On 4/17/2011 I got the prototype put together about as much as I’m going to.
It has served me well, pointing out some joinery and other design issues. As I mentioned in my previous blog, my wife wants deeper drawers so that will change the design a bit. Basically the drawer and the tray above the drawer may have to be separated in some respect or another. It’s either that or the drawers just hang below the side pieces, which would be okay structurally if not asthetically.
I also think that at a minimum I need better plywood for the bottoms, and perhaps thicker material. I got a sheet of 1/4” ply from HD that was sanded on one side. It warped so badly by the time I cut it (after sitting for only 1 week) that I had problems cutting it. I’ve never seen plywood warp like that. I was able to cut it by pressing down on it as it went through the table saw but it wasn’t easy or fun.
I’ve used some 1/4” birch ply that I got from Woodcraft that is still really flat after sitting in my garage for a few months. Granted, I just got a 2’ x 2’ piece from Woodcraft but the quality difference is amazing.
And, I’m not terribly upset since this was just a prototype, but that full sheet of crap from HD is next to worthless. And you can’t really take it back I don’t think.
I ended up getting a couple of threaded nipples to insert into the bottoms of the legs for the axle to run through. I think they’d be okay but I’d really like some better bushing inserts. I just couldn’t find any locally (which seems weird being in Phoenix which is supposed to be the 6th largest city in the U.S.). I used a 1/2” steel rod for the axle. Currently I just have some hose clamps holding everything together but on the final version I’ll get some actual cap nuts. It’s been kind of fun figuring out that part.
I haven’t mounted the handle yet but I think I probably will. I want to verify that it’s okay as far as maneuvering the cart around. I think it’ll be fine. I got a 1-1/4” dowel for the handle, which I had to buy a new Forstner bit for and I want to use it! (It’s an Irwin that I got at Ace Hardware. Nothing fancy but I think it’ll be fine for as often as I’ll use it.)
As you can see in the picture, I haven’t glued any of it up and may not. As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t mill any of the material so the joints aren’t great and the dados aren’t very accurate since the pieces aren’t the same height.
I did learn something about the drawers – I have French dovetails at the front. I cut blind dados into the fingers of the sides. During assembly I can slide the sides into the front and spread them enough to get the bottom in. Then the sides can be brought together and the back glued on and you can’t see any of the dado for the bottom. Nor can the bottom be pulled out. Once those things get glued I think they’ll be pretty solid.
The other thing I have left to try is mounting the actual saddle caddy part to the top using a hinge. The continuous hinge I got doesn’t seem very strong. I may end up having to use a couple or 3 heavier hinges. And I think I’ll need some kind of latch for the top so that both sides of the top are anchored. I didn’t remember how heavy the saddles were until I did a test fit. I think the top needs to be anchored down well to prevent the unit from falling apart due to the stresses while it’s being rolled around. If it wasn’t on wheels I don’t think you’d have to worry about it as much.
-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