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Thread: Flip Top Cart

  1. #1

    Flip Top Cart

    My garage shop has limited space, so I decided to build a flip top cart for my Dewalt planer and newly acquired Cutech 8” jointer. Like many of my projects, I did some research and watched some Youtube videos, and then came up with my own design.

    The top is a torsion box design. The interior frame of the box is made from 1x3 Alder spaced to receive the bolts that hold the tools, and the skins are 1/2” Maple plywood. I wrapped it with 1/4” Alder to hide the plywood edges. The sides are frame and panel construction with the same materials. The bottom and interior shelf are made from two 1/2” sheets of plywood glued together for added strength. All joints are assembled using my Dowelmax jig.

    I didn’t really like the way most people secure the flip top in place, so my design uses removable 3/8” steel pins that slide through the side panel and into the top at each corner. The challenge is getting the holes for the pins in perfect alignment when the top is flipped in each orientation. They must be exactly the same distance from the center pin, and exactly the same distance from the top. My solution was to dry fit the top in place, drill a 3/8” hole dead center on both sides through the side and top, and then use my dowel jig with 3/8” drill guides and a spacer rod (supplied by Dowelmax) to drill holes for the pins at exactly the same distance from the center. The center pivot hole was then enlarged to 1/2”, and I used 1/2” x 5” bolts as the axle on each side. The top flips nicely and the pins lock it in place very solidly. I added some Wenge “caps” to hide the ends of the hardware, because every shop project should have a little Wenge.

    I also designed the cart with a drawer, since I can always use more storage. 2” locking casters allow me to roll the cart into place when needed. Even though this is shop furniture, I still like to add a finish, which was my usual Osmo Polyx Hard wax Oil.

    It’s great to have both machines ready to go without having to lug them onto a work table. And if anyone with limited shop space is on the fence about a benchtop jointer, I love this Cutech 8” jointer. I previously used a planer sled and hand planes as a substitute, but this jointer works great for stock up to about 4’ in length. You can get close on longer stock. I chose this one because it has extra supports to hold the fence dead square and not flex, a common complaint with benchtop jointers with aluminum fences.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Very nice, so which machine is heavier and is it easy to flip?

  3. #3
    Thanks Tom. Both machines are similar in weight, if anything the planer weighs a bit more. Since the top pivots around the center, it doesn’t feel like you are moving much weight when you flip it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Blog Entries
    A flip top was one of the best things I ever did in my smaller shop days. I used it with planer and CMS, sander and jointer, etc. I made one of the top skins removable so I could add or change t-nut patterns for changing machines over time. That was back in the 2000s and it is still in service at a relatives shop. It was always easy to flip but I tried to keep the two sides pretty close in weight. That is; a DW735 planer at 90# and a Ridgid 4424 at 40# could be an awkward flip.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 08-10-2023 at 11:41 AM.
    "A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg".

    – Samuel Butler

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