View Full Version : my new tilting top sheet cart

Steve knight
05-16-2009, 4:21 AM
I got a nice job of making parts for a silk screener. The job is cutting parts from ¾” melamine 15 or more sheets at a time. I have to haul the sheets about 50 feet and it was killing me. So now that the job is a repeat I needed a material cart.
So today I came up with this design after look at a few carts. The top is 48”x48” and the base is about 45x36” I wanted it a bit narrower but I was not sure about stability. I tested it by doing a pushup on the top edge and the cart did not rock and I weigh 260 or so. I was not sure of the weight limit so I made it to handle 5 sheets of ¾” stock.
The cart was made with 3 sheets of ¾” (I wish) shop birch plywood. I wanted to use Russian ply but it is 90.00 a sheet verses 35.00
Also the hardware was around 90.00 the wheels are really nice and they lock normally plus rotation is locked too they were about 17.00 each I used lag screws on the front of the table to hold the frame and the lip in place. I used a ¾” bolt for the pivots. I wanted something with a large bearing surface to keep the design with wood only to make it easier to build. It will also have a flip out stop for the sloping side for uneven loads but I did not have a hinge on hand.
The rails are 2 pieces of ply glued and nailed together. Then everything was screwed together.
I had to cut the slots in the base again as they were not long enough. I goofed a bit and cut outside and not inside.
I will have the vcarve file if anyone wants it. It may need a bit of work to get the dado’s the right size depending on your ply. Plys I reused toolpaths for different sheets to make sure you work that out.
I had to trim a little bit off the top of the vertical supports to get the top to tilt right. I also had to move the front cross rail on the base down a bit.


Angus Hines
05-16-2009, 11:33 AM
Thats nice Steve ....Now that I can see it.....LOL. How long did it take you to post the pics over at SBF

Jim Dailey
05-16-2009, 11:36 AM
Hi Steve,

"Thank You!!!" for posting your tilting cart photo's. I have been wanting a cart for some time.... So I really hope yours works great!!! I have looked at several designs; Wood Mag , Fine Woodworking, etc., & other shop built designs like Carol's cart that was features in one of the shop books. So I will be following yours with great interest.

Steve if your design in actual use proves tippy then you may consider a trick I used years back when I built a very high & narrow cart to hold some of my wood clamps. Since you base appears to be hollow you could fill it full of concrete or wheel weights, scrapes of steel etc.

I wish I would have picked up a Heffalla (sp?) tilt cart when they where available (stopped making it I believe because of bad welds). I am considering http://www.specialtytools.com/product_info.php?products_id=13112 but with freight this is an expensive option.

Steve I would also like to "Thank You" for the thought & effort that has gone into your many very informative posts.


Steve knight
05-16-2009, 1:39 PM
Thats nice Steve ....Now that I can see it.....LOL. How long did it take you to post the pics over at SBF
about 2 minutes later (G) it's more work posting there.

Steve knight
05-16-2009, 5:44 PM
here are more pictures.

Terry Brogan
05-18-2009, 6:20 PM
why you guys would go to such lengths when you can buy a perfectly good ShopCart for only a grand................

Michael Kowalczyk
05-18-2009, 8:50 PM
Hey Steve,
Nice work. I very much like your posts because you think outside the box and on a shoestring. I have to think high production and moving full bunks of MDF core white melamine for our stuff. I also have 2 herniated lower vertebrates and had to also think outside the box for different reasons.

My first CNC had a Digital Tool 5' x 10' table but I only cut 4x8 sheets. So I mounted some non mar casters upside down on the far right side of the table. I would lift the 1 corner up to the table and then let it gently fall on the rollers, slide it down to the end and then slide/drag it into position. This way I never lifted the entire weight of the panel at any time.
(see link below 4 pic)

Then I started cutting Black melamine and it scratched when you looked at it too long:eek:. So after going to another IWF show in Atlanta and seeing all those big Vac lifts in the mags and at the show, I concluded that I needed one but was not going to pay the $12-18,000.00 they were asking and in my AC'd CNC room, it just was not going to fit anyway. So I wondered by the PIAB table and saw the vac cups and queried as to which one would work for my application. Well I had one built for about 700.00 for the cups, venturi pump, hoses, regulator, on/off valve and other miscellaneous components. Went down to Harbor Freight and found a 400lb wench for 79.00 and then a barn door trolley system from Tractor Supply for around $100.00 +-( I honestly don't remember) but I did it all for less than $1,000.00. I made sure that it would hold 250-300 lbs even though most melamine never goes over 80-90 lbs. I like the safety factor.

Pictured below is the 2nd generation that cost considerably more because of the cost of aluminum had increased significantly. This one was built for the Bigger CNC but we actually don't use it because 1 person could never keep up with the CNC, so it is easier for 2 guys to hand load 5x5's. But it is there if I should need it.

We also built the cart to handle 6,000lbs+. Average pallet of melamine is about 4500 lbs so we have plenty to spare. Each wheel was rated for 1500lbs+. Don't remember the cost but it was far less than trying to buy one.

Here is a link showing the roller system I had already posted.

http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?p=915211#poststop (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?p=915211#poststop)

John Petsche
01-10-2013, 6:34 PM
nice design and idea.