Virtual Designs in Sketchup #3: Rolling Tool Cart

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Blog entry by rance posted 05-31-2011 09:40 AM 16619 reads 3 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Workshop Expansion for a Friend Part 3 of Virtual Designs in Sketchup series Part 4: File Size (WATCH OUT!) »

I got the inspiration for this from Workbench Magazine . I deliberately did not look at their drawings for dimensions or scale.

This cart looked like a good design. As with many projects, it is infinitely easier to customize an existing design rather than come up with all original ideas. How many times do we stand on the shoulders of giants that have gone before us?

The inner structure:

I replaced the pegboard on theirs with 1/2” plywood thinking I would simply screw tool holders and such to the plywood. Then I though French Cleats might be better. This led me to thinking about the use of the cart. I could roll it around the shop, gathering up tools and such for a project. Then roll it over to my work area and create all the sawdust one would want. After that project was complete, then I could reconfigure it for another project.

The thinking above sorta requires you ‘buy into’ the Whole-Shop French-Cleat mindset. It would make changes infinitely easier down the road.

I also wanted to add some clamp storage to the cart. By replacing their inner ply panel with two, then I could put clamps in that slot. Keep in mind this is not meant for “all the clamps in your shop”, just the ones for a particular job. Or maybe a subset would always reside in this cart. Being the frugal person I am. I then changed those two inner panels to just plywood strips. These are more easilly obtained from my favorite sport “Dumpster Diving”. :D Same rule applies to scraps you may have lying around.

Economy of lumber:
Plywood ends are 1/2.
Plywood bottom and shelves are 3/4.
All solid wood is sized to be easilly ripped from 2×4 scraps.

I designed mine as 18×36 at a height of 42. This just seemed about right. The front of the shelves have 1/4” strips fastened with glue to keep things from sliding off. This also adds a little stability to prevent sagging. (Maybe strips on the back of the shelves would be appropriate for the same reasons.) The shelves are screwed & glued to their support cleats on the ends. Those cleats are in turn dry screwed to the end support plywood which makes the shelf height relatively easy to adjust. This seemed to be preferable over shelf pins. I thought the shelves may inadvertantly be used as a handle to push it around and might tumble the shelves over if mere gravity was the only thing holding them in place.

A view with one end support removed:

You could make something like this as plain or fancy as you wish. That’s the fun thing about having your own workshop. I hope you enjoy this and it gives you ideas for your shop. All comments and/or constructive criticism is welcome.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

3 comments so far

View Woodbutcher3's profile


415 posts in 2941 days

#1 posted 05-31-2011 11:49 AM

Nice – you are a whiz with that SU.

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

View rance's profile


4259 posts in 3215 days

#2 posted 05-31-2011 09:31 PM

Thanks Rod, but no whizzing in my shop.

A friend of mine(Mickey) suggested it would be best if it’s low enough to roll underneath bench/countertop. I tend to agree with him. Holes could also be drilled in the top shelf for a set of screwdrivers. And as I usually do on a cart like this, an outlet strip ALWAYS comes in handy.

Suggested contents:

Gluing: Yellah, Gorilla, Epoxy, CA(Three-Bears style… Thin, Med., Thick), Paper towel roll, squirt bottle of water, acid brushes, toothbrushes.
Tape: Painter’s tape, Masking tape, Duct tape, Electrical tape.
Screws: Several sizes of Sheetrock screws, Kreg Screws.
Clamps: Bar clamps, spring clamps, Rubber bands.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View rance's profile


4259 posts in 3215 days

#3 posted 06-05-2011 06:19 AM

Here’s an updated version with a change of wood colors and a few items on the shelf.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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