DIY Plywood Cart, Lumber Rack & LED Shop Lighting // Woodworking Shop Projects

What's going on everybody? I'm Johnny Brooke, welcome back to another Crafted Workshop video.

In today's video, I've got three more shoporganization related projects for you.

I know it's been a lot of shop organizationhere lately with last week's French cleat project but it is the beginning of the newyear, and I'm getting geared up to film my yearly shop tour video.

I wanted to get everythingnice and tidy before doing that.

The first project I'm going to show you isthis plywood and sheet goods cart back here.

It's great for storing full sheets of plywoodas well as offcuts, which I hang onto probably way too many plywood offcuts.

The second thing I'm going to work on is thislumber storage system here.

I've got a commercially available lumber rack up here and then I repurposedthe lumber rack I already had down here.

The combination of the two gives me a ton of lumberstorage and it's out of way in this long, vertical, weird hallway space I have.

And then the last thing I'm going to showyou is this new LED shop lighting I installed both here in this hallway and out in my shop.

This is all from American Green Lights.

Super high quality LED light, really high ColorRendering Index (CRI), which means they represent color really true to life.

Also, all of my shop lights are now the samecolor temperature, so when I move from one area of the shop to another, I don't haveto mess with the white balance on my video.

Hopefully you guys enjoy these, and let'sgo ahead and get started with the first build.

After searching around online a little bitfor plywood carts, I found an example from Wood Magazine that I really liked, and it'sactually one that Jay Bates had built in a previous video as well.

I bought the plansfor the cart, and I’ll have a link to those in the video description in case you’rewanting to build one of these for yourself.

These l-shaped pieces provide support at theends of the cart and also provide a place for the casters to mount to, which you’llsee later.

I attached these pieces with glue and a couple of 2 ½” screws.

Next, I started building the frame of thebase.

First, I attached one piece of 2×4 perpendicular to the end of the longer 2×4 using 2 ½”screws.

I then attached one of the l-shaped piecesnext to the first piece, again using 2 ½” screws.

Working my way down the base, I added oneof the center support pieces, which is spaced roughly 29” from the left side of the base.

Next, I repeated the same process at the otherend of the base, attaching the same pieces but mirrored to fit the right side of thebase.

With half of the base assembled, I then attachedthe 8 foot long 2×6 to the other side of the base.

This 2×6 will provide a lip for thesheet goods to rest against.

Again, I connected everything with 2 ½”screws.

Also, while pre-drilling was really necessary with the self-tapping screws I used, I found that the screws were a lot easier to drive and also looked cleaner when I pre-drilledthe holes first.

With the framing of the base finished, I brokethe sheet of ¾” plywood down into strips, the first of which made up the bottom panelon the base.

Before attaching the panel to the base, Ineeded to notch it out so that the side panels could be attached later.

I did this with thejigsaw.

To attach the panel to the base, I used 1¼” screws, making sure the heads were below the surface of the plywood so that sheetsof plywood could be slid on and off of the cart without catching on screw heads.

Next, I cut the side panels to length fromthe strips of plywood I ripped earlier.

The center panel is shorter than the side panelshere.

All of the panels are tapered from top tobottom, so that the sheets of plywood will lean back when loaded onto the cart.

I markedthis taper using my track as a straight edge, and then started to make the cut using a jigsawbefore realizing that the pieces were too thick.

I added some blue tape to connect the threepanels, and then moved to the bandsaw to make the cut on all three panels at the same time.

I ended up with a slightly wavy cut, it'sprobably actually time for this blade to be sharpened, but I ran the pieces over the jointera few times to just clean up the edge.

The center panel has a few notches cut outto accept the 2×4 cross supports, so I marked those out according to the plans and thencut out the notches using the jigsaw.

Next, I attached the side panels to the baseusing glue and 1 ¼” screws.

You can see here why I needed to notch out the bottompanel for the side panels to fit into place.

Also, it really helps to drop one of the sidepanels during assembly.

With the side panels in place, I could goahead and add the center panel.

I figured it’d be easiest to go ahead and attach oneof the 2×4 cross supports to the center panel before adding it to the cart, since it wouldhelp keep the panel upright during the assembly process.

I made sure the 2×4 was square tothe panel and then attached it with two 2 1/2” screws.

Next, I put the center panel in place, makingsure it was square to the base, and then attached the side panels to the 2×4 support, againmaking sure everything was nice and square.

With one of the cross supports in place, Icould go ahead and attach the other three cross supports the same way, with two screwsat each end as well as in the center.

After all of the cross supports were installed, I added a few screws off camera from the underside of the cart, through the bottom panel intothe center panel to just hold it in place a little more.

The last piece to add to the cart was thecasters, which I installed using a few 1 ¼” screws.

Finally, I awkwardly flipped over the cart, which was massive at this point, and then got it loaded up with all of the various sheetgoods around my shop.

This cart holds a surprising amount of off cuts and full sheets and isgoing to be a super convenient addition to my lumber storage system.

The next project for this hallway was improvingmy lumber storage.

I have super tall walls in this area, so I wanted to capitalize onthat height by adding some vertical lumber storage.

I found these Bora lumber racks on sale atmy local Lowes for $20 for each pair, and I figured I couldn’t beat that price bybuilding something myself.

They go together really easily, just a couple of screws holdeverything in place.

To install the racks, first I marked 16”from the closest wall and then marked the hole for the uppermost screw for the rack.

