The flip-top cart – part one

Full disclosure, I completely ripped this design off from Lance in Oklahoma City (see Flip Top Cart, No comment on Youtube)

I’ve not been a fan of flip-top carts since my failed effort a couple of years ago. Recently though, I think I figured out why it failed and discovered ways to improve upon it. I watched the video referenced above and got some really good ideas. I decided it was time to try it again in my new layout with the improvements in order to gain a bit more space.

One of the big problems I had with my version was that it was unstable. I mounted my planer on one side and nothing on the other, so I could use it as an outfeed table. The imbalance of weight and nothing heavy at the base made it want to tip over. Mounting my sander on the other side should help with that. Doubling up on the thickness of the bottom panel plus a double-thickness shelf should help with overall stability. My side panels were bowing and I attempted a quick and dirty fix of applying a hardwood board to them. No dice. This version also doubles up the thickness of the side panels, making that no longer an issue. All exposed plywood will be edged by hardwood, on the same casters as the current cart and there will be some small storage on the bottom, either a little shelf or a drawer. Since I have the extension tables for the planer, and they will have to be removed to flip to sanding mode, where they go will determine what kind of storage I have on the bottom.

I did run into a little problem when I picked up the plywood a few weeks ago – the factory edges weren’t square. This is a big reason why I am jonesing for a track saw that can rip 8′ lengths. For that reason, my measurements will have to be modified slightly and hopefully that won’t affect the entire project. I left a bit of wiggle room when I measured, however I don’t have a ton. I do have half a sheet of ply left over that I could probably make adjustments. The flipping panel isn’t the problem, it’s the supports below.

Here is the first side panel being glued up. Clamps on the perimeter, and the weight of the planer keeping everything flat. The second side panel is cooking as I type this. Once all the individual components are glued up, I will start cutting to square and see what the prognosis is. I will say this has taken way more glue than I ever thought possible, and it’s a messy job.

The original project apparently took seven months. Here’s hoping it gets done before June.

(Continued in part two)

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