Pivoting Plywood Cart
With this panel cart at hand, you'll never wrestle with sheet goods again.
Synopsis: This panel cart acts like a shop assistant, ending the solo woodworker’s struggle with wrestling sheet goods around the shop. Simply load 4×8 sheets on the panel carrier side and rough lumber on the other. Four swivel casters allow the cart to be pushed in any direction, and a handle makes it easy to tow. A tilting feature lets you tilt the sheets horizontally to feed them directly from the cart onto the tablesaw. Large swivel casters, a brake, and a steering handle make for easy maneuvering. A simple design and very basic joinery, tied together with bolts, make this a project that easily can be built in a day.
I build a variety of furniture using solid wood, veneer, and plywood, and since I work in a one-man shop, I constantly look for ways to make the experience as easy and efficient as possible. One of these ways is my panel cart. With this cart, I can stop struggling with 4×8 sheet goods such as medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and plywood, and easily move them about the shop. And because I built the cart to the height of my tablesaw, I can tilt the sheets horizontally to feed them directly from the cart onto the tablesaw.
Large swivel casters, a brake, and a steering handle make for easy maneuvering. A simple design and very basic joinery, tied together with bolts, make this a project that easily can be built in a day, so you can get right back to making furniture. Next to its usefulness, the best thing about this cart is that the materials are relatively inexpensive. Because you can use dimensioned construction lumber and/or scraps you have kicking around the shop, the cost is limited and mostly for the hardware.
Using the cart
I load 4×8 sheets on the panel carrier side and rough lumber on the other. I can then move the cart around the shop wherever it is needed, and it doesn’t disturb the lumber when I tilt the sheet goods to the horizontal position. The four swivel casters allow me to push the cart in any direction without having to turn it around, and the handle lets me tow the loaded cart.
The cart lets me store, move, and rip up to eight 4×8 sheets. With multiple sheets stacked on the cart, the top sheet will be higher than your tablesaw when you tilt the sheets up into position. But you can still slide it onto the saw table and cut it safely. When you lift the pivoting frame, two latches lock it into position.
To lower the pivoting frame, you pull a cord to release the latches and lower the structure. What a pleasure not having to wrestle sheet goods onto the tablesaw when working alone.
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From Fine Woodworking #223