Shop Storage Solutions #8: Mobile Tool Cart (with photos)

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Blog entry by HokieMojo posted 03-13-2011 05:53 AM 62703 reads 14 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: A final descision on the sheet goods storage Part 8 of Shop Storage Solutions series no next part

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.

13 comments so far

View Dandog's profile


250 posts in 2351 days

#1 posted 03-13-2011 05:56 AM

you have a little mini shop in less than a 5 ft.² area
good job

-- life an woodworking is one big experiment

View Woodbutchery's profile


300 posts in 3162 days

#2 posted 03-13-2011 06:39 AM

What an amazing use of space! Nice work!

-- Making scrap with zen-like precision - Woodbutchery

View Alexander's profile


193 posts in 2687 days

#3 posted 03-13-2011 07:43 AM

cool! quite a well thought out project.

-- John at Sugarloft Mountain........Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

View Vicki's profile


1054 posts in 2921 days

#4 posted 03-13-2011 07:07 PM

That is a great use of a small space. Your planning paid off.

I see you have the same BS as me. How do you like it?

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View PurpLev's profile


8525 posts in 3225 days

#5 posted 03-14-2011 03:27 AM

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 ;)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3304 days

#6 posted 03-14-2011 04:30 AM

Thanks for the compliments everyone.

For the price, I like it. I don’t remember off the top of my head, but I think it was a 10 inch. I think 14 is the usual size for being able to resaw wider boards. I’d upgrade to that in a heartbeat if it was in the budget, but for now I’m quite content. Because I plan to upgrade though, I am not investing much more in blades so I’m limited to the 2 high grade blades I bought at the outset.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3304 days

#7 posted 03-14-2011 04:41 AM

Hey Purp,
I assure you, it is just the camera. If you look at my first photo, the top and bottom look like they are sagging. If you look at the 4th photo, the top looks like it is arched and the bottom still looks like it is sagging. I’ve had this problem with the camera I’m using for a while now, but the lens distorts the photos. I DO appreciate looking out for me though. Also, the back plywood is screwed in to all the framing to add rigidity and that really helps.

View Vicki's profile


1054 posts in 2921 days

#8 posted 03-14-2011 07:05 AM

Thanks for the feedback. I’ve had a bit of a problem getting the blade to track correctly. It might be operator error, but I’ve tried every tip I’ve found and made a million adjustments. I might be wrong but I think the small BSs have a smaller margin of error when it comes to alignment. I also have a dickens of a time alignning the lower bearings. Real tight quarters.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3304 days

#9 posted 03-14-2011 07:42 PM

I think the toughest part is getting the blade tight enough. Right when you are about to get it where you want it, it turns out that it is overtightened for such a small saw. lol. It is frustrating. I think I’d have an easier time if I weren’t using a 1/2” blade almost all the time.

View Vicki's profile


1054 posts in 2921 days

#10 posted 03-15-2011 06:07 AM

My problem is that if I tighten it as much as I’d want, my 1/4” blade will come off the wheel. The spot where it stays put makes the blade seem to have too much play to me. So, I just leave it a bit loose and make the comprimise. Seems to me that when the blade is tensioned properly it should be kinds like a scroll saw blade and not have much ‘wiggle’.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3304 days

#11 posted 03-15-2011 03:31 PM

I think you worded it better than I did. It sounds like we are in the same boat.

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 2772 days

#12 posted 03-15-2011 10:20 PM

Nice work center. I have the same BS and the think that drives me crazy about it is the lack of support up here in Canada. They don’t sell the freakin’ blades. WTF. Sears in the states are ready to order them for me but they need a US address :(. Anyway I think I found another source but I have not tried them yet.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View Vicki's profile


1054 posts in 2921 days

#13 posted 03-16-2011 06:50 AM

@Hokie…....well your having trouble too makes me feel better (sorry bout that). Makes me think it’s not just my goof up. Thanks.

@Rex…....I don’t know if they ship to Canada, but is really good. Or search google for Timberwolf blades.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

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