Ultimate Lumber Storage Cart

rolling mobile lumber storage rack

If you’re into woodworking or even just own a table saw, I can bet you have a collection of scrap wood and cut offs lying around just like me. I reached a point when I could barely move around in my shop because of the various piles of wood that seem to accumulate everywhere. While getting rid of some of it would certainly be a wiser use of my time, I decided it was time to build the ultimate lumber storage cart.

There are lots of designs out there including the infamous Steve Ramsey rolling lumber cart (which definitely served as an inspiration) but none of them seemed to fit my needs, both in terms of size and lumber storage options. I came up with my ideal lumber storage cart and created these plans from scratch which you can download below.

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The overall dimensions of the lumber cart are 5’ x 2’ x 3’. I used 2 sheets of plywood as well as the materials below.



Cut The Plywood

The first step is to cut down your plywood sheets into the 16 pieces you’ll need for this mobile lumber storage cart. I don’t know about you, but my SUV won’t fit a full 4×8 sheet of plywood, so I had them cut into more manageable pieces at the hardware store.

rolling mobile lumber storage rack

Once home, I used various cutting methods to get the pieces down to size. I followed my cutting diagram, starting with my circular saw and homemade track saw guide for the larger pieces, and eventually moved over to my table saw and miter saw for the smaller cuts.

rolling lumber storage rack

The full cut list and plywood cutting diagram are included in the free downloadable plans.

Build the side shelves

I used dadoes to attach the side shelves to make things easier. This allowed me to easily line up the pieces when assembling. I marked evenly spaced lines with the help of a T-square, then cut 1/4 inch deep dadoes with multiple passes using my palm router and a 3/4 inch straight bit.

rolling mobile lumber storage rack

Before assembling the shelves, I used my mini Kreg Jig to make some pocket holes along the bottom of both side panels. This will allow me to later attach the shelves to the base.

rolling mobile lumber storage rack

I then applied some glue and attached the shelves with some 1-1/4 inch screws. I started by attaching all the shelves to the left side first, then did the right.

rolling mobile lumber storage rack

Tip: trace a line along the backside of the dado grooves so you can easily see where to put in the screws.

Build the center compartment

rolling mobile lumber storage rack

I repeated the same process to assemble the center compartment and dividers, starting with dadoes, then assembling with glue and screws. Don’t forget to pre-drill the pocket holes along the bottom and the open side so you’ll be able to attach the compartment to the base and side shelves later.

rolling mobile lumber storage rack

Assemble the base

While I wasn’t certain it was necessary, I decided to use some plywood cut-offs to strengthen the corners of the plywood base before attaching the casters.

rolling mobile lumber storage rack

I decided to attach the caster wheels at this time rather than at the end, after the cart was fully assembled. I knew it would be a challenge if I waited until the end to flip it over and attach the casters. I drilled some pilot holes, then used 1-inch #12 pan head screws.

I used 2-inch casters rated at 90 lbs a piece. I considered going bigger given the load, but I really don’t plan on wheeling this thing around. I just want to be able to pull it out slightly if I need to get out a sheet of plywood from the back side.

Putting it All Together

I prepped the back and front panels by making pocket holes along the sides and bottom so I could easily attach them to the base.

I started by attaching the side shelving by applying some glue and screwing it to the base with pocket screws. The space was a bit tight but the pocket screws were a cinch to screw in with my new ​Ridgid palm impact driver.

rolling mobile lumber storage rack

Next I did the same for the center compartment, attaching it to both the base and the shelving on the left side. I lastly finished off with the front and back panels.

rolling mobile lumber storage rack

I love how versatile this lumber storage cart is. It has both vertical and horizontal storage for boards, a slot in the back for large sheet goods, and my favorite part, a nook in the front that can be used for small cut-offs or panel storage. Time to load it up, and while I’m at it, perhaps I’ll consider getting rid of some! Or not.

Get the free plans!

rolling mobile lumber storage rack

rolling mobile lumber storage rack

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