Monday, February 29, 2016

Surface Planer Cart

About 6 months before this posting a friend of mine gave me some vanity cabinets he was throwing out.  I took these cabinets and built a bottom for it with casters...


...then added a top with some leftover material...


...then added a lot of tools and stuff on top of it...


...and inside.


It was a good temporary table, but didn't last too long.  The weight of the stuff I had on and in it eventually took its toll and the whole thing began to break.


The vanitys were made from .5" particleboard with solid wood face frames and doors.  I was able to salvage those frames and doors and I plan on using them in a project soon.


But I was able to completely save the smaller middle section which contained 3 drawers.


  So I decided to cut some scrap .75" particleboard...


...and attached it to the bottom...


...and top using screws.


Then I sanded all the leftover paint on the particleboard off with my sander.  At the time I was doing this I hadn't really decided exactly what I wanted to do with this thing yet, but an idea came to me...


Rewind a few weeks before to when I built a really cool tool cabinet.  This thing was and still is great.  It has casters which allows me to move it where ever I want.


It is also small enough that I can place it easily out of the way.


Then I built a miter saw cart, inspired by the tool cart.


This thing is also quite awesome, and it has folding arms which increase the surface area of the table.


It is also small enough to fit almost anywhere in my workshop.


Then with all the extra material I had, I built a new, smaller router table.


I mounted the router table onto my existing utility cart - which is where I used to keep my surface planer.  I switched them out since I use my router table far more than my surface planer.


But now my planer is just perched on a random table.


So I decided to turn the small drawers into a new surface planer cart!  I also decided to try and use up all my surplus material rather than buying new stuff and spending money.  So I added some casters to the bottom - This is only temporary though.  I'll eventually have to figure out a way of making some wider legs for the casters so that the whole thing doesn't fall over while in use.


 But for the time being the casters will make it easier to move around this heavy thing.


Next I had to make a slightly larger top for the cart so that the planer will fit on it, so I cut some more of that scrap particleboard.


This particleboard is leftover from my old computer desk, which had a faux marble painted on it and some thick glossy resin.  The best way to remove it was with a block plane.


Once all the 'marble' was off I sanded the surface smooth and clean.


Then I mounted it to the other top with screws.


Now the surface planer fits on top nicely.


I currently do not have any bolts, or screws with washers that will fit through the planers' base, so in order to keep the planer from moving I glued and nailed strips of wood against the sides.  Now the planer can easily be removed, but will also sit still while in use.


Next I want to figure out a good dust collection for this thing.  I have a large hose attached to the planer.


But I did have trouble finding connectors that fit both the hose and the planer.  So about a year ago I took some measurements and 3D printed a connector that has worked pretty well.


But I think I want to make some sort of box on the side of the cabinet that both the hose and my shop vac will connect to.


So I began cutting some more leftover particle board into strips for a dust collection box.


I used the table saw to cut it long ways, and the miter saw to cut the short sides.  Before long I had all 4 sides.


Next I removed the planer and drawers, and placed the whole thing upside-down.  There's a tiny ledge from the initial table top.


So I measured the ledge and cut out a notch on the particleboard sides.


The notch lets the sides sit against the side of the cabinet and the top flush.


Then I began drilling pocket holes onto the particleboard...


...and assembled it with pocket screws.


Next I attached it to the cabinet.


I actually only needed 3 particleboard sides since the notched-cut pieces were made to fit flush with the table top.


So I used the extra piece and attached it to the botom, which is where I moved 2 of the casters.


Next I cut more scrap particleboard which will make up the front of the dust collection box.


After cleaning up the cut parts I attached them to the sides using screws.



Then I put the whole thing upright.  The casters being father apart makes this thing more stable.


I put the surface planer on the cart and tried (gently) pushing it over.  The new location of the casters makes it a lot harder to knock this thing over.


Next I wanted to put holes in the dust collection box for the planer hose and the vacuum hose.


I measured the hoses and cut them out with a spade bit on my drill and widened the holes with my jigsaw.


I made sure the hole was snug for the planer tube...


...as well as the vacuum tube.  Although these pictures are showing the cabinet on it's side, the tube for the planer is close to the top (left) of the cabinet, and the tube for the vacuum is located at the bottom (right) of the cabinet.


Then I put the cabinet upright, reattached the planer and hooked up the tube.  The tube was too long, so I cut it to be much shorter.


Now it's time to test it out.  I plugged it in and tested it out on some scrap pieces of wood.


The dust collection box works!  As you can see below there are small wood chips and dust being blown out of the hole where the vacuum hose attaches.


When I hook up the vacuum and turn it on, no dust is flying anywhere!


The cart itself is located on the right side of my saw table so that the hose doesn't interfere with anything being cut or worked on.


With everything done, now it's time to make it look a smidgen nicer.  I started by cutting some thin leftover plywood for trim.


Then I glued and nailed trim around the top.  


Plywood is not my idea choice for trim, but it's what I had available.


Next I wanted to pretty up the side of the dust collection box.  Particleboard and pocket holes are useful - but they don't always look too nice.


So I cut some more spare plywood...


...and glued/nailed it to the side of the collection box.  This looks far nicer.


I also covered up the very bottom of the front of the unit with plywood, covering up the particleboard that existed from the vanity.


Now to work on making the dust collector side look nice.


I cut some thin plywood which I bought at the store - so far this is the only new thing I've bought for this project.


I marked the positioning of the holes for the tubes and cut out a hole with a spade bit.


Then I glued and nailed it in place.


I used my dremel to widen the holes to the correct size.


Now this side looks nice.


Next I decided to add a few small things.  One thing I've been wanting to do is make a holder for garbage bags, and I found a dowel that will be perfect.


Then I cut some leftover wood...


...and used a spade bit to drill holes in the pieces of wood I cut.  The spade bit is slightly larger than the diameter of the dowel.


Then I drilled pocket holes in the wood...


...and then attached it to the side opposite from the dust collector box.  I used a level to make sure it was, level.


Then I passed the dowel through the wood holders and a roll of garbage bags to complete the holder.


Since the planer is next to my table saw and miter saw - which produce a lot of wood dust - I added a hook next to the garbage bags...


...that holds a duster.


Then it was time to do some sanding.


After planing I noticed some wood dust inside the drawers.  This most likely is from the holes that were in the old particleboard I used on the top.  So I added some wood filler...


...and sanded when dried.


In retrospect, I should have covered the top with plywood too.  But since the surface planer covers 90% of the top, it doesn't bother me too much.  With construction complete I began filling up the drawers.  I put some of the tools and instructions for the planer into the small top drawer.


The second small drawer holds incense.  I use incense often in my workshop to help get rid of the smell of spray paints, stains, resin, Bondo and polyurethane.


The last large drawer will is reserved for the tube when the surface planer is not in use.


This thing turned out nicely.  


Now I have a nice cart to easily move around my surface planer.  The dust collection box will make it easier to keep my workshop clean.


And with the exception of one piece of thin plywood, this thing cost me nothing extra to make!
Thanks for reading!

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