Need help to create a strong floor on a wood cart/crate bottom.

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Forum topic by KenBry posted 04-12-2016 08:24 PM 648 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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484 posts in 2410 days

04-12-2016 08:24 PM

I am designing up a gun cart for Cowboy action shooting. Number 1, the design has to be light. The base of the cart essentially looks like a large tray. 4 sides 4/4 lumber 4-6 inches tall. one side is planned to be 16” long, the other is planned to be 20-22” long. The lumber I have is Canary wood. I plan to use a piece of 1/2” birch plywood as the floor.

The tray will hold a box that will weigh about 25 lbs. This box will double as a stool that I can sit on while its in the tray. I weigh 250.

So I need to figure out how to get the tray floor to support basically 300lbs without breaking. I am concerned that a simple Rabbet might not hold up to the abuse and weight.

One idea I have is to rabbet and extend the lower rabbet edge to support more of the floor.

Right now I am using rough numbers as I need to get this part figured out before I move ahead.

Open to all ideas.

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

3 replies so far

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3048 days

#1 posted 04-12-2016 09:06 PM

Had to take a look at “cowboy action shooting carts” to refresh my memory. Are you going to be shooting
all 3 aspects; revolver, rifle and shotgun? Standard width of chair seat is about 18” in the front, you are
250 lbs, so you do not want to short yourself in this area, having competed a little in tactical shooting
myself and liking creature comforts, a little padding might be nice. If you compete in rifle and shotgun,
there is not enough width for you and them on the cart. Some ranges are a little rough, so larger wheels
make life easier, if the wheels are large enough your box would give you comfortable seating, a large
number of contestants would mean you need to be comfortable while waiting if you want to be able to
compete with accuracy. Just too many questions, I do not know the answers to, but I hope you get
to enjoy lots of hours at the range. But, back to the original question Ken, with my usual tendency to
overbuild, I would use 3/4” baltic birch. When I googled cowboy action shoot cart plans there were
quite a few choices, I would check them out before you try to reinvent the wheel.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View KenBry's profile


484 posts in 2410 days

#2 posted 04-12-2016 10:43 PM

Thanks, when shooting you shoot all guns, shotgun, rifle and revolvers. the rifle and shotgun will get carried vertical and only need 9” of space.

We are wood workers and we always must customize. I do often reinvent things as thats part of what I enjoy in woodworking.

As for the online plans many make a very heavy cart. I am looking to eliminate much of the weight in many carts. So I have challenged myself to design and build with that in mind.

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

View KenBry's profile


484 posts in 2410 days

#3 posted 05-04-2016 08:04 PM

Well, I built my cart and I came up with a solution. Basically I built feet on the bottom of the cart that would support the floor of the tray and the box that people sit on.

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

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