Building a Chop Saw Cart
Simple & Mobile = Useful!
Text & photos by Tom Hintz
Posted – 11-20-2010
I didn’t have to use my Bosch 14" Cutoff Machine very long to realize that cutting steel is better done in an uninhabited area away from people and other machines. The grit that is naturally created when cutting metal can ruin just about anything so confining that debris as much as possible is a good idea. What I needed was a cart to put the Bosch 14" Cutoff Machine on so I could take it to the best available spot yet not have to carry it there. Past experience in my small shop taught me that a cart would also increase storage for other tools related to metalworking such as clamps and fixtures.
I began the Chop Saw Cart by building a frame 19-1/2”-long and 11-1/2”-wide. That was roughly 1” longer and wider than the base of the Bosch 14" Cutoff Machine that would live on it. As with the rest of the cart, I used 1” angle steel to build this top frame. I mitered the corners for this frame because it would be most visible when finished. After welding the frame I cut a piece of expanded steel, fit it into the frame from the underside and welded that in place. To finish the top platform I cut 4”-long pieces of 1” angle and welded one of them at the center of each side to keep the Bosch 14" Cutoff Machine from slipping off.
I was using four casters that are 3-1/2”-tall from the bottom of the wheel to the mounting flange. I wanted the top platform to be 34” above the floor so four pieces of angle 30-1/2”-long were cut and welded to the corners of the top platform. The top platform has the angle pointing downward while the remaining two frames have the angle pointed upwards. Then I cut and fit the pieces for two more platforms with one installed 5-3/4” below the top platform and the other at the bottom of the long corner pieces. After welding the bottom and second platforms in place I cut another piece of expanded metal and welded that in the upper frame below the top. The bottom frame was fitted with a floor made from sheet steel.
The second platform was used to align the top edge of an 8-1/2”-long projection to be added to the front of the cart. This projection was sized around a 4-1/2” vise that I also wanted to mount on the Chop Saw Cart.
Next I cut and fit 1” steel angle to build the projection on the end of the Chop Saw Cart. As I built the projection I added cross pieces to the top for bolting the vise in place to one side. This projection was also fitted with a shelf at the bottom and fitted with a sheet metal floor.
I had cut four caster brackets off of an old machine mobile base thinking that I could use them in the future and that actually happened for once! They were formed with upright wings on the sides that worked great as gussets. I welded one bracket to each corner, pivoting them outwards to widen the base from 11-1/2” at the frame to about 14-1/2” at the studs that secured the casters to the mounts. This has proven to be very stable when rolling around my shop floor even though it is not perfectly flat.
In addition to storing the Bosch 14" Cutoff Machine, I wanted this cart to carry around some of my metalworking clamps and fixtures. Lengths of ½”-diameter steel tubing were installed 4”-down from the middle shelf on the sides and front of the Chop Saw Cart. I added another piece of tubing 12-1/2” below the one on the front of the cart as these would handle C-clamps of various sizes. While this arrangement suited my needs and the clamps I use relocating the tubing might work better for you. These pieces of tubing have no major structural value so moving them should not impact the integrity of the Chop Saw Cart.
After going over the Chop Saw Cart to be sure all of the welds were complete I wire brushed the entire frame and used Krylon primer and gloss black to coat it out. After installing the casters I loaded the Bosch 14" Cutoff Machine, clamps and corner fixtures onto the Chop Saw Cart and rolled it to a good storage spot in my shop where it waits until needed the next time.
I have used the Chop Saw Cart several times now and it really is nice being able to wheel the whole thing over to the garage door for use. That keeps the grit and debris it generates in an area that is easily swept up. It also saves my expensive woodworking machinery from being contaminated as well. I have made some carts in the past that did not work out as well as I anticipated but the Chop Saw Cart is one of the good ones!
Have a comment on this project? –Email Me!