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6,838 Posts
Why I Need Storage & the Materials to Fix the Problem

In the previous edition, I stated that I wanted to build a lumber/sheetgood/clamp rack. Here is all the lumber I need it to hold:

In this last photo, you can't see that the lumber goes about 10 boards deep.

Here is my current lumber rack, which as you can see is pretty full. I do love it, but I don't have enough wall space to add another.

Here is the clamp rack that I want to replace. I was about 1/4 way into the project when I found out I was going to be a dad, so all my efforts needed to shift to building a crib. My original plan was to practive some oversized dovetails and things like that, but instead I just slapped it together. Now it is the leaning clamp rack of Pisa. I planned to add another couple of shelves, but I worry that any more weight will topple it, so I'm just going to build new and do it right. Here are the pics.

Lastly, I've got about 5 sheets of oak, poplar, and cherry plywood, some pegboard, and some mdf that need to be stored. No photos of that, but you've seen plywood before.

Off to the hardware store I went. I picked up 3 sheets of pine plywood and five 8ft 2×4's. Here is a photo of all the materials ready to go (missing one 2×4).
Congrats Daddy!

some of your lumber looks like it has the wrong color - I'll PM you my address… you should ship if here so that you don't need to worry about it - and then you won't have an issue with too much lumber as well.

(now if only I can find a place to store it that would be great!)

so far so good!

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6,838 Posts
Lots of Work - Minimal Results

Before I start, if anyone has any suggestions to make my blog more readable, please let me know. I spend about an hour on each entry and I still feel that they are severely lacking. I can't do much about the topics since I only blog what I'm working on. I try to include photos too. I may be a bit long winded though. Any criticism would REALLY be appreciated.

I debated whether to post today because it doesn't look like I did much, although I think I did lots with few visual results. I committed to blogging this project through to the end since I think I can finish it on my week off, so I guess I should do it right. I should take one moment to say that my wife has been very good about taking care of our daughter during the day so I can work on this, but there is one catch. My daughter's playpen shares a wall with the garage. We are also trying to get her used to afternoon naps, so anytime it looks like she might zonk out, power tools have to go off. Inevitably she is ready to sleep anytime I finish laying out my cuts and have just put on my safety equipment. I spent 5 hrs working today, but probably could have done this in 3-4 if I was on my own schedule.

In the morning I ran some errands and one of those errands was to get 3" screws. That allowed me to firm up the base that I had just nailed together the prior day. I decided diagnal bracing with 2×4's wasn't necessary because of a couple design modifications (covered later).

Now that the base was nailed and screwed, I needed to add my wheel supports. These came from a 1'x4' piece. Here is is marked for cutting. Hopefully you can see the 8 triangles.

After cutting them I tried to double them up with glue. I know the clamping pressure is not sufiicient for that much surface area. I thought it would make it easier to assemble everything, but changed my mind after the first two.

Now I've got somewhere to attach the wheels once I decide which to use. Here is what I've got

4 of these:

or two of each of these:

I've still got a day to think about the wheel choices. Now I flip over the base so it is right side up and start working my way upward. Here is the first change I made. I realized that while my design modifications would be fine for long lumber storage, I kind of need a floor to support the upright shorts. So, I'm swapping out a 2×4 from the original plans with a 1×6 to be used later. Now, the 2 pieces of 4'x6" plywood I cut yesterday are going to become part of the base. Here you can see it glued up. IT will serve as a floor for the cutoffs and will give an edge for the "A-frame" type structure to push against.

I also decided I'm going to use some scrap shelving to make a floor for the plywood. I'm certain that I could store the plywood across the exposed 2×4's but it might do some damage to the edges, particularly when trying to load and unload the 3/4" pieces. This is my 3rd cheat (1st was using old pegboard, 2nd was swapping out a 2×4 for a 1×6 (although the 1×6 was even cheaper)).

Now I need to start in on some of these large sides. I layed out the windows on the plywood support side. I plunge cut with the circular saw. This did scare me a bit because it feels like I'm cutting on a table saw without a fence or miter gauge. I'm not sure what the difference is except for maybe h.p.m but I guess it worked fine. here are the pictures

Once all is done, it looks like this:

So here is what I still need to do.
1 attach wheels
2 Attach the MDF to the base for the plywood storage side.
3 Attach the cleats
4 Cut the shelves to width and angle the edges to match the slant of the sides (the sides will be 18" apart at the base, with 3 subsequent shelves being 16", 14", and 12".
5 Attach the shelves
6 layout the dividers (unless you guys think my plunge cuts came out perfectly straight)
7 attach dividers
8 attach the front of the cut-off bin
I think your blogs are just fine. generally speaking, I find blogs are easier to read when they are broken into paragraphs with pictures in between - which is how yours are (hence I find your blogs just fine, and a good read).

I personally also think that blogs, on top of sharing the process with others, are a good way to put your thoughts and ideas down, so that you can read, and re-read them yourself, which helps put things in perspective, and be more prepared for the next steps of the project. I also find that when I take pictures, and post them, it helps me sometimes see errors, or things that I missed during working on a part. again - helps one's self focus on the project, and deal with things in a more controlled manner.

