Reply by JBrow

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Posted on Trying to figure out a lumber cart.

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1368 posts in 1807 days

#1 posted 07-26-2017 02:11 PM


I took a stab at the rough loaded weight estimate suggested by TungOil. Based on my calculations I do not believe the lumber cart will be moved much. For example, with if loaded to half its volume (4’ x 4’ x 10’) with yellow poplar (38 pounds/cubic foot), the lumber alone would weigh about 1-1/2 tons. Additionally steering the cart if equipped with large diameter all swivel castors would be a bit like herding cats.

The only options I see for these two problems while keeping the cart mobile is to reduce the overall size of the cart or make two smaller carts, if this much storage is required. Mounting a pair of straight-line castors at one end would help with steering the cart.

For sheet goods storage, two bays may be enough especially with the PVC pipe standoffs on the floor of the plywood bays. Since I find that sheet good cutoffs accumulate quickly, one of the plywood bays could be divided vertically, perhaps the bottom bay a little taller than the upper bay. Also I assume the plywood storage bay is about 24” wide. This would accommodate up to 29 full size sheets of ¾” thick plywood; a lot of plywood. If you decide to downsize the cart, reducing the allocation to plywood storage could leave still leave you with plenty of sheet good storage.

I appreciate the desire to provide a means of escape for an otherwise trapped creature. However, I would be concerned that magnetic catches to keep the cart closed in the elements would fail when the wind blows. Magnetic catches of sufficient strength to overcome the resistance of the weather stripping and buffeting from the wind would also make it difficult for a small child or animal to escape. A more secure method for securing the doors closed is probably required.

You did not mention any ventilation. Even though the cart may keep water out, humidity could build up and harm the lumber. One solution would be to install louvered vents at each end of the cart. They would keep water out and allow air to enter. Applying window screen mesh to the vent opening would help keep insects outside the cart.

I too share firefighterontheside’s concern about racking with doors at each end. One way to stiffen the cart to resist racking would be to cantilever the base of the cart to one side and the install diagonal bracing from the cantilever to the upper edge of the side.

Since this cart will spend time in the elements, slopping the top to shed water like a roof, would go a long way to protecting the top and keep things dry inside the cart. You may be able to find an inexpensive flat roof material that could be applied to the top. In fact perhaps a friendly roofing contractor would have some scrap membrane that they would give or sell at a low cost.

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