pegboard has lots of unintentioned uses.
I use a strip of it for laying out and drilling cabinet shelf supports.

-- Groveland, CA.

View christherookie's profile


139 posts in 3816 days

#3 posted 10-03-2018 03:57 PM

Great idea!

I use a strip of it for laying out and drilling cabinet shelf supports.
- calisdad

View WoodenDreams's profile


1066 posts in 681 days

#4 posted 01-09-2019 07:05 PM

I thought I’d build one just like this many times. but, wasn’t sure how well the fine dust collection would be.

View christherookie's profile


139 posts in 3816 days

#5 posted 01-09-2019 07:21 PM

I thought I d build one just like this many times. but, wasn t sure how well the fine dust collection would be.

- WoodenDreams

It’s ok for a shop vac. After I sand, I see a good amount of fine dust on the downdraft table, between the holes. But I don’t see much in the way of particulates in the air. I use a mask when working plus room filtration so I’m sure that helps as well.

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