To attach the racks to my concrete block walls, I used 2 ¾” Tapcon screws.

I used a masonry bit that was matched to the diameter of myscrews to pre-drill the holes, which is a loud and messy process.

I'm always a littlejealous of people who have drywall and stud walls in their shops.

After hanging the rack on the first screw, I checked the rack for plumb and then marked the locations of the other two holes, usinga drill bit to mark the holes.

I then removed the rack and drilled the holes to full depth, before reinstalling the rack permanently.

To install the second rack, I referenced offof the first rack, making sure it was level with the first, and just continued the processof adding more screws, just like the first rack.

I just kept working my way down the wall untilI had all six racks hung, and then I could get it loaded with all my lumber.

For $60total, I definitely don’t think I could have done better making this myself, especiallywhen I consider the labor time involved when trying to do a DIY option here.

The last update to this area of the shop wasadding some lighting to make the space more useable.

In this hallway, I used six of these4 foot 24 watt LED shop lights from American Green Lights, who are a manufacturer of reallyhigh quality LED lighting.

These shop lights are available in differentlengths and wattages to suit your specific needs, but six of them spaced evenly alongthis hallway gave me nice, even lighting the full length of the hallway.

Also, before moving on, I want to mentionthat I am not an electrician and that you should check your local code requirementsand consult an electrician before trying anything I’m showing here.

With that out of the way, first I wired anextension cord to the first light in the chain so I could just plug it into the existingoutlet which is controlled with a light switch.

I then daisy-chained two more lights ontothe first light, and repeated this process for each half of the hallway, so that I hadthree lights running on each chain.

I used 14/2 Romex to connect the lights, sincethis is a 15 amp circuit, and before you get outraged in the comments, I am going to goback and add EMT conduit between each light this weekend once I have an extra set of handsto help me out.

These lights are super simple to wire, I justconnected the hot to hot, neutral to neutral, and ground to ground.

To attach the lights to my ceiling, I usedself-tapping metal screws and used three screws for each fixture.

The lights come in two parts, the enclosure for the wiring and then the panel with the LEDs on them.

These parts arepre-wired with snap connectors that just snap together, and the LED panel attaches to theenclosure with a few included screws.

Super simple to install and the lighting improvementis amazing.

Alright, the last upgrade I want to show youguys are these Retrofit Kits from American Green Lights.

These are LED strips that aredesigned to replace the fluorescent bulbs in your standard fluorescent troffers whichI happen to already have in my shop.

The really cool thing about these is the voltagerequired for these is super, super low, it actually will run on doorbell wire, so youcan surface mount these even if your shop doesn't have a full ceiling, even if it'sjust joists, you can just screw these right to the joists, and then run doorbell wireexposed, no need for conduit or anything like that since it's so low voltage, and you getreally nice lighting that's super easy to add pretty much anywhere.

The way these are powered are with these drivers.

Each one of these drivers will power two of these 24W strips, that's the ones I went with, and then these just need to be hooked up to your standard 120V.

What's really cool is you can put a bunchof these drivers in one enclosure, mount that on your wall and run one line of 120V powerinto it, and then run doorbell wire all over the place and get lighting where you don'thave power available.

Andy Klein actually did this exact thing ina video on his channel with these American Green Light kits and it turned out reallygreat.

I actually haven't done that yet, I've just replaced them in my florescent troffers.

I'll have a link to Andy's video in the video description below if you want to check thatout.

Let me go ahead and show you how these installin these florescent troffers just so you can see how those work there.

To open these up, you just pull these twolittle tabs, there's one on each end, then they drop down.

There are always bugs in here, so look out! Anyway, you can see how these are mounted.

I just used some self-tapping sheet metal screws and screwed them right into the troffersthemselves.

You can see that one of these strips is theequivalent light output of two of these 4 foot standard florescent bulbs, so I onlyhad to install two strips per troffer.

You can either remove the ballast like I didhere, that powered the original florescent, or you can even leave them in place, so that, if you were going to be moving, you could just basically remove this, reconnect theline voltage back to the ballasts, and then you'd be able to put back in the florescentlights.

Super, super simple to install, I did 16 troffersin here, and I did them all in less than a day, and the light quality is just so, somuch better.

This is a great option if you have these florescenttroffers in your shop, and they're a lot less power, I think they use about 50% less powerthen florescent, so you'll actually make your money back depending on how long you're goingto be using these.

Alright, hopefully you guys found some ofthese projects useful.

I know I am really excited to have this new hallway opened upfor me and all of this new lighting in the shop.

Now, I installed all of these Retrofit Kitsa few months ago, and some of you guys actually even noticed the lighting improvement in theshop, so I'm glad that's noticeable to you guys, the viewers.

I want to thank the folks at American GreenLights again for supporting the channel by providing all of the lighting for this video.

If you guys want to learn more about them, check out the link in the video descriptionbelow.

Hopefully you guys enjoyed this video.

Ifyou don't already, go ahead and get subscribed and ring that little notification bell, soyou're notified every time I put out a video.

I put out videos about every week at thispoint.

Also, I've started live streaming more sothe notification bell helps to kind of let you know when I'm going to be live streaming.

Those are a lot of fun, I plan on doing those about every week or so, so hopefully you guyscan join me there.

And last, I have links to all of the toolsand materials I used in this project in the video description below.

Alright, thanks again for watching everybodyand, until next time, happy building!.

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