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DIY Shop Cart + Free Build Plan

John Malecki

DIY Shop Cart + Free Build Plan

Everything You Need to Build a DIY Cart for Your Shop

Projects
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6
min read
|
Feb 1, 2019

After moving the shop to the new 2,500 square foot facility, I came to a realization; I have to move stuff a lot further than before. For me, this is a serious problem. I almost started missing the efficiency of having anything I needed a few steps away in a tiny workshop. The perfect solution to my - to be quite frank - laziness? A shop cart that I can wheel with me in the shop.

So I took some time and looked up some of the big plastic carts from the home store. These things are a minimum of $70 a pop per cart! 

Then I remembered I can build things.

I decided to go the DIY cart route and built my own out of plywood. For less than $80 in plywood, I got 2 sheets of 1/2″ plywood and built my own. I have a bucket of casters sitting in the corner from old projects and finds, so I used those for the rollers and got creative.

My end result? My new best friends - Cart-2-D2 and Cart Simpson - that I can now wheel around the workshop with me day in and day out. I love these carts so much that I decided to share the fun and create a free plan that you can download here.

pinterest graphic with the DIY cart plans 

DIY Cart Build Overview

Here’s what we’ll be covering:

  1. Breakdown the Plywood 
  2. Cut the Pocket Hole Joinery 
  3. Assemble the Cart Top 
  4. Assemble the Cart Bottom & Legs 
  5. Assemble the Cart Carcass 
  6. Add Castors 

What You’ll Need

Tools & Materials for Your DIY Cart

 Tools

Materials 

You may need some other tools along the way. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out all of my Woodworking Tools! 

This page contains affiliate links, but all ideas are my own. For more information, check out my disclosure page.

DIY Cart: The Step-by-Step

John malecki breaks down plywood for a DIY Cart
John malecki breaks down plywood for a DIY Cart

Step 1: Breakdown Plywood 

Start by breaking down all your plywood into the parts on free plan parts list. You’ll make your life a lot easier by taking care of all this beforehand. For this, I recommend using a combination of a Track or Circular Saw with Guide or your Table Saw

Next, get everything cut and labeled and ready for joinery. Start by making rip cuts of everything in similar dimensions. From there, break all the rips down to their smaller sizes using a crosscut sled or miter saw 

Step 2: Cut Pocket Hole Joinery 

John Malecki cuts pocket hole joinery in his DIY cart pieces
John Malecki cuts pocket hole joinery in his DIY cart pieces

I used my new Armor Tools Pocket Hole jig to start cutting the pocket hole joinery. I love this thing because I don't have to adjust anything; it adjusts automatically, making every cut super easy. I then cut the curves for the handles and get ready to assemble.

John Malecki places the top into the raised edge of a DIY cart

Step 3: Assemble Cart Top 

If you plan on naming your cart (puns encouraged), I’d start by getting that painted on the cart’s side. From there, you’ll want to begin assembling the cart top with the raised edge, which I break down step by step in the DIY cart plan. 

John malecki assembles the DIY cart bottom

Step 4: Assemble Cart Bottom & Legs 

Start building the legs by pre-assembling the legs into an ‘L’ shape. From there, add the side rails and the bottom, screwing in securely.

John malecki puts together the top, bottom, and legs of his DIY cart
John malecki puts together the top, bottom, and legs of his DIY cart

Step 5: Assemble Cart Carcass 

It’s time for the DIY cart to begin taking shape! First, attach the bottom and the top using the appropriate amount of glue and screws.The easiest way to do this is to flip the cart upside down on the table, attaching top support rails for a secure, long-lasting build.

John malecki puts castors on the bottom of the DIY cart

Step 6: Add Castors 

Once all is said and one, attach your castors so this guy can roll. Boom. DIY Cart for all your materials, tools, and everything in between.

 

If you liked this build, check out more custom work from my shop with these shop projects:

Don’t forget to download the FREE plans for this build here.

FREE SHOP CART PLAN


Download the Plan

Want to try this build out for yourself? Download the digital plan now for step-by-step instructions, measurements, and a detailed look at how to punch this project in the face.

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Projects
|
6
min read
|
Feb 1, 2019
|
Sponsored by
John Malecki

I used to be an offensive lineman in the NFL, Now I run my own furniture business and am completely self taught. In my videos and posts you'll see a variety of wood and metal work as well as some tips and tricks. Enjoy!