There’s a lot of appeal in the rolling tool carts often used by auto mechanics. There’s even a barber shop near the Woodsmith office that has a tool cart parked next to each chair. My dad had one in his workshop and even now I can remember what was in each drawer.
As practical as these carts are for mechanic’s tools, they don’t seem quite appropriate to woodworking. Skip the sheet metal tool carts you find in the store and make a better one yourself. The design featured in this episode allows you to customize the interior to suit your needs. Over time, your tools will change. It makes sense that your tool storage should adapt with it. The trays in this cart have hardboard bottoms that extend past the sides to fit into dadoes in the cart. You can use the trays like drawers, pull them completely out of the cart to take with you, and rearrange them with ease. I had a lot of fun coming up with ways to customize the trays to suit specific needs.
Watch the Episode: If the Woodsmith Shop isn’t on in your area, contact your local public television station. Or stream it here.
Download the Plan for this episode.
Building this cart introduces you to woodworking skills you’ll use in other projects. Chris shows us how to create solid rabbet and dado joints at the table saw and then he walks through the assembly process to ensure a square case.
The cart is built from plywood. And there are two approaches you can take. The plan you can download here takes the conventional route: standard plywood trimmed with hardwood edging to conceal the plies. On the show, we used Baltic birch plywood. It has thinner, more consistent plies that look good without edging.
BONUS TIPS: Water-based finishes look great, dry fast, and are durable. See how easy it is to apply one with a brush. Shop carts take many forms. This Workbench Sidekick cart is designed to work alongside you at the bench and the optional top even serves as a bonus work surface.
Cutting sheets of plywood on the table saw can be a dicey operation. A better approach is to take the saw to the workpiece. Learn how to make a circular saw work in your shop in this free online article.