Lumber Cart

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Project by CaptainKlutz posted 09-07-2020 10:10 PM 1070 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made a lumber cart. It uses wood. :-)

Looking at pictures will see the cart is 1% wood, and 99% metal.
Almost not a wood working project? :-)

The only wood used to make the cart was a divider sheet of 5mm plywood to keep scraps on shelve from interfering with sheet goods, as shown in first picture. Used wood because it was 5x cheaper than sheet of metal.
The rest is welded steel. Mostly 1/8” 1.5×1.5 angle, with couple pieces of 2×4x12ga & 2×2x12ga for base where castors mount. The shelf sides are partially covered with #9×3/4” flattened expanded metal. I got fancy and added cap strips too. :-)

Design started off with basic size allowance, staring at some other folks lumber carts on LJ, basic shelve spacing, 5° tilt angle for sheet stock; and then I cut and welded pieces to fit; based on what I had available cheap. I don’t keep or store a lot of sheet stock, mostly cut offs, so cart only has room for 6” thick stack. Have so little right now, there is room for some slabs too. :)

The 2nd and 3rd pictures are before and after on my scrap pile. Have used 5gal buckets for as long as I can remember. When I downsized the home/shop last year, buckets had to go.
The cart has 2’ w x 4’ deep base plate, and 83”’ tall. The configuration reduced my scrap lumber foot print by over 50%.

Being retired, I scrounge cheap stuff where I can. I started off with some free angle iron and hunk of 16ga plate initially. The frame was not stable, as angle iron twists too easy. So I added 2” tubing to base to fix it.

Was going to use expanded metal for shelves to avoid holding dust. But I decided in middle of build to add expanded metal to sides also. Spent more on expanded metal than rest of steel; but only have ~$90 BOM in metal. While I was looking for casters, found CL post selling used $25 heavy duty 5” casters for $5 each. They looked barely used, so bought an extra set too. Added some grease to zerk fittings and they work like new. :-)

The cart is spray painted with 2 part epoxy primer left over from a vehicle body repair awhile back. Used half a quart of Rustoleum Safety Red catalyzed with enamel hardener as top coat. Used a $10 HF spray gun. Painted this in my redneck outdoor paint booth, a 10×10 EZ-Up canopy with side wall to block wind (sidewall removed for pic):

Spent more time on then I planned, due design changes while building. SWAG is ~50-60 hours. Took almost 3 months to build, as I only managed 4-5 hours a week between AZ summer heat, health issues, and a big Covid 19 challenge (my FIL moved into our house for recovery from surgery – he is doing well thanks!).

Have a bunch of PIP, only posted a couple up top; since this is wood working forum and a not a fabrication forum.

Thanks for reading. Hope you like it, my apologies if you don’t.

Have a great day, and better tomorrow!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

7 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile


9150 posts in 3421 days

#1 posted 09-08-2020 01:23 AM

Good on you Capt K. It really looks great. You did it right.

View Peteybadboy's profile


3638 posts in 3105 days

#2 posted 09-08-2020 10:53 AM

Like it? I love it! My wood version is practically immobile. Wrong casters I think, and a lot of weight. I tried to find a metal cart like that before I build mine. You might find a market for that.

Thanks for posting, well done.

-- Petey

View OnhillWW's profile


305 posts in 2388 days

#3 posted 09-08-2020 12:11 PM

Now I have cart envy…. great project, nicely done!

-- Cheap is expensive! - my Dad

View CaptainKlutz's profile


4659 posts in 2650 days

#4 posted 09-08-2020 02:07 PM

Thanks folks!

Petey – not 100% happy with the casters I used either?
Cart weighs ~150lbs, and moves OK empty. Rolls fine loaded, but is very hard to turn and maneuver. Another example that flat bottom wheels stink when it comes to no/slow speed cornering. Will use it awhile and see how bad I hate these it. Can switch out wheels for a set of semi-crowned, or crowned wheels like I did on my TS mobile base, when I can afford it.


-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7166 posts in 4350 days

#5 posted 09-08-2020 03:30 PM

Captain Klutz,

Stellar job as usual on the wood cart….It turned out great, and it will serve you well for many years down the road.

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View Peteybadboy's profile


3638 posts in 3105 days

#6 posted 09-08-2020 04:30 PM

Captain, I’m to take a look at a review in FWW on casters (if I remember), I’m thinking large and very hard tires.

-- Petey

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 5007 days

#7 posted 09-13-2020 12:35 AM

Nice job and congratulations on your ‘Daily Top 3’ award.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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