"Not - So - Mobile" Lumber Rack

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Project by TD69Mustang posted 06-08-2009 10:05 AM 13268 views 21 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

O.K. So, here’s the deal. I share my workshop with 2 cars (I know, It’s a shame, but that’s the reality.) So I needed a way to move my stock lumber and plywood around. Anyhow…

I’ve been trying to find ideas for my lumber storage. I had seen s couple of different plans in magazines but they just didn’t seem to be what I needed. So, as usual, I sketched up a couple of ideas and this is what I came up with.

The materials used were 2×4, 2×3 and 3/4”ply. Everything was screwed together and all edges were rounded with a 1/4” round over router bit. The total width is 30”.

I’m guessing that the cart weighs 150lb or so empty and fully loaded in excess of 500lb.

I started with (6) – 3” casters (rated at 150lb ea) which promptly failed from the weight, and I couldn’t even budge the cart loaded. (The picts show the cart with the 3” casters)

I then put on (6) – 4” casters (rated at 180lb ea) which helped a little… now I could barely move it with help from my wife (she’s such a trooper), but there’s no way I’d ever be able to move it alone.

Then I put on (4) – 5” casters (rated at 255lb ea). Now, I can move it fully loaded (but it’s a chore!!)

I’m no engineer, but I think that having 6 casters was creating too much surface friction. By increasing the wheel diameter and reducing the casters from 6 to 4 just seemed to work better. I should probably put on (4) – 6” casters but the cost is a little prohibitive. So for now, I think it’ll be fine.

-- Imagine It... Build It... Enjoy It!

14 comments so far

View Durnik150's profile


647 posts in 3348 days

#1 posted 06-08-2009 12:17 PM

Wow! That’s a lot of sheet material. I can see why it is so heavy. Sorry you had to try so many different casters to find the ones that finally worked for you. However, the storage unit is very well done and looks like it will serve you well for many years to come.

I also have to share my shop with a pesky car but it’s either that or I take over the basement and I don’t think my wife wants me woodworking with power tools directly below the kitchen and family rooms.

Great job!

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3585 days

#2 posted 06-08-2009 12:34 PM

Looks great. Wish I had room in my shop for one that size.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4273 days

#3 posted 06-08-2009 02:14 PM

Great idea, it would’nt work for me. I still would’nt have room for even one car. lol

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View builtinabarn's profile


98 posts in 3412 days

#4 posted 06-08-2009 02:29 PM

I ran into the same problem with my rack. Casters were to small. I did have 6, 2 on each end and 2 in the middle. I moved up to the 4” caster and it made a huge difference. I probabye keep about 900 lbs on my rack all the time and got some sagging in the middle, so I had to put 2 of the 4” casters in the middle also.
Those casters were expensive, but I was about to pick up some half the price as Home Depot at Harbor Freight.
Good Luck

-- Built in a Barn Bob

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3361 days

#5 posted 06-08-2009 03:11 PM

Looks well designed to me. Seems to hold a heck of a lot of materials. As they say, desperation is the mother of invention. I have something similar, but only for sheet goods, and it’s still pretty heavy. Maybe even bigger wheels are the answer.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View a1Jim's profile


117120 posts in 3604 days

#6 posted 06-08-2009 03:18 PM

very nice lumber storage unit. Well done.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 3353 days

#7 posted 06-08-2009 03:39 PM

Very nice looking indeed. By your pictures I am guessing those are your typical hard plastic casters ?
If so they will always be hard to move around you may want to try these
I had the same problem, using cheap plastic caster for heavy things, I found these and now every mobile thing in my shop now has them. My jointer weighs around 420 lbs, and rolls across the shop like it’s on ice.
Also Woodcraft has them on sale…well at least they did last week

-- Don S.E. OK

View Woodwrecker's profile


4154 posts in 3602 days

#8 posted 06-08-2009 03:45 PM

That cart looks great.
I had the same problem with mine, and I know what you mean about the expense of bigger, better wheels.
I fixed it by saying, “Come on honey, push harder”!!!
Nice work!

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View flcopper169's profile


187 posts in 3366 days

#9 posted 06-08-2009 04:22 PM

Nice job…. I wish i had room for something like this…


-- Happy and safe woodworking,

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3335 days

#10 posted 06-08-2009 05:21 PM

I recently was able to build built-in lumber storage but before I did my lumber storage was a portable unit that was bigger than I should have built in one unit. I had the same problem of it being way too hard to move around with the 4 ” wheels I originally used. I ended up putting six 10” wheels on it and it moved great. I found very good deals for wheels at Harbor Freight. My wife laughed at it and said I should put a trailer hitch on it and pull it behind my SUV…

View TD69Mustang's profile


84 posts in 3317 days

#11 posted 06-08-2009 09:32 PM

Hey LJ’s Thanks for the input!! I would agree that the larger the casters, the easier it seems to move. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll put even bigger casters on (maybe 22” with spinners). But for now… I’ve got a “big” home office project I’m working on that will unload a bunch of the sheet goods… at least that’s one way of making it lighter LOL


-- Imagine It... Build It... Enjoy It!

View Woodaholic's profile


16 posts in 3070 days

#12 posted 01-25-2010 05:54 AM

nice jon man.. greta work

View Jeison's profile


968 posts in 3134 days

#13 posted 01-25-2010 05:56 AM


-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12758 posts in 3183 days

#14 posted 02-08-2010 11:23 PM

nice looking storage cart…. loses mobility as you put more wood on it though doesn’t it… still nice to have somewhere to put all those sheet goods…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

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