Mobile Kitchen Cart

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Project by Walker posted 06-10-2020 06:25 PM 1131 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I normally don’t post my projects for fear of ridicule (I say that slightly in jest, but I’m fully aware of all my mistakes) however I’m relatively proud of this one. It might be the nicest thing I’ve built thus far.

This is a mobile kitchen cart, based on free plans from The Woodsmith Shop. I adjusted the dimensions, used end grain for the board rather than edge grain, and added the wing on the side. A very good friend of mine saw the kitchen cart I made for my own house and has been asking me to build one for her. However, mine is a disaster, a monument to ignoring wood movement. She is getting married soon, and I saw the woodsmith episode featuring this cart. Then Covid-19 hit and I suddenly had lots of time on my hands. All signs said it was the time to get going on this project. It’s currently residing in my spare room until the wedding, so forgive the clutter in the pictures.

I decided to finish the pieces before final assembly, so much of the build process was to facilitate that. The red is Old Fashioned Milk Paint Salem red. My first time working with milk paint, it was a fantastic experience! The kitchen this cart will live in has lots of exposed brick, I was trying to match. However, I really hate painting wood, even plywood. I’d much rather see the beautiful grain. The nice thing about the milk paint, since it comes in a powder you can control how much water you add to it. Just a little bit of extra water thins it out enough that the grain comes through real nice. Milk paint is not very durable however, so I added four coats of poly. The trim is all poplar with a dark walnut stain and poly. The lighter parts are maple with Tried and True brand danish oil.

The cart started with a 3/4” domestic birch plywood case. I used a shelf pin jig before anything was assembled. The ply is trimmed with 3/4”x3/4” poplar strips and wings. I used dowels to hold all the trim on throughout construction. Dryfit, it allowed me to keep everything held together while trimming, sanding, and block planing each piece where needed. After finishing the pieces separately, then I glued it together. The spice rack on the back is all 5/8” maple, backed with a 1/4” maple ply and 3/8” maple dowels. It’s screwed into the case, then I plugged the screw holes with walnut.

Next, the corbels are quartersawn maple scraps I had from another project. Both doweled and then screwed in from the inside of the case with long construction screws. A 1” oak dowel runs between them, with the walnut stain. This is the only place I used oak, it’s not an exact match but it’s what I had on hand already. It’s very sturdy and am including some S hooks to hang pots from. The opposite side of the cart has an extension wing that folds out of the way when not in use. This is not in the woodsmith plans. I used folding shelf hardware found on Amazon. They lock in the upright position and feel very strong.

With the case and trim all put together, I measured for and built the drawer and the cabinet door. The drawer is 1/2” maple sides, 1/4” ply bottom, and 3/4” maple front. The door was my first time making a frame and panel construction. It’s also maple. I happened to have 2 black handles leftover from my own kitchen remodel, and the folding shelf hardware was black, so I went with the theme. I found black soft close full extension drawer slides, black double locking swivel casters, and black soft close Blum hinges. I like the look of it all way better then the shiny silver hardware.

The final touch, and the last thing I built, was the butcher block top. It’s all maple, 2 1/4” thick and approx 22×21”. Solid all the way through, so it can be flipped over to use both sides. I’ve built butcher blocks and cutting boards before, but never this big. This was a beast. I made it in four sections so it would fit on my belt sander. Then glued those together and finished up with a palm sander. It sits level with the wings of the cart, creating a large workspace. Routed a drip tray into one side, and some handles because this thing is heavy! I’ve pre-seasoned it with Howard’s butcher block wax and am including a bottle with the gift. Also a non slip safety mat for under the cutting board.

Overall I am very pleased with how this turned out. There were a few mistakes and challenges that likely only I’ll ever notice. Or maybe some other woodworkers. But my friend who is the recipient of this cart I think (hope) will love it.

-- ~Walker

12 comments so far

View Walker's profile


465 posts in 1681 days

#1 posted 06-10-2020 06:42 PM

Some more photos from the build process.

The case, was not 100% square. As a result, the trim pieces all had to be individually fit. I also used clamps and weights to try to keep the panels flat.

Milk Paint smells like milk!

-- ~Walker

View Walker's profile


465 posts in 1681 days

#2 posted 06-10-2020 06:46 PM

Adding trim. Used some paper towels to keep the clamps from damaging the finish.

Tipped it over to add the casters.

Made this little stopper for the door out of a random rubber foot I had in the junk pile.

Almost finished! just needs the butcher block.

-- ~Walker

View socrbent's profile


1047 posts in 3478 days

#3 posted 06-10-2020 07:23 PM

Great looking cart – should be very useful in a kitchen.

-- socrbent Ohio

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1457 posts in 2501 days

#4 posted 06-10-2020 08:20 PM

Wow. That is beautiful.
The finish looks flawless.
If it didn’t have such a fine finish on it I would like to use it in my shop.

-- James E McIntyre

View Madmark2's profile


3051 posts in 1797 days

#5 posted 06-10-2020 08:28 PM

Nice work done well.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View LeeRoyMan's profile


2061 posts in 936 days

#6 posted 06-10-2020 08:43 PM

No ridicule from me, just compliments, although I do have one question.
You keep guitars and amps in your kitchen? :)

View Walker's profile


465 posts in 1681 days

#7 posted 06-10-2020 09:24 PM

Thanks for the compliments. The milk paint was fantastic to work with. It dries very quickly, and you can sand it between coats, which made it very even. I did two coats, sanding after each one. Followed by 3 coats of gloss poly, then a final coat of semi gloss.

One thing I almost never do, but took the time on this project, is coat one horizontal surface at a time, wait for it to dry, turn 90, repeat as necessary. Usually I just slop it on all faces at once, causing drips that need to be dealt with.

@leeroyman. The guitar amps are in the spare bedroom. The cart will be a wedding gift, so it’s a temporary storage.

-- ~Walker

View BurlyBob's profile


9293 posts in 3474 days

#8 posted 06-11-2020 01:02 AM

That is really dandy. It’s going to be a great addition to your kitchen.

View swirt's profile


6504 posts in 4181 days

#9 posted 06-11-2020 01:37 PM

Outstanding. Thanks for sharing. If your other work is only half this quality, you should be sharing that too ;)

-- Galootish log blog,

View Peteybadboy's profile


3870 posts in 3158 days

#10 posted 06-11-2020 05:12 PM

Nice job on the build and finish. What a great gift that will be!

-- Petey

View mybonniecalico's profile


10 posts in 854 days

#11 posted 06-12-2020 02:08 PM

You have done yourself proud with this beauty. Well done!

-- Brian, Calgary

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1457 posts in 2501 days

#12 posted 10-13-2020 01:31 AM

Great build and gift. The milk paint adds depth and really glows.

I never used it before but looking at your success I hope I find a use for it.

-- James E McIntyre

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