Machinist Toolcart #2: Measure twice, Cut Once, then measure twice again, and cut once more.

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Blog entry by PurpLev posted 06-20-2011 04:14 PM 3372 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Design Part 2 of Machinist Toolcart series Part 3: Dividers Fittings »

Its been a while since the previous post mostly because I wasn’t sure I was happy with the original design.

I went to the local lumber supplier that carries mahogany plywood and bought the 3/4” material for the carcass and baking. While there I had them cut the 1/2 full sheet to 2 halves (2 quarter sheets) so it’ll be easier for me to transport with my car (don’t have a large truck anymore).

With the 2 pieces now sitting in the garage, the original design seemed a bit small to me. The idea was to have something small by design, but now with it physically in front of me it seemed a bit too small. so I designed to revamp the design and see how large I can make it with maximizing the usage of what I have (to still keep it on the smaller side of things). I came up with a slightly larger version of the original design which can be seen in the right version in the SketchUp image below. I personally found the 3+2 top drawers arrangement a bit overcrowded and at this size I figured it would also be too narrow to actually be useful so I removed the 3 drawer layer, and simplified the cabinet a bit which resulted in the version on the left below:

I also took all the parts and placed them against a 24”x48” rectangle to visualize the sequence of cuts and where each part would come from the sheet.

What I was able to accomplish yesterday was cutting the 4 carcass parts (sides, top, bottom) all beveled at edges to keep a nice flowing grain around the cabinet, and the dividing frame and block for the upper 2 drawer assembly to mount the internal drawer sliders to.

While making the beveled cuts on the 16” wide sides+top+bottom I managed to drop my miter gauge from the TS to the floor when I pulled it too far out of the miter slot. it left a nice bruise on my hand (as I instinctively tried to catch it as it fell) before it hit the concrete floor upside down and shattered the handle and bent the handle screw…. oh well…. I guess it is now a 950SE (originally a 1000SE, turned 998SE after 1st mishap… and now this). luckily nothing critical was broken and the Incra miter gauge still performs just as well. In future projects I’ll have to rethink treating wide parts differently, either with a router, or circular saw where the part is stationary as I found to have very little control over the cut when trying to deal with wide parts for cross cuts on the TS and with safety in mind, the cut quality and the capacity becomes very limited (or maybe it’s just me).

all in all, parts are cut sizing looks decent, small but not too small, and thats what I need at the moment:

The drawer full extension slides I got came with plastic anchors that fit in 1/4” hole. you can either use those anchors or just screw the sliders directly to the wood. I chose to use the anchors, and see how well it would work . It did take an extra step, and am not sure it’s really worth it or not. I used a story stick to make sure all mounting holes/anchors are spaced evenly since I seem to always end up with extension slides that are not even with one another so hopefully doing it this way (with the sides still unattached) will help out. I’ll just have to make sure when I put all parts together that everything stays parallel and aligned. I based my mounting holes in relation to the top drawer assembly divider dado so that should make the aligning everything easier (hopefully):

Next would be to trim the dividers (horizontal and vertical) that were left a hair too long (to trim to fit later) and glue together the carcass followed by making the face frames (front and back) and the 1/4” backing.

Thanks for reading,

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

12 comments so far

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3426 days

#1 posted 06-20-2011 04:25 PM

tweaking is half the fun!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View moonls's profile


412 posts in 2980 days

#2 posted 06-20-2011 04:51 PM

I admire your ability to combine design with utility. You’re sure to have a good looking & compact storage unit for your small workshop!

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4394 days

#3 posted 06-20-2011 06:27 PM

I think that Rockler has some attachments that screw into your story stick and then have a hardened insert that screws into it. That way you have a drill center hole that doesn’t get larger as you drill holes.

I need to find the box of mine. (Never used them)

Great looking base.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Bertha's profile


13525 posts in 2686 days

#4 posted 06-20-2011 06:30 PM

You’re an animal, Purp. Glad to see it. Very well thought out. Anything machinist is good in my book:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3642 days

#5 posted 06-20-2011 08:17 PM

Thanks everyone.

Ellen, once I’m done with this, you are welcome to stop by and tweak it all you want – have fun!

Karson, Thanks for the info, I used the storyboard for the pilot holes so did not give it a chance to get messed up, but it’s good to know there are options out there.

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

View Lenny's profile


1593 posts in 3520 days

#6 posted 06-20-2011 09:03 PM

Looking good Sharon. Regarding the miter gauge incident, consider investing in the rubber-y floor tiles. I can’t tell you how many times I have dropped a tool (chisels come to mind) and been thankful it landed on soft cushiony material instead of the concrete beneath it. However, I left an area around the TS uncovered so I can move it as needed. If I had the same accident you did, I think it would have landed on concrete too.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Richard's profile


297 posts in 2531 days

#7 posted 06-20-2011 10:36 PM

Oh, wow… that looks exactly like the tool I have in my studio!!
Well, my is metal and says ‘Craftsman’ on it… it’s black and chrome… BUT, in my mind it looks just like this!
Dude… That is a freakin’ jewerly box on industrial casters! Fannnn tastic!

-- 'I sand, therefore, I am'. Richard. PNW.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6855 posts in 3973 days

#8 posted 06-20-2011 11:13 PM

Hi Sharon,

Man, you are good with sketch up!

The cabinet looks like it will be really nice.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3082 days

#9 posted 06-21-2011 11:48 AM

Looks like it will be a beauty.
And perhaps a 126SE before the end of the blog.
Have a nice ride.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View 489tad's profile


3362 posts in 3005 days

#10 posted 06-21-2011 02:01 PM

I like this blog. I impressed with the Sketch Up drawing. The new drawer design is good too. You can use dividers and trays depending on what you plan on putting in the drawers. (you know that). “Freakin’ jewerly box on industrial casters!” Love it!

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View 489tad's profile


3362 posts in 3005 days

#11 posted 06-21-2011 02:11 PM

Sharon, just a thought, on the right side or the back of the cart you can add a flip up table top for a desk or out feed table. If I remember Lenny had a cool flip up design on his table saw for a out feed table.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3642 days

#12 posted 06-22-2011 05:41 PM

489tad – thanks. I thought about a flip top, and I may incorporate that at some point in the future, but at the moment this needs to fit into a small space, and will be used purely for the drawer storage for machining tools.

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

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