Ain’t no lightweight! – Part 1

My pal Chuck sent me a picture of a wine rack/liquor cart that he was going to build out of wood and it looked really cool. The cart is 28 inches square and 16 inches deep and sits on casters. Chuck designed it so that it could fit in his closet and he could roll it out to get to his crawl space access. Pretty nifty.

The pictures he sent of the finished product looked great and I asked him if I could use his design because I thought it might be a good candidate for a steel build. He said go ahead.

It turned out that I had just gotten some scrap 1 inch square tubing and I figured I had enough to do the build but I really didn’t have anywhere to put the cart. I asked my son Mike if he would like it for his condo and it was a resounding YES! I think you could use it as a wine rack or shelving unit or bookshelf so I think it will be pretty versatile for him.

I started in on the frame. I cut and ground down the surface rust on the front and rear frame pieces. Cleaning up the steel took a significant amount of time, but in this case I wanted the steel looking used but not really rusty. After I tacked the frames together I cleaned them up and ground things down and called it a day.

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Frames ready for the next step

One thing I noticed after tacking the frames together was that this mother was going to be heavy! Not “spitting a disk out of your back when you try to lift it” heavy but let’s just say a thief is not going to throw it on his back and run away with it (but it will have casters on it so he wouldn’t have to really… Moving on…).  The tubing that I got wasn’t thin walled, it was 1/8 inch but it was free (Thanks Verne!).

I also had scrounged some 3/4 x 2 1/2 inch thin walled tubing a while back that I thought might work for the outer supports and give the rack a nice visual change up from the 1 inch tubing so cut them to size and prepped them an also cut and prepped some more 1 inch tubing pieces for cross members and got to it.

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Front and back with cross pieces tacked in place
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starting to tack the frame together
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Top and bottom supports in place

The hardest part of this process was doing a larger assembly in a small space. Making sure it was all square and level I tacked everything in place. When you’re a type A like myself the longest part of the process is getting everything square. I think I got things pretty damn close to square but yeah I spent a lot of time on it. This was not one of my “Good enough” moments  but I know that about myself so try and roll with it. 🙂

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Tacked and ready to finish the welds
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Cherry on top!

Once I had it all tacked together I took a look at the piece of cherry that Gord and I put together for the top. I think it’s going to look really nice with the rough steel.

I got myself started on the final welds. There were a lot of them and I had to go over them a couple of times to catch ones I had missed on the first pass but eventually all the beads were done and I ground everything down and got ready for the next steps.

The final piece for the day was to pull out the plasma cutter and start cutting up the extruded sheet that I’m going to use for the shelves. I cut the first piece and test fit it. Made a couple of tweaks and it was good to go. Unfortunately I found out I didn’t have enough for the whole project so needed a Demxx run. Seemed like a good place to stop. I was tired and my hands were sore anyway. Good thing I don’t do this for a living!

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Frame ready and shelving started

I’m tracking my time on this build which is a first for me. Mostly because I’m interested to see just how much time a bigger project takes me but also If I end up doing any comission type work I don’t want to end up charging out my time at .40/hr. I don’t really think that will happen, but you never know.  Next step is to figure out the finishing bits and get the cherry top finished and mounted.

 

 

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