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Thread: Lumber cart castors

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Lumber cart castors

    So a while back i built a lumber cart. Like this

    Except i made mine a full 8 ft long to handle a full sheet of ply lying down on one side.


    Fitted it with 6 casters due to load and floor conditions in the garage of this place we staying in. I had figured these castors would do the job without serious consideration to the weight i was loading this cart up with.

    Seemed all the pics I came across on the web of the same configuration of cart has similar 3" inch style castors. Well i dont think i got to move it more than once and that was it, the whole thing was not going to move again.

    I was cheap and cheaped out on the casters a lesson i needed to learn the hardway despite actually knowing better. Dont ask why i do this, i have been trying to figure it out my whole life. I have the money. Its not got to do with money.

    So recently i ordered and took delivery of 4 of these except with green poly not red.
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HNX26KE/...332200_TE_item

    Over the weekend i hauled all my lumber (? as to how much of it is scrap) off the cart and turned it over to fix the problem. I knew what i was going to find but it still did not stop the effect of it on me. I closed up the garage and went inside. Instantly depressed by my own stupidity.

    Now i have a case of rigor mortise. I have to get back out there and fix the problem because i cannot even get into the garage without climbing over the lumber.

    In the process of unloading the boards of cherry that came from another stupid buy, i realized just how much this solid hardwood weighs never mind the sheets of BBply and then all the doubt in the world came over me.

    Should i cut it in half i thought and make two carts? Half would be 4 ft width for each but BBply i have is 5x5 so would overhang each side.

    Then discussed this with Linda and she pointed out that i had built it to store the long boards i had salvaged from the bad cherry tree buy. Where would i put them.?

    Then i wondered and this is where i am at now, about how to mount the casters on the cart. The smaller ones were just fitted to the base with fat self tappers.

    These i wanted to use to get the whole thing up off the floor more so the bracing pieces of 2x4x8 i had put on the bottom dont drag on the uneven surface.

    What i am thinking of is placing a piece of wood across the bottom and mounting the casters on it and bolting it to the two side braces as if it were an axle.

    Then comes the issue of where to put these two cross pieces with the casters on. Furthermost corners ? or 2ft from each end leaving 4ft between them. ?

    If truth be told i actually feel like holding a huge bonfire to make the problem go away this one has the better of me and at present its got the upper hand mentally.

    I cant help feel that no matter what i do its going to bite me and that i should be getting another 4 of these casters and breaking the thing in two.

    I also cannot help but feel what i really need to do is cull the wood mercilessly and reduce hording scraps of wood and other junk. Its only wood.

    My problem is waste. It freaks me out to such an extent it causes me serious issues. I keep thinking back to being a kid and having to straighten rusted bent nails to build our soapboxes and we were delighted with them.

    Now i see waste in such abundance everywhere i find it hard to let go of junk especially if there is nothing wrong with it. I freak out when i go to our recycling center and see what is throw away. We not allowed to scavenge through it or remove stuff and thank goodness or i would have a yard full of junk.

    I think the lumber cart epitomizes all my mistakes, fundamentally i am of the belief now that to think you can have wood on hand to suit your whims and build a complete project without interruption due to having to source or buy supplies is essentially well ....FUTILE.

    any and all suggestions welcome.

    sorry no pics.

    do you have a lumber cart if so what did you use as casters and how much wood do you have on it?


    this does not half describe how i feel about this entire chapter...
    cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Kansas City, Missouri
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    13,464
    Even when I didn't have room, I found that lumber carts weren't worth having (for me), they took too much floor space. I never rolled/moved the cart anyway. Instead just kept a spot on the wall for the sheet goods to lean against, usually behind some movable machinery, and some shelving brackets on the wall for long stock. I have a small cart for cut-offs but I mostly keep better cut-offs in it, others go to a barrel by the stove. If they are lucky, I might use them before burning them up on a cool fall day.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Florida Keys
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    Rob, I know how you feel. Did exactly what you did. Same cart because it would clear up the mess and I just can't throw away even the little scraps. I also bought the cheap casters from the box store and before I had moved it the first time the wheels had flat spots. It was then that I looked at what I had used to build this beast 3 sheets of 3/4 ply, three 2x4 supports for the casters and many nails/screws and bolts. How added the material on it (1 full 3/4 ply, 4 half to quarter sheets of 1/2ply, 25 bdft of oak 1x4, couple of 4x6 mahogany slabs, 10 2x4 pine not to mention the three bins on one side fill to capacity with scraps and other stuff I can't identify) total weight w/cart 450-500lbs. I could not move it if I had help. So I put good poly casters on it and it is easier to move but now that I have lived with it for a couple of years, it is time for it to go. As Darren said, I never move it so it really was a waste off material and space. I'm getting better with the scraps and a 1 small bin for them is enough, like you said it is only wood. You are right about just little screws to hold them on, I used carriage bolts thru the 2x4s sticking out from the sides.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Escondido, CA
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    With Darren on this one. BTDT. Nice wheels. You followed the rules with wheel buying. The rougher the floor, the bigger the diameter and width, and weight rated for the load at hand. But send them back. Trade them for heavy duty shelf supports for your long stock. Use Darren's idea of standing the plywood on edge against a wall behind machinery. I built a false wall on a slightly raised platform to house the sheets so I could leave through them as needed without them tipping over. Look at Glenn's thread on storage cubicles for short stuff.