I know what you mean about nap time - I used to be just the same, and although it can slow things down, and be frustrating at times, when you stop and think about it - the perspective changes ,and the reasons become golden.

good luck on the rest of the project - so far it looks great!

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Sides are 1/2 way done

First off, I'm amazed by people that crank out quality projects. This construction grade project has been slow going and there really isn't too much detail. The heat is also really wearing on me so I only did about 4 hrs today. I doubt it looks like 4 hours of work, but lots of predrilling and lots of screws.

I started off with the objective of finishing the base. I needed to complete the floor for the plywood storage and attach the wheels. The shelf floor went on just fine. The wheels weren't quite as easy. Here is a picture after getting the wheels on.

The problem with the wheels was that I assumed the stems would be long enough to go through the plywood wheel supports. I used doubled up 3/4" ply. As you can see, they weren't long enough.

What I did was I drilled a hole with a spade bit into the top of the supports. It was just large enough to get a washer into the hole (1" wide maybe). I drilled through three layers of ply. This worked well because as I went through each layer I could see the black glue. It made for the easiest measuring of the project so far. I then finished with a 3/8's bit all the way through. I don't know if this will weaken the structure. personally, I don't think so, but we'll see.

The other mistake I made was I had already attached the wheel supports thinking I could just slide my ratchet in there. I needed to disassemble everything and then put it back together. up to this point i probably spent 1.5 hrs btu at least 15 minutes was kicking myself for not realizing my mistake. all in all though, not a big deal.

On to the sides!

I left the base with a 19.5 gap between the floor of the plywood and the floor for the offcuts. after subtracting 1.5 inches for the plywood thickness, that leaves 18 inches at the base. the sides are 42 inched high. I'll put a shelf ever 13 inches. this means that every 13 inches, the sides will slant one inch inward (on each side) I think that will be plenty to keep material leaning but not so much that it causes additional downward stress.

I measured each 13" increment and marked up the plywood. here are 4 shots (2 of each side) of the cleats being glued into place and screwed in, mostly to pull the parts tight during gluing. I was shocked that I used as many screws and as much glue as I did. I've already used a whole small bottle and a whole box of screws (although they were varied sizes).

I was careful to try and keep the bow in the plywood pieces going the opposite direction of one another. I don't think it will make a significant difference, but every little bit will help. Screwing the shelving in will really line everything up and make it much more rigid.

I'm actually really pleased with the progress. I think tomorrow I'm going to take a day off and just rest up. Then on Monday I'll try and finish this thing off. I'll need to rip the shelves to their final width and figure out a way to hold up the sides while I work on getting the parts in place. I'll also need to screw the sides to the base. If that gets done in less than 2 hrs, I might start on the dividers for the cutoff bins.

One final note, thanks to everyone for their advice on the casters. I was using the base as my workbench and I locked the casters. They didn't go anywhere. once I was done, I put the last piece of plywood on it to simulate the weight of the structure (unloaded). After unlocking them I could easily move it with one hand. So far, I'm thrilled. I hope they work as well when I put another 700 lbs on it.

One FINAL FINAL note. here is a shot of the scrap pile. If not for the mdf, that was already scrap, I'd be at virtually 0 (1' x 6" plus sawdust). I'm not soing this just to do it, I'm just trying to keep costs down after my wife has been so good about saving money recently. I may use some of the mdf scrap anyway when making some of the clamp rack attachments, but I'll decide all of that stuff at a later date.

this is turning into a behemoth! nice progress

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6,838 Posts
Mobile Tool Cart (with photos)

This post relates to a project I've been designing in my mind for a couple of years. I've had a lot of trouble figuring out exactly how I wanted to configure everything on my cart to effectively utilize 4 bench tools (miter saw saw, band saw, drill press, and bench grinder) while still fitting a lot of storage underneath and remaining mobile.

Here is what I built

It is about 3 feet tall (not counting the casters) is 4 feet wide, and is 20" deep. I used about 1 1/2 sheets of 3/4 inch poplar plywood and half a sheet of 1/4 ply for the back. I bought casters online. They seem to work well. I'll try to remember to post a a review of them.

I think the most important part of the build is the layout of the bench tools on the top. I can cut a 3 ft piece of lumber on the miter saw without extra support. I also have good access to the drill press and bandsaw with zero interference from other tools. All the dust collection of the tools point in the same direction so hooking up some hoses to a shop vac should be easy enough. Here is an overhead shot so you can see the layout.

I know I mentioned that it holds four bench tools. The fourth tool would be the bench grinder. That will temporarily be put right in front of the bandsaw. I think that will work fine for the occasional use it gets.

Here is a shot of the storage that the cart offers. This is more than any other item in my shop offers:

Finally, here is a shot of one of the sides. I plan to hang some tools on there like my framing square, speed square, some smaller tools like my mallet, chisels, etc. On the other side I'll probably hang my shop vac hoses, pipes, and attachments.

looks very efficient. thats quite a bit of weight load you've got on this mobile workstation.

it could be the photo, and it could be me- but it seems like the center of the ply base is bowing at the center between the casters. I would personally at cross braces to the base, or at least a face frame to the cabinet to give it a bit more structural support over the length of it especially with all that weight you have in and on it.

cheers ;)
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