Friday, April 7, 2023

Building the Rolling Tool Cart

In my last post I talked about learning Sketchup and making plans for a rolling tool cart to hold my radial arm saw. Here's the finished version.

It looks a little more squat than last week's version because last week I had the height wrong. I'd measured my table heights, measured the height of the saw including a new top on the saw, then promptly forgot to subtract the height of the saw from the total height. No worries, that just gave me an excuse to redo the Sketchup design from near to the beginning.

I wanted to get a couple of days in the shop this weekend but only got one. I had running around to do on Friday and I'd also slept poorly the night before. Power tools and poor sleep do not go well together and I don't do that. I did however get Saturday afternoon in the shop.

I got most of my parts sourced and rough cut and I got the rails glued up. I also marked out and cut out my outer tall side panel that I will use as a template for the rest of the panels.

It still needs some work but I got most of it done. I cut out the middle and the bottom using my cordless Makita circular saw. I used my homemade fence to layout and guide it and needed to plunge most of the cuts to get them started. It isn't the most comfortable way to start a cut; however, I am comfortable doing it when I have to. I stopped short of the corners and finished them will a Japanese style pull saw. Some of the corners didn't need more than a light sanding, some needed a file.

I'm trying to decide if I want to drill a pilot hole for the handles or the full hole. If I drill a pilot hole I can just drill the pilot hole  into the other panels. It feels like I might be able to drill the holes straighter by hand if I have a pilot hole versus using a Forstner bit to mark the center and then just winging it.

I actually started on my end panels first and then remembered that I needed the rails completed to make sure I cut the notches for the rails accurately. So after getting this far I went and grabbed another couple of my prefinished panels and cut the rails. Since the panels are prefinished I sanded the finish off the backs before gluing them together.

Why am I calling them panels rather than plywood? Well, it is because these aren't really plywood. They are a poplar core with two thick layers of veneer on top. These came out of my father-in-laws barn and I am sure they were scavenged from the garbage from somewhere he was working. Regardless, they were free to me and are super flat. I don't normally put finish on my shop projects but since these panels are prefinished I'm going to leave them as is. I'll just sand off the finish where I need to glue them.

Regardless, this was all my progress this week. I got my rails rough cut and glued together. I got my template panel cut out and cleaned up. (and yes, that was way too  much glue on those rails. It was a mess to clean up.)

I think I might print out a 3/4" radius template on my 3d printer this week and use that for routing the corners. I'd thought about designing my own but as people say, "if it's a clever idea someone else probably thought of it first." There are several designs for these on Thingiverse. This is the one I chose.

I'm trying to decide what I want to model next in Sketchup. I'm thinking about doing the wheels for the cart. I'll have to figure out how to do toroids (donuts).