Utility Cart Mods #1: Part 1 - Leveling and adjusting the height

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Blog entry by ChunkyC posted 01-21-2011 02:30 AM 2409 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Utility Cart Mods series Part 2: Part 2 - Flip-Up Plywood Rack »

I built this utility cart a while back.
Click for details

I had big plans for it but I set my planer on it and it’s become a dedicated planer stand. The reason for this, it had a couple of design misses that prevented it from being any more useful than a planer stand.

First: The top shelf height. The magic number for my shop is 35-1/8”, the height of my table saw. It was too low to use as any sort of support.

Second: The casters were uneven. Granted it set’s on a concrete floor so you can only get it to set even in one place, and the one place was the top of my workbench the day that I made it.

The fix, adjustable casters.

The first step was to remount the casters. I planed and jointed one edge each of a piece of 2×8 and 2×4 and screwed them together. Next, I routed a 1/2” slot in the side of the cart to except a 5/16” carriage bolt that would bolt through the 2×8. This would give me about 1-1/2” of vertical adjustment.

The vertical adjustment was nice but it was still difficult to get it to set flat on the floor. So I installed a “jack bolt” on each corner. I just loosen the adjustment bolt for the high caster and crank the jack bolt until all four caster are setting on the floor. Easy peasy! I didn’t even have to use a wrench. SWEET!

The next step, add a Flip-Up Ply Wood Rack like the one featured in American Woodworker.

When I read this article, I was taken aback by how similar their cart looked compared to mine. So adding the Flip-Up Ply Wood Rack should be easy. (Famous last words!) The plan is to make it so a full sheet of ply wood has it COG just above the hinge. That way I can use gravity to my advantage when flipping it over. Because I scabbed a 2×4 onto the side of the 2×8, it left me with a nice ledge that I can use. I plan to add a sheet of ply on the ledge so that I can put a bag of sand down there for a counter weight. Again, we’ll have to see how it all comes together.

Until next time,

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures:

2 comments so far

View mpounders's profile


877 posts in 2948 days

#1 posted 01-21-2011 05:29 PM

Hmmmmm…..wonder if you could set the planer underneath to use it as ballast? I want a movable stand for my planer, but can always use the extra table space also. And not sure that I want the flip-top version. Will be watching this!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View ChunkyC's profile


856 posts in 3307 days

#2 posted 01-21-2011 08:41 PM

Man, putting the planer on the bottom shelf would be best! Unfortunately the planer is too tall. I might be able to reduce the width of the upper rail and slide it in then, don’t know.

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures:

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