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Parts Tray Cart


DaveBarak
DaveBarak
DaveBarak
DaveBarak

I saw Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame has a few carts that hold parts trays. The system he has is factory-built and is VERY expensive.

I bought HDX parts trays from Home Depot. I already had two sheets of 2x2 plywood for the top and bottom, so I bought two 2x4 sheets of particle board and ripped one in half for the sides. The second sheet of particle board formed the back. I used dowels (also from Home Depot) as shelves for three reasons. First, less material was needed as I didn't need supports to hold full shelves; I just drilled holes in the sides for the dowels to slide into. Second, the parts trays have little tabs on the bottom, and the dowels do a nice job of holding the trays in. Third, using dowels saved some weight.

One side of the tray section doesn't extend the full width. Doing it like that meant fewer cuts, and it gave me space to store other things. I had an old wire shelf lying around, so I mounted it vertically using coaxial cable nail-in clamps as hinges. I can hang small tools on the rack, and I can swing it out to reveal a little bit of extra storage space behind it. The cart has a lot of open faces, so there's plenty of room to hang hooks and other storage things.

I learned a lot working on this. (It was my first "real" project.) For one thing, when I painted this I used acrylic paint. I didn't learn until later that it causes particle board to swell a tiny bit when it absorbs the water in water-based paints. This made the tray section slightly too narrow, so I had to remove locking clips from each tray. It's not a big deal, but it was an important lesson.

Overall, I think this came out pretty good, especially considering I was using old tools, including an older model Ryobi miter saw. This gave me some courage to tackle another rolling cart project, but unfortunately my first two attempts were terrible. The third worked out better but looks a bit rough. However, I have other storage and workbench carts I want to build. Just today I spent more than $400 on new Ryobi tools that will really help me improve the quality of the work I'm doing. I'm excited to get going on the next one!

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    • Project Information

    • Tools Used

    • Materials Used

      • 1/2" 2X2 PLYWOOD, TWO SHEETS
      • 1/2" 2X4 PARTICLE BOARD, TWO SHEETS
      • 1/2" X 24" DOWELS, QTY. 12
      • 1/2" X 24" X 24" PLYWOOD, QTY. 2
      • 1/2" X 24 X 48 PARTICLE BOARD, QTY. 2
      • 1/2" X 24" X 48" PARTICLE BOARD, QTY. 2
      • HOME DEPOT HDX PARTS TRAYS, PACKAGE OF 2, QTY. 7
      • CASTERS, QTY. 4
      • 3/8"-16 X 2" BOLTS, QTY. 16
      • 3/8"-16 NUTS, QTY. 16
      • 3/8" LOCK WASHERS, QTY. 8
      • OLD WIRE SHELF, OPTIONAL
      • COAXIAL CABLE NAIL-IN CLIPS, OPTIONAL
      • WHITE PAINT
      • 1" X 3" X 12" WOOD, QTY. 2
      • ASSORTED NAILS AND/OR SCREWS

Comments (2)


  • Awesome job on this tray cart! Thanks for sharing what you've learned throughout the process. So glad to hear you're inspired to build more projects. Can't wait to see what you build next!
    By RYOBI Nation, on November 26, 2018

  • Great idea...
    By Siclestix, on November 27, 2018

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Parts Tray Cart

by DaveBarak
Nov 25, 2018
Medium c35091aa 61ef 44ca b171 5c018477e6a1

I saw Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame has a few carts that hold parts trays. The system he has is factory-built and is VERY expensive. I bought HDX parts trays from Home Depot. I already had two sheets of 2x2 plywood for the top and bottom, so I bought two 2x4 sheets of particle board and ripped one in half for the sides. The second sheet of particle board formed the back. I used dowels (also from Home Depot) as shelves for three reasons. First, less material was needed as I didn't need supports to hold full shelves; I just drilled holes in the sides for the dowels to slide into. Second, the parts trays have little tabs on the bottom, and the dowels do a nice job of holding the trays in. Third, using dowels saved some weight. One side of the tray section doesn't extend the full width. Doing it like that meant fewer cuts, and it gave me space to store other things. I had an old wire shelf lying around, so I mounted it vertically using coaxial cable nail-in clamps as hinges. I can hang small tools on the rack, and I can swing it out to reveal a little bit of extra storage space behind it. The cart has a lot of open faces, so there's plenty of room to hang hooks and other storage things. I learned a lot working on this. (It was my first "real" project.) For one thing, when I painted this I used acrylic paint. I didn't learn until later that it causes particle board to swell a tiny bit when it absorbs the water in water-based paints. This made the tray section slightly too narrow, so I had to remove locking clips from each tray. It's not a big deal, but it was an important lesson. Overall, I think this came out pretty good, especially considering I was using old tools, including an older model Ryobi miter saw. This gave me some courage to tackle another rolling cart project, but unfortunately my first two attempts were terrible. The third worked out better but looks a bit rough. However, I have other storage and workbench carts I want to build. Just today I spent more than $400 on new Ryobi tools that will really help me improve the quality of the work I'm doing. I'm excited to get going on the next one!