So as I stated at the start of January I was in a major workshop reorganization phase and I had planned on getting some much needed tools for the shop, one of these tools was a planer (thickness-er) and then realized that I had no where to put the tool and from what I had researched this planer is quite heavy, so I decided to build a multi-tool cart and the best way to do have 2 tools in cart is to make it a flip top cart.
I was also going to put my oscillating spindle sander on the cart as well, until it met a horrible accident and fell and broke in a million pieces, so the money that I was saving was now being used to buy a new spindle sander, and I decided to upgrade the spindle sander that I had which was the Wen sander and decided to get the Rigid Oscillating belt/spindle sander.
GETTING STARTED WITH THE FLIP-TOP TOOL CART
Inspiration & Plans
Cutting Parts to Size
Pocket Hole Time
Assembling main carcass
Whoops!!!! Forgot Something
The Flip Top
INSPIRATION & PLANS
On this project I actually purchased the plans for the build from “ Fix This Build That” and then actually sourced a video from a different YouTube favorite of mine “Crafted” and his build video is below. I did not make plans for this and I have included a link below to purchase the plans from Fix This Build That below I paid $9.00 for the plans and they are excellent.
Here is what you need to build this cart:
(1) Sheet of 3/4” plywood
(1) Half Sheet of 1/4” plywood
(2) 1” x 2” dimensional lumber
(4) 3” Casters
1-1/4” wood & pocket screws
3/4” wood screws
Lag screws (sized to tool)
(1) Drawer Pull
(4) 5-16” x 3-1/4” long eye bolt
(4) 5/16” fender washer
(4) 5/16” threaded knob
(1) 3’ x 3/4” steel tube
(4) 3/8” x 2-1/2” long hex bolt
(8) 3/8” flat washer
(4) 3/8” nut
CUTTING PARTS TO SIZE
As most projects start I needed to break down the plywood sheets that I got , so using the cut-list that was in the plans I purchased I cut the following parts to final size on the table-saw
The drawer Parts
The top parts
POCKET HOLE JOINERY
I chose pocket hole joinery for the majority of this build for a few reasons, its quick sturdy and avoids the need to have tons of clamps.
I took the base and the shelf and placed pocket holes on the left and right sides making sure to keep the pocket holes out of sigh I placed them on the bottom face of each part. The screws are then used to attach the cart bottom and the shelf to the sides of the cart, I needed to do it this way because there is no back to the cart.
ASSEMBLING THE MAIN CARCASS
So now that I have both the shelf and the bottom of the cart pocket holed its time to assemble the main cart carcass.
I positioned the base of the cart between the left and right sides and screwed the base in and also used glue as well, I positioned the pocket holes out of sight.
Next I moved on to attaching the shelf and this was a bit tricky because the shelf was only 4-1/2” off the base and again I used pocket holes on the bottom face of the plywood panel to screw it in, to help keep the shelf in position I placed 4 spacer blocks to support the shelf while I screwed everything in place.
While I just installed the shelf it was now time to secure the narrow piece at the back of the drawer cavity to enclose this part of the cart, its basically a 4-1/2” piece of plywood with 2 pocket hole positioned at each side of the piece, then again getting to the pocket holes to secure the piece into the sides was difficult as it was a very limited space.
I added 3” locking casters to the base, so as that I could move it around if necessary and to be honest almost every workshop furniture. I also used some self taping screws to secure them in place.
WHOOPS!!!!! Forgot to do something
Well in the very detailed plans that I purchased I forgot to do 2 things before assembling the main cart and they were:
Drill 3/4” through holes for the metal pipe to slide through that pivots the entire flip-top
Secondly I also forgot to cut out the notches for the locking mechanism to prevent the flip top from moving.
So my fix for this was to do it while the cart was assembled and to be honest it wasn’t that difficult with some careful measuring and a jigsaw, drill & a speed square
Next up was to assemble the drawer and again I used pocket holes as the joinery method, I positioned pocket holes on the front and back pieces of the drawer and attached these parts to the sides using pocket holes. With the drawer frame assembled it was time to attach the base and I used 1/4” plywood and just glued and screwed the base in position.
With the drawer made it was time to install it into the cart, I needed to attach the 20” full extension drawer slides into the cart
first and to do that I used 2 pieces of scrap lumber of about 1-1/2” thickness and placed it into the drawer cavity, this way I was assured that the drawer slides would be positioned correctly from left to right,
I then sat the drawer slides on the spacers and secured the runner on both sides of the cavity
Then I sat the drawer on a 1/8’ spacer strip to lift it off the cart base and pushed it into the cavity and while moving the drawer out with the drawer slides I secured it one screw at a time, to install the final screw I removed the drawer with the sliding part of the drawer out of the cart and secured the final 2 screws in the back.
THE FLIP TOP
So the flip top on the cart could not be easier to make but it does take a couple of steps. Basically the flip-top is a sandwich of plywood top and bottom panels with 3/4” thick pieces positioned at the front, back and sides. You will also need additional pieces for the center of the top to use for securing whatever tools you will be mounting to it, this hole assembly then has a 3/4” metal pipe go right through the middle of the panel that positions the top into the cart from the previously drill holes in the sides in a previous step.
POSITION ALL PARTS
I positioned the bottom panel and laid out where the 1x2's needed to be placed, I glued and screwed these in position
Using the 3/4” pipe as a spacer to determine where to place the middle 1x2’s and then simply secured these in place with counter-sunk screws and glue.
SOME TABLE-SAW WORK
I will describe this the best I can, the front and back 1x2’s need a notches cut out of the center of each end of the work-piece, these notches match up with the notches all ready cut into the cart sides, so as that when the locking mechanism is ready to be installed the-eye bolt slides around to the front to open the flip top to move and then slides to the sides when you need to lock it.
To cut the notches in the lumber I used my tenoning jig on the table-saw to cut away the middle section of the work-piece.
Now that everything was cut I could finish making the top by securing the other side of the flip top, by attach the panel to securing it with screws, I didnt use glue because I will probably need to gain access to the center section of the table top in the future when I need to install another tool.
I wanted to take a little time is explaining the locking mechanism on the flip top table, I will do my best to describe it
There are a couple of parts that make up this function, first before you have to deal with all the nuts and bolts I needed to cut notches in the sides of the carts (all 4 corners) and then the top also had a matching notch cut into the front and back corners of the top as seen below.
Next we deal with the nuts and bolts that make up the mechanism. These are the parts
5 star knob
2-1/4” lag bolt
2 washers and two nuts
Basically the eye bolt is slid into the notches then the 2-1/4” lag bolt slides down the hole created in the top , at the end of the eye bolt you can screw on the 5 star knob.
So I added a few organisational upgrades to the cart, which were:
On board power cord management, I purchased a roll of velcro straps to organise the power cord for the sander, this could not have been easier I basically put a screw and washer through the Velcro and wrapped the power cord up in it, pictures below.
I also added a power strip to one of the sides so as that I could plug the tools in directly there and not worry about power cords running over the whole shop.
Well I finally finished and I am very happy about how it turned out , its portable, easy to use, a great working height and above all I dont have to worry I am going to put my spindle sander and planer once it arrives.
Thanks for reading this post and look forward to your responses.