Ultimate Lumber and Plywood Storage Cart

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DIY lumber and plywood storage cart

We've been planning on building a dedicated wood shop for years.  An awesome Build Cave just for creating projects out of wood.

But something always seems to come up first.  I'll admit a little bit of that has to do with me still not set on how my dream wood shop will be set up.  Think designing a dream house could be hard?  Designing a dream wood shop is even harder, because that's where I'm going to be spending my time!  And it's probably going to be bigger than my house.

Knowing that we plan to start on a wood shop in the near future, I've put off work on my current work space - a large two car detached garage that hasn't seen a car parked in it in years. 

But finally, last fall, I decided I needed to make some minor improvements to my existing workspace.  I need a clean, organized space to work, where everything is just right, and just where I left it.  I'm also one of those people that can't function in a messy space, so I needed everything put away just so so I can concentrate on the task at hand.

You got a little peek of my neat and tidy corner of the workshop when I shared these sawhorse plans with you earlier this week.  Believe it or not, those dark stained cabinets used to be (and still are) this hot mess -

It drove me crazy, having open shelving with sawdust all over the essential building stuff that I can't live without, but don't want to look at constantly. But I didn't want to be wastful and rip perfectly good shelving out.  

So I built a 1x6 face frame (you can see it in the above photo), using my Kreg Jig -

And then cut some plywood pieces to fit as doors in between the face frame.  I then stained just the face frame and doors with Rustoleum Dark Walnut topped with poly and after letting the finish dry, I hinged the doors on -

How about that?  Because I used scrap 3/4" plywood for the doors, this whole project costs me about $30!!!  

After tackling my workbench, I had one other pretty big BuildCave problem.  My scrap wood.

I designed this wood cart, so I have a spot for plywood in the center, bins for different lengths of scrap wood on one side, and then shelving on the other side for longer lengths of wood.


This is how it turned out.  Those scrap wood bins are life savers.

But I'll be completely honest with you - These rail shelf hardware systems are pretty spendy, and once you load the wood on the shelves, it's not like you are adjusting them.  I wish I'd just made shelves.

A few other things I would change if I could -

- When full of plywood, this cart becomes extremely heavy, so it's very difficult to move around.  I'd consider making the plywood area smaller.

- Consider making the scrap wood bins taller or more defined so that the wood stays in place a little better

- I store stuff on the top too, mostly plywood pieces in squarish shapes too short for the scrap wood bin, but still possibly useful

- This cart is huge, make sure you have space for it, and to walk around it

Check the plans out below and let me know how this lumber cart works out for you if you build it.

So that's my Build Cave!  Don't forget to share yours - there's just a couple days left in this month's #GetBuilding2015 Challenge - someone is going to win a Kreg Foreman Pocket Hole Machine!


Good luck!


Dimensions shown above


Shopping List

11 - 2x4 @ 8 feet
5 - 2x4 @ 10 feet (cut 60" long wall pieces from these)
4 - 1x4 or 1x3 boards
2 sheets of 1/2" plywood (can be construction grade)
1 sheet of 3/4" plywood or 1x material for scrap wood bins, top shelf
4 Heavy Duty Caster Wheels

Common Materials
1 1/2 inch screws
2 1/2 inch screws
Cut List

2 - 2x4 @ 96"
5 - 2x4 @ 45"

10 - 2x4 @ 60"
4 - 2x4 @ 96"

2 - 1/2" plywood @ 96" x 14-1/2"
1 - 1/2" plywood @ 96" x 12"

4 - 1x4 @ 25-1/2" (both ends cut at 45 degrees, not parallel, long point to long point measurement

1 - 1/2" plywood @ 19" x 96"
2 - 1x4 @ 96"
2 - 1x4 @ 20-1/2"

1 - 1/2" plywood @ 36" x 96" (cut from same piece as 12" strip below)
1 - 1/2" plywood @ 12" x 96" (cut from same piece as 36" strip above)
4 - 3/4" plywood 13" x 25" tapered down to 12" on one side at 45 degree angle
dividers can be cut from 1x boards or 3/4" plywood

*can use 1x3s instead of 1x4s

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Miter Saw
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Screw together the base with either 2-1/2" screws or pocket holes (1-1/2" setting and 2-1/2" pocket hole screws). Adjust for square. I'd add the caster wheels at this stage as it will get super awkward to add after this step.

Step 2

Build the walls and then attach to top of floor framing. You'll need to screw at an angle to attach to the floor studs.

Step 3

Place plywood between the walls. Screw down with 1-1/2" screws.

Step 4

Add cross bracing to keep the walls square. Screw on with 1-1/2" screws.

Step 5

Step 6

For additional support, I also screwed 1x4s around the top. I use the top for storing smaller pieces of plywood as well.

Step 7

The scrap wood bins are actually pretty easy to make - just cut the four side/divider pieces with the angled top out of a strip of plywood. Then attach the front and back to those strips. And then add dividers in between. Super simple.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Project Type


Angie Overton

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 18:10

I just made this cart. I love how easy it was following your plans and how much lumber I can store on it. I opted not to do the divider bins at this time and instead put a cleat on the outer edge. I use the middle for longer/bigger sheet goods and then the side with the cleat for cut off and smaller pieces of sheet goods. I have a lot so I needed the space. My space where this is isn't very large so I didn't get great pics. But as soon as I can finish organizing I will take more pics.
Also... one thing about the plans... on the walls cut list there should be 10 of the 2x4's at 60".
I actually built the whole thing from scrap lumber and free lumber that I have acquired. Only thing I bought was the casters.