Ok, I’m back. Took a brief couple of weeks off around the holidays. Just enough time to recharge the batteries and get ready for a new year.
So here’s my first project back. Not bad looking if I do say so myself. This stacking cart went from barely holding itself together to looking sharp and new. Ready to start its new life as a coffee table instead of being used to store gold and cash. Hmmm, come to think of it, maybe that’s a bit of a demotion. Yes you heard me right. This stacking cart came straight from the vaults of the Bank of Canada.
Apparently until just recently this little guy served our country by storing cash and precious metals in an underground vault. Or at least that’s what the guy I bought it from on Craigslist told me haha, who knows. Might have just been trying to get me to pay more for it.
Here’s how it looked when I first started. This thing has definitely seen better days. I’m didn’t do it any favors by storing it outside for a week before starting this project either.
This stacking cart measures about 24″ x 36″ x 12″. I paid 40 dollars for it. Might have over paid, but I see the potential in it.
Let’s get to work.
Let’s flip it over and see how this thing is put together. Seems pretty simple, 4 bolts on each side pinch everything together between two pieces of angle iron. The original wood is oak, but unfortunately someone replaced a lot of the original boards with cheap plywood that’s falling apart.
Alright, square nuts! Now none of my socket wrenches will work on them! /s These things were actually pretty rusted on there.
I hit them with a little bit of penetrating oil and then went at them.
Between a set of vice grips, channel locks and a rubber mallet I was able to undo all 8 nuts. It took quite a bit of swearing, but I finally got there. I was half expecting to have to use an angle grinder to remove them but all it needed was a little bit of elbow grease and a few choice swear words.
Not so tough anymore are you mr. stacking cart? It was at this point I decided to scrap the existing wood and use some wood that I had lying around the shop instead. Don’t worry I’ll find a use for the wood that came out of this stacking cart in another project.
I had some red cedar left over from a deck I did and some yellow pine left over from some restaurant mill work I just finished. Not enough of either one on it’s own, but combined I had more than enough.
Both pine and cedar happen to be very soft woods. I want this table to have a weathered and old look to it eventually so I’m ok with using a wood that dents and scuff easily.
I decided on an alternating pattern, because what other option did I really have? Cedar, pine, cedar, pine, you get it.
The original cart was 24″ wide and I saw no reason to change that. I setup a stop and cut each of my pieces of cedar and pine to 24″ inches long.
Here’s what it looked like after. Perhaps you’ve noticed there’s a height difference between each piece. You’re very observant. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.
In order to equalize the thickness I fed all of the wood through a planer and planed it down to 7/8″ thick. This was a time consuming process, with each pass I would only remove 1/16″ of wood. But the wood comes out looking so nice and smooth, so it’s worth it.
Now that everything is planed to the same height it’s starting to look a lot more like a table surface.
In order to make sure everything was square and a uniform width I pushed all the pieces through the table saw. On the pine boards I tried to remove as little as possible, but because the cedar boards were so much wider I ended up taking almost 3/4 out of the width of each cedar board in order to make things more even.