    Then adjust your thinking a little. There is no rule that say's you have to store a lumber yard full of material. At least not in an urban house/garage situation. There is no rule that says all your lumber needs to be stored in one location. Years ago I was in Kelly Melher's shop in Kentucky. That man keeps a serious amount of wood on hand as his mark is to build a piece of furniture all from one tree. So he buys whole trees at a time. He created a loft to store stacked trees all cut into planks and marked. I adopted that years ago when I had a shop by building a loft along one side and one end of my shop. Then I learned to mark the sides and ends with species and size to help control the digging around. One friend stores his plywood in an end opening lean-to shed. I know you are renting, but that doesn't mean you get to stop thinking. LOL!

    Seriously, think about Glenn's thinking on lumber storage. Hope he pops in here. He thinks if it is there and you can find what you need, you will use it. If you can't, you'll head off to the lumber yard!

    Finally, plan your projects so you will have your materials on hand in just the right amount before you begin, including most importantly with the hardware. Yeah, I buy an insurance board too, but I don't plan on failure. One mark of my personal success is to have the insurance board left over! More about all this in the book.
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

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    Carol Reed

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    hah, man that all sounds depressingly familiar (pretty much to the letter). Darrens point about them is somewhat well taken.. the space/storage tradeoff is debatable it definitely depends on the setup. Mine works mostly for me because it allows me to have two layers of storage (shelves behind and the cart in front). ONE of these days I intend to work the pile on the cart down small enough that I only have one layer and revert to just the shelves (hah at least its nice to have goals).

    I put some pretty heavy duty wheels under my cart and they still developed flats but they had thicker rubber which was likely a mistake - I think the ones you got are probably even better because of the really thin outter layer so hopefully they work better. I ended up parking a pallet jack under one end and when I want to move it I just hoist up the one end on the pallet jack and it rolls.. ok.. Mine has a lot of shorts in the front, and a large stack of (admittedly mostly junk) plywood in the back so idea on the weight.. a lot...

    I think I'm with you and would put the wheels back a bit, somewhere in the 18-24" sounds rightish, I might go closer to 18" just because tippy would be bad. That would allow you to lever it more easily to get it started... and getting it started is definitely the hard part. I think your plan of mounting them sounds sane and gives you the option of reasonably easily moving the wheel assembly if you get it part loaded and decide its to tippy or to hard to get level started.

  6. #6
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    May 2007
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    Rob, sorry didn't mean to get off from your questions. I think the cart would be easier to navigate being shorter, I'd probably cut it down some but perhaps not in half, around 5' to 6'. I can imagine that an 8' cart eats up a lot of shop space, so perhaps take the shorter part and place it somewhere for shorts to go into. Those wheels look like they should hold up pretty well to rough concrete as well as a heavy load. Being shorter it may get over the un-even surfaces better, just don't know what kind of humps we're talking about.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Thanks for all the inputs everyone, i appreciate the advise and comments and suggestions.

    Darren i came to exactly the same conclusion. So this evening with the help of my sawzall, skillsaw jig saw i cut 3 ft off the one end.
    I figured in reality i really only keep BB ply on there (5ft wide) so making it shorter will make space, force me to cull wood and make it lighter and more manouverable. In this case i will put the castors on the corners but mounted on a 6" wide short cherry board.
    Word of warning, when u build it stout its not easy to dismantle or remove a section so my reasonable original build now has a not so finished raw edge but i can live with it.

    Putting anything on the walls here is out of the question. I would not trust the building and owners are finicky.
    I am hopeful this solution will work out. Feel much better after hacking a bit off. But one does not realize just how plywood construction adds up quickly in weight. The empty cart on its own was a beast to turn over. I had forgotten that. So will see how this works out. Lots of wood is going to firewood when i reload it.


    Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk
    cheers

  8. #8
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    I'll jump on the lumber cart = inefficient use of space wagon too. Mine never even got completed. I used chalk to mark out where it would sit and where I could move it and the result of that exercise moved me to an alternative. I had to give up a serious amount of wall space but, the end result is that I have a usable space and can store a good quantity of stock. I won't bore you all with the photos as it seems I have posted them many times in other threads.

    Dad had a cart similar to the one you show in the link. Even with big wheels, once loaded he had to use a "lever" built from a piece of scrap to "aim" each wheel manually, then he could sort of shove the rack a few feet in that direction, then turn the wheels manually again and shove it another foot or so. He dismantled it and used the parts for a work table years ago. The table is still in use and the lumber is on the wall.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  9. #9
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    You guys have me convinced I need to get rid of mine and reclaim the space....
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  10. #10
    Princess Auto often has bigger castors on sale for around $18 each, which are the ones I used for my lumber rack. And yes, I have moved it, with some help as it is amazing how heavy it becomes when fully loaded up. These are what I am talking about, and yes, they come on sale quite regularly.

    http://www.princessauto.com/pal/en/H...ster/2040289.p

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