I saw this panel handler trolley in a magazine, except made out of metal, and therefore a much different looking base where the panel rests. I thought the physics were doable in wood, and I had a bunch of scrap wood.
I needed a little warmup before tackling my super sled. The main pieces of the sled are cut out by the way, and the fences are gluing up. I decided I had enough shop time this weekend, now I need to vegetate before starting another week of work.
This project is classified as an antic, because an antic is making something to prove you could do it when it would be smarter to buy it. My only excuse was I hadn’t seen one in the local stores. And I had all this warped plywood to use on small items.
So first a picture of the trolley in action on a panel. This is before I finished the trolley with Watco, but I had to get this slightly larger than 4×8’ panel of MDF cut up to get a 48×3 inch piece as the finish layer on my sled’s back fence. Needed to do the glueup.
Here I have rested the panel while it is on the trolley on a project table and the band saw. It has two in line wheels. There are no attachments to the trolley. The panel needs to rest approximately at its center position on the trolley. The resting point is angled to force the panel into the upright, and this shifts the center of gravity of the average size 4×8’ panel to lie approximately over the wheels. So essentially the trolley is a bicycle with the panel sitting side saddle, except there is no seat just an upright to lie against.
This is the backside of this same panel on the trolley:
So then I put another project table near the panel, and then put my hands under the panel and lifted and slid it onto the project table. The trolley just fell backward a few inches and rested on the skirt of the project table. Neat. So not only was it easy to put the panel on the trolley, but with a little attention to balance the panel could then easily be steered(with the short wheel base it turns on a dime)out of the garage and into the shop. You can also tilt the front on the panel up by pushing the rear of the panel down and the wheels will then lift over obstacles. The trolley is forced by physics to stay attached to the panel. Then when the panel is rested against a table or sawhorse, there is space to put ones hands underneath the panel and lift and slide it over. No heroics needed.
Here is a full view of the trolley, after its coat of Watco:
And here is a picture that shows the angling of the resting point for a panel that forces the panel into the upright, and makes the trolley cling to the panel:
The trolley will not get frequent use, but any full panel 1/2 inch thick or more will get a ride on the trolley from storage into the shop…....
The body of the trolley is layered glued plywood, nothing is hollow. the axles are 5/8” bolts that I have had for 30 years, finally got some use out of them. The upright is glued to the body, and has a carriage bolt and two screws to attach to the body for strength. The upright is made of two 3/4inch plywood pieces glued and screwed.
The wheels are 3/4inch ply made with my new circle jig on my toy bandsaw. The angled piece is some fir cut at about a 30 deg angle.
If anyone wants to make one, I will put up pictures with full dimensions. I did this in Sketchup first. I just eyeballed some pictures in a ShopNotes review of the metal manufactured item, and came up with my dimensions. So if you want to make one….let me know.
-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska