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Forum topic by DanBman posted 09-14-2018 07:23 PM 470 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 664 days

09-14-2018 07:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

While I was in the military and moving around for the past twenty years, I couldn’t really do much. My shop/garage were limited in what I could haul with me and had room for in rental houses and apartments. My experience so far has been 2×4 benches and planters, picnic tables and the like.

I retired from the military a few years ago and took a job in Virginia, where we bought our first house. With a two car garage and extra shop space… now it’s time to fill it up. I have already bought the necessary starting things… table saw, band saw (garage sale find), compound miter saw… as well as car tools and power tools. My first wood working project will be organization and some rolling carts for everything.

So before I begin, I thought I’d get advice from the experts…
1. Rolling carts vs dedicated stations? So my garage/shop has to pull triple duty… storage, car shop and wood shop. I don’t park a car there unless I’m working on it but I do most of my own maintenance and repairs. (Currently doing a timing belt but that’s a different story.) As such, I’m thinking rolling carts that hold all the regular use tools at the same height and a rolling outfeed/work cart.

1a. Assuming I go this route, are there any tools you guys wish you had or had not put on a rolling cart?
1b. Best plans for such carts?
1c. Any other recommendations?

6 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2437 posts in 936 days

#1 posted 09-14-2018 08:03 PM

THANK YOU for your dedicated service !!!
and welcome to the trenches.

oh – and stay away from TED’S WOODWORKING PLANS !!
it is a bad site full of malware.

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View Bill_Steele's profile


705 posts in 2505 days

#2 posted 09-14-2018 08:06 PM

I’m no expert, but I’ll chime in…..

It sounds like rolling carts might be the best option for you. I think dedicated stations is the most efficient way to work, but since you likely have a need to be able to move tools or work surfaces to accommodate other operations (e.g. car repair, car parking, floor cleaning/sweeping, arranging machines for long rips or other operations, access to electrical outlets, etc.) I think mobile is the way to go.

I would slightly overbuild the carts, and use a good quality polyurethane caster. Casters that swivel and lock at all four corners are nice for moving/rotating tools in a small space. Like you said—designing the height/width of the carts such that you can use other cart(s) as out-feed/in-feed support for other tools is ideal (e.g. the finished height of the planer cart plus the planer allow you to use the top of the planer as out-feed support for your bandsaw).

I don’t have any plans, but I can post a few pictures of the mobile bases I made for my planer, bandsaw, and jointer if you are interested.

View fivecodys's profile


1637 posts in 2410 days

#3 posted 09-14-2018 08:10 PM

Yes, Thank you for your service!!

I have my planer and miter saw on a flip top cart. If I had to do it over I would probably put the miter-saw on a standard top cart and maybe add my scroll saw to the flipper.

I had my Rigid Sanding center on it once and when I flipped it every thing fell out and some of the washers even went into the base of the machine. Huge mistake!

Search the web. There are a ton of plans out there from the likes of “WOOD Magazine” to “Shop Notes” and even some free plans offered by You Tube Creators.


-- A bad day woodworking is still better than a good day working.

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John Smith

2437 posts in 936 days

#4 posted 09-14-2018 09:32 PM

I don’t use my miter saw much anymore now that I am retired.
but, one of the better designs I made for it was to build the mobile
base cabinet to where the miter saw cut table was flush with the table saw.
just something to consider when you start making mobile stations that can perform multiple tasks.



-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View Redoak49's profile


4737 posts in 2762 days

#5 posted 09-14-2018 09:51 PM

I have every tool on rolling carts or rolling bases.

View mathguy1981's profile


94 posts in 678 days

#6 posted 09-15-2018 12:21 AM

Mobile bases are excellent, and if I may offer one suggestion is that if you’re building your own, castor brakes aren’t enough. You need to design a system that bottoms out the base to the floor (or plants feet, via ready rod) so you’re not trying to use a miter saw and the damn thing is moving around on you. Just not safe, is my thinking.
Grizzly sells the Shop Fox mobile bases for $60-80 each, and they’re all metal. Won’t save you money, but would save you time.

-- Two thumbs and counting

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