Small Scrap Lumber Cart

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Originally posted on August 22, 2018 (LumberJocks). This cart has served me well, but it's always packed. I don't have space for anything larger, though.

I just finished building this small cart to hold my ever-growing collection of scrap lumber. It's a modified version of a Fine Woodworking design. It also incorporates some ideas (pocket hole joinery instead of dadoes and blunt divider ends instead of bevels) LumberJock YesHaveSome presented in his Scrap Wood Storage Cart project and video.

My version has a slot on one side for storing a few sheet good cutoffs (up to about 24" by 48") and two small cubbies for holding very small scraps in plastic bins. It's approximately 32" wide, 24" deep, and 38" high. Casters and 1/2" thick mounting pads add another 4" or so to the height.

The vertical cutoff cavities have openings of 11 3/4" by 7", with varying heights. The cubbies at the bottom stop short of the rearmost cavities, so those cavities are as tall as the cart and can store long pieces. The sheet goods slot is 5 1/2" wide.

The cart is made of 3/4" luan plywood from Home Depot (five 24" by 48" sheets, equal to one and a quarter full-sized sheets). I didn't use any glue for assembly-only many pocket hole screws.

For mobility, I used Everbilt 3" locking casters from Home Depot. They're new to me, but I'm impressed with them. They're very heavy duty, and the lock stops both the wheel rotation and swivel. They have wide mounting holes, so I used hex-head lag screws to mount them.

I've been intending to build a cart like this for years. I'm glad I finally got around to doing it. For now at least, my shop's horizontal surfaces are much cleaner.

I've uploaded the SketchUp model to 3D Warehouse.  (Click the Scenes icon, which looks like a director’s clapper board, to view different logical drawings within the model.)




One last note: the dimensions in the drawing (and model) above are theoretical. They don't account for the kerf losses, actual plywood thickness, mistakes, and the like. That's why my cavities aren't the full 12" wide, etc. 

25 Comments

Organized storage is always a win.  Looks like this is a great solution.
I did something similar several years ago…probably modified from the same plans! The wheels I put on it were too small, and I did four larger plastic bins stacked on one side for small bits. I store sheet goods behind it, but it’s worked damn well for several years…always too full though! Nice project. 

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Barb, and it’s held together with nothing but pocket screws! :-)

Ryan, it’d be interesting to trace the lineage of all of the variations of small carts like this. I wonder if there’s one original seed.
thats a great cart ron. ill need about 6 to go !
and then there is sheet good storage !

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.



This is from a while ago, and I’ve modified it a little, but it’s still basically the same…

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

That looks really good, Ryan. It’s made of a lot prettier wood than mine, and those larger small-pieces bins look more useful than my little bins.

You better buy a wider fridge so you can rotate your “periodic table” the right way before LittleBlackDuck sees this, though. :-)
oh for gods sake man get that table straight or all duck hell will rain down upon us !!!!!!😱😱😱😎

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

Great cart Ron, a win all around. I have one for sheet goods.

Main Street to the Mountains

That’s a periodic table of beer. Seeing as how it’s for beer, sideways seemed to be the most appropriate way to mount it!

That freezer is gone now and the SuperCell is in that spot. Like I said, old pic. 

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

doesn't matter to the duck,sideways is sideways. hopefully he wont notice ?

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

I built a cart to Ron’s specs - it’s a nice little cart, but boy, did it ever fill up quickly.  I’m sure I could do better at being selective about what I save.  For my space though, it’s just the ticket. 
All carts are good and never big enough, no matter the size...  One thing I always question, how do you find the wheels... are they big enough?... (are they ever big enough without jeopardising stability)?

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

Looks great and functional! I really want one as I use card board boxes... 

No name noobie here

My question was about the wheels too. Do you end up moving the cart that often or not? I suspect in my shop, the cart would quickly find a home and then need moving only rarely, usually when a mouse died behind it.

I should build one of those soon though. I have way too much shelf space devoted to smalls.

May you have the day you deserve!

A good organizer for shorts, just grab and go. Thanks for the diminutional drawing. good looking casters, job well done.

-- Soli Deo gloria! ( To God alone be the Glory)

The wheels seem fine to me, but I don’t move it much. It sits under some wire shelving in a narrow storage room next to the garage, and I have to roll it out a foot or so to access longer boards in the back cavities.
I rarely move mine, but when I do the wheels are a must (obviously) unless you want to unload the whole thing. I also like having it on wheels so I can blow out the area under it. Having everything off the ground helps with shop clean up for sure. I used 3” wheels which were a mistake. I use 4” poly on everything else and it all moves fine, these cheaper 3” hard plastic wheels suck. I put them on because they were cheap and I f if it’s I wasn’t going to move it much.  Buy once, cry once. 

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

My “shop” is my garage, and we actually park our cars in it, so I put wheels on everything. It’s not even a debate.

It’s interesting that you see such a difference between 3” and 4” wheels. My workbench has flip-up casters, and I’m pretty sure they’re 3” too, and I haven’t had any problems.
Don't get me wrong... I believe wheels are a must, even for built ins... it's the size I always question... far too many people compromise on price and sacrifice size, only to have it bog on the slightest chip... or go the cheap rubber wheels that flatten with weight and if not moved for a while you need a towbar to budge.

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

This sound like a good forum thread topic—casters people like and dislike.