Flip Top Tool Cart

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Project by BigBadBen posted 09-18-2012 08:06 PM 9043 views 9 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My woodshop consists of my garage. Of course I have 2 cars, two dirt bikes and 3 active kids, so there’s a little work needed just to get my woodshop set-up.

I was searching the web for ideas to best store 2 of my heaviest bench tools, which just take up shelf space and are a pain to move around. I saw several iterations of the flip top concept, so I intergrated portions of a few designs I found.

The tools are a Dewalt planer and a Craftsman sanding station. Both weigh about 80+ lbs. I use the sanding station more frequently.

I only purchased a half sheet of 3/4” maple ply and 1/2” MDF. I had leftover birch ply from other projects. I’ve been on a kick lately to try and re-use or recycle wood from old furniture from my house or stuff I see in town on the side of the road on “general” garbage day. No, I’m not a trash picker. I’m gainfully employed. Anyway, the trim and drawer facia are planned down maple from a bunk bed my son out grew.

The flip top is a sandwich of 1/2” birch ply, 1/2” MDF and 1/2” birch ply. I used a 1/2” round stock from a big box store as the pivot and pinned the ends to the vertical sides. Therefore the top pivots on the fixed round stock. The ends of the round stock are hidden with the “bunk bed” trim.

I used the half sheet of maple ply for the sides. I was carefull to measure the clearance needed to fully rotate both tools which was 19”. I gave myself 19.5”. I needed the working surface to be about 34” off the floor since I’m 6’2” and like it taller than typical working height. In lieu of having to add some sort of bracing if my cart was only 2 sides and a bottom, I decided to add a drawer. This would give me two horizontal supports and a solid back for stability. Therefore I added a 24” deep drawer which is the width of the cart and 9” tall. Plenty of storage.

There were plenty of good ideas for latching the flip top in place. Again I chose a blend of those ideas and notched the MDF (prior to glue-up) in all 4 corners and uses a 1/2” x 4” eye bolt which pivoys on a short lag bolt. This came out slick. I’ll look to come up with a special know instead of the standard 1/2” nut. But you don’t need to tighten more than hand tight.

I purchased 200# fully locking casters for all corners. Be sure to use “total locking” style which locks rotation and swivel. They cost $9 each on eBay.

That’s my story.

9 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30678 posts in 3801 days

#1 posted 09-18-2012 08:50 PM

Every good woodworker adds their own ideas to every project. Even if only to a minor degree. The more projects you do the more you modify. Natural progression I guess. It looks sturdy and very functional. In most shops that’s all we ask for.

Welcome to LJ’s.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 3739 days

#2 posted 09-18-2012 09:01 PM

Great looking cart. Welcome to LumberJocks too! Good to see that there’s another kid on here!


View BigBadBen's profile


7 posts in 3539 days

#3 posted 09-18-2012 09:06 PM

Thanks for the comments. But I’m sorry AJ, that photo is my 13 year old soon. He has not caught the woodworking bug full on yet. Dirt bikes, lacrosse, pellet guns and fishinmg are his things. :)

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8640 posts in 4815 days

#4 posted 09-18-2012 09:50 PM

Funny, when I saw the photo’s you posted of your great looking tool cart and the young man standing next to it my first thought was “is AJ seeing this” Anyway, AJ has many frineds here on LJ’s and maybe someday your son will join us here too.

Welcome to Lumberjocks !

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 3653 days

#5 posted 09-18-2012 09:54 PM

nice looking cart i have what looks to be the same planer dewalt is to heavy to lug’ve inspired me to build a cart for mine.welcome to lumberjocks.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 3664 days

#6 posted 09-18-2012 10:10 PM

Very handy cart, I remember seeing one in a mag which was actually rotating and you could put 3 different tools on it. Good job on your build….. Amazing some of these handy machines are so darn heavy. I picked up my 13in baby sander up and realized I am getting old.

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View bluekingfisher's profile


1333 posts in 4442 days

#7 posted 09-19-2012 07:46 AM

Great job. I have to build one for my Jet spindle sander. Thanks for the inspiration.

Welcome to Lumberjocks by the way, plenty of friendly and helpful folks on here.

Good luck


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View RoodyJ's profile


47 posts in 4329 days

#8 posted 09-19-2012 08:16 PM

Your rendition of the swivel cart looks so much better than mine. I have a DeWalt 735 planer and a Grizzly oscillating sander on mine. You’ve given me a push to at least paint mine. Thanks for the nice job.

-- Jim, Maryland

View Time2beupinAZ's profile


453 posts in 4424 days

#9 posted 09-19-2012 08:49 PM

Looks great. I have one to in my small shop and love it.

-- Tim - I usally measure twice after I cut......then I know for sure that I cut it short.....

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