I have poured my heart and soul into many woodworking projects. The rolling cart for my new Craftsman tool chest is not one of those projects. It’s a utility piece and there is no mistaking it. That having been said, there are a few things about the project that I really like.
- Halflap joints are exceptionally strong when done right. The shoulder on the vertical stiles is a load bearing surface. And if the shoulders are square to a reference face, they go a long way toward keeping the horizontal rails (and therefore the entire frame) square. Finally, face grain to face grain glue surface translates into a joint that will never come apart. And it’s relatively easy to cut with a single saw.
- Whitewood is a joy to work. Home center whitewood 2×4’s often have a birdseye figure that glistens after smoothing. The wood is kiln-dried, gentle on plane irons and saw blades, and the price per board foot is unbeatable. The frames pictured below were made with less than $6 of wood. The entire whitewood frame for the rolling cart will cost less than $20 (and that includes 2″ decking screws). Add in casters and a 24×48 sheet of birch plywood and that’s the entire basic cart.
It makes me wonder: would a whitewood workbench be tough enough? It would certainly go together with hand tools much easier than the equivalent of Douglas Fir, I’d think. For a light duty bench, say a 10 foot planing bench, I bet whitewood works just fine.
One last thing on whitewood: I’ve noticed is that the grain direction doesn’t quite work the same as other woods. These boards often have the pith running straight through the middle. This means the grain runs in the same direction on both faces. I always manually check the grain first, because flipping end over end (like you’d do with other boards) could be a quick way to some nasty tear out.
Next up is cutting 3/4″ recesses for the long rails, then more gluing and screwing.