Drop Leaf Carts

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So it’s month six of our two-month garage to “makery” transformation. We are to the point of adding storage, which cannot happen too soon. On one wall we used to have cabinets that were re-purposed from a doctor’s office. They were well-made but we realized we weren’t using them the way that we really wanted or needed to. So we removed them and decided that having some rolling carts with shelves would fit the bill. But then came the question of what to do with the ginormous trash and recycling cans. The solution? Drop-leaf carts. You read that right. Drop-leaf….in the garage.

The reason I decided to go with the drop-leaf idea was because for most of the time, we want the garbage cans in a convenient place. But they aren’t pretty so I move them outside for my Chics With Tools workshops, which leaves a massive, also unattractive, gap. So now in normal mode, the leaves are down but when I want things prettier, I move the cans and raise the leaves, filling the wall while adding counter space for merchandise.

The design went from using black steel pipe for the legs and supports with wood on the horizontal surfaces to a mainly wood construction and conduit piping as accents. The reason was cost. Buying the pipes off the shelf at Lowes or Home Depot was too expensive. I have since discovered a cheaper option through Amazon (I swear they sell everything). We will use those pipes for the wall shelves. You may think it’s not a good idea to mix the black steel with the silver metal. I disagree. Also, we have really cool industrial lights in that space that are black and silver so everything ties together well.

I will take you through how I did this project but the information won’t be detailed enough for you to use this as precise instructions. You will get the general idea, though. This project took a while and I learned a few things in the process. I also got to play with some new toys: a Kreg jig, straight-edge clamp, and pipe cutter.

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Materials:

  • 2'“ x 4” s

  • 1 “x 2”s

  • Conduit piping

  • Wheels

  • Hinges

  • Pocket Screws

  • Stain grade edge glued panel

STEPS

  • Measure, measure, measure. Did I say measure? I measured my opening with the trash cans in place, leaving an allowance for the leaves in the down position plus a little margin for movement. For the height I used our kitchen countertops as the guide then subtracted for the height of the wheels. To decide the length of the drop leaves, I took the measurement of the space the trash cans occupied and divided by four.

  • Cut all the 2” x 4”s to length. Drill all the pocket holes. Notch the top rail to receive the 1” x 2” guides which will hold up the drop leaf.

  • Construct the sides using pocket screws (the Kreg jig). The version we have is about $30 and the beauty of it is that you don’t have any visible screws creating a nice clean finish.

  • Using a piece of wood cut to 45 degrees as a guide, cut holes for the pipes. Be sure to leave clearance for the depth of the shelves. I didn’t so I had to notch my shelves a good bit.

  • Cut the pipes with a pipe cutter. You cannot believe how easy it is! With almost no effort and about 60 seconds, you can cut clean through the pipe perfectly. Attach pipes.

  • Attach cross pieces to the side pieces.

  • Measure for the shelves and top. Cut and notch where necessary. Unscrew one end of the unit to insert shelves then re-assemble

  • Add a block to the underside of the bottom and attach wheels.

  • Make a u-shaped support for the drop leaves with 1”x2”s and slide through the slots.

  • Add hinges.

And there you have it! I know I completely over-simplified this process that took me 10 hours the first time and 7 1/2 the second. But if you want more information, contact me.

By the way, all of this merchandise is for sale. Some items are already listed on our website and some will be very soon. But if you see something you like here and you want a price, just email me.