The flip-top cart – part four

(Parts one, two, and three)

Are you ready for the fun part? Because here comes the fun part.

With the sides and shelves assembled on the cart it was finally time to get the top on and see just what this thing looked like. Wait! What about the exposed plywood edges? Oh yeah. Bummer. Suppose I have to figure that part out before any other steps can take place.

I had a good bit of soft maple on hand that was exactly 1.5″ thick, so I figured it would be a good time to make my first attempt at resawing. I set the thickness up at 1/4″ and produced about 10 strips. The resawing was ugly, to say the least. Wavy, and it seemed like it would keep catching at places for no reason. I don’t think it was the hardness of the wood, because lifting a bit would let it pass with no problem. The next issue I had was going down to 1/8″ at the planer. With the waviness and thinness at some spots, some of the strips broke in the planer. Thankfully no damage, but less to work with. I cut the ends at 45s and got the top trimmed, plus three sides of the sides. The shelves will have to come later if they aren’t covered otherwise. Glue and nails did the hard work.

Important pieces trimmed, it was time to get the top on. I routed and drilled the area for the bushings without too much issue. One thing I did realize though is that the threaded rod I bought is only 24″ long, the same width as the top. The most important part where weight will be is going to be that hollow tube. Now would obviously be the time to reinforce the whole rod, however I already put the top in and it wasn’t an easy job. I am considering letting it ride. I’m asking around to see what my course should be.

One fun thing about yesterday’s activities is that I found myself in need of squaring up the edges of the top in order to get a good surface for the trim to adhere to. Since the rod basically got stuck between the ply (wax wasn’t that effective), I couldn’t run it through the table saw. Luckily, my newest purchase really shone here. I had no problem working the sides with no rod, even taking care of the slight imbalance where the rod was off to one side. For the sides where the rod protruded, I was able to knock it in enough one side at a time to accomplish the same task. Smooth as silk those cuts were. In my opinion the saw nearly paid for itself right there. Not actually, but the grief it saved me was nearly there.

What’s left? If the rod is okay I put the casters on next and see if I need any spacers at the bottom to raise the height. Then I start mounting the tools and seeing where the bolts need to go. The planer will probably go on first since I will have more room to potentially move the sander if bolt holes conflict. I will most likely be using countersunk carriage bolts, and I’ll need to size those up today and purchase them before I do anything.

New tools have played a huge role in this project. My Kreg setup bars were great for setting up the router bits and bandsaw. The Incra rule was outstanding finding the middle of that top. The TS55 was out of sight for those last-minute cuts. The Irwin blade on the MS made great miters. Thankfully I didn’t have to make use of my new first aid kit although I did get my thumb pretty good from some kickback at the MS (my fault).

A good project. Almost done.

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