|Project by bbasiaga||posted 01-13-2013 03:41 AM||2743 views||7 times favorited||10 comments|
Here is another flip top cart. After getting a few new tools, space was at quite a premium. So i decided I needed to build one of these. I looked at many designs here at LJ, and as seems to be the custom I borrowed many ideas.
I started drawing a plan in Sketchup, and originally figured I’d pocket hole the whole thing for speed and ease. Then I decided that I could use this project to practice with my new tools. I modified the design to what you see here.
The lumber is cheap 2×4 and 2×6 stuff from Home Depot. I cut the pieces a few inches long, than I put my new jointer to use flattening it out, then planed it down with my planer. I edge jointed all the pieces as well. As this was my first time using the jointer it was great practice. It is amazing how much of a difference it makes. The pieces all ended up about 1.25” thick from the 1.5 they started, but they were all uniform and laid well together on the table.
With the pieces all milled, I set up my router table and cut a groove in each piece to accept the plywood panels. This was my first time using this technique and it was good to get the practice with both the technique and the set up of my tools to use it.
For the panels I used 1/2” Sandply from Home Depot (note, its not quite 1/2” thick). It is cheaper than some of their other stuff, but does not seem to be lesser in quality. This is the first time I used it. I have most of a sheet left over so I’ll surely use some again.
With the grooves cut, I then squared the ends of the pieces on my table saw and cut them to final length. I then cut some tenons on the ends of the two uprights, and the bottom cross members. These fit in to the same width slot as the plywood. I did this because I’d never used a tenon joint before, and figure it would be good practice. Since its not a pretty piece, it doesn’t really matter if they weren’t perfect (and a couple weren’t). Better to learn here than on an expensive piece of hardwood.
I glued up the sides, and then attached them together with the stringers. There is another sheet of ply in there to form a bottom shelf. The stringers are pocket holed in. I have to say, pocket holes are so easy and the joint is strong. They are somewhat less elegant than the other joints I’m learning, but the pull of the dark side is strong! In this case, it made the assembly very easy and was a pretty clear choice.
The top is three sheets of the plywood. The middle sheet is two pieces, together a half inch short, which leaves room for the half inch steel pivot rod. Since the plywood is not quite an even 1/2”, I had to get the router out and cut a very shallow groove in the bottom and top pieces to allow them to sit flat around the rod. The whole thing is glued together. The rod extends through the sides and hangs over about 1/2”. It ties the top together nicely. I sunk two bronze bushings I found at Lowes in there, so the rod isn’t bearing directly on the soft wood.
My D0ewalt 735 sits on one side, and my old Crafstman sander the other. They are bolted through the table. The hold downs are made of some 3/4” Baltic Birch Plywood I had laying around. The overall height of the work surface is about 34”...standard counter top height. It makes the sander a little tall for my wife at 5’4”, but gives good control of the boards going through the planer. Both are good working height for me at 6’4”.
I haven’t finished it yet, as its about 20degrees F in my garage right now. That’ll have to wait until Spring. All in all, it was a great learning project. I’m already drawing up my next project, which will use some of what I’ve learned building this.
-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.