HOW-TO: Build a 24" Poker Drink Cart / Food Cart / Side Table

justsomedude

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After posting some photos in the thread about Side Tables, and getting some PMs requesting plans, I decided to whip up this HOW-TO PDF for building your own basic 24" high game/poker room side cart:

* The PDF is hosted at: http://client.akphoto.com/poker-drink-cart.pdf (@Tommy, feel free to copy/host it locally on PCF if you want)

24" POKER ROOM SIDE TABLE / DRINK CART

drinkcart.jpg


sidetable.jpg


cart-rear.jpg




TOOLS NEEDED
  • Chop saw
  • Jig saw (w/ fine finish blade)
  • Power drill
  • Impact driver and bits
  • 2-3/4" hole saw (and mandrel)
  • Putty knife
  • 150 grit sandpaper
  • 120 grit sandpaper
  • Tape measure
  • Pen/pencil
MATERIALS NEEDED
TIP for CASTER INSTALL

It's not in my "how-to" PDF, but I mounted the casters 1" in from the sides, and 1" in from the back edge. The front castes are mounted 1.5" back from the front edge (due to the curved corners).

NOTE

I am not a carpenter... I know just enough about tools and wood working to be dangerous. There are probably better ways to build a cart; I just wanted to see what I could whip up in a few hours on a weekend. YMMV

On that note, I'd be happy to incorporate upgrades/changes to the design that make it better/stronger. As I said, I'm no expert, and would welcome input/criticism.
 
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Richard Cranium

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Good project! I really like it.

In that first video I thought you were drilling directly into your nice wooden floor!

If you can clamp some scrap wood underneath where you are drilling it will reduce tear out.

On the inside would also be a good place to use pocket screws to join the different pieces if you have a jig for it. They are stronger than screws put into end grain and you wouldn't have to putty over them on the outside. Wood working purists might scoff at them but they do have a fit in some projects.
 

justsomedude

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On the inside would also be a good place to use pocket screws to join the different pieces if you have a jig for it. They are stronger than screws put into end grain and you wouldn't have to putty over them on the outside. Wood working purists might scoff at them but they do have a fit in some projects.
I was considering pocket screws, but with only 1/2" bite or so (at most), I was concerned about strength along the bottom joint.

Would the pocket screws really be stronger than the 1-5/8" screws going straight in?
 

lnlver

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You could also add a board at the bottom of the base, like what you did at the top, for additional strength. I addition to securing it to the sides, you could also secure it from the underside of the base. Did you glue and clamp the pieces that were screwed together?
 

justsomedude

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You could also add a board at the bottom of the base, like what you did at the top, for additional strength. I addition to securing it to the sides, you could also secure it from the underside of the base. Did you glue and clamp the pieces that were screwed together?
Glued, yes. Clamped, no.

This was whipped out pretty quick, just to see what I could do in a few hours on a Saturday afternoon.

I was thinking about adding another cross piece at the base, as you suggest, but I wanted to keep it pretty "minimalist" looking. I guess time will tell how it holds up.
 

Swift

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Good thread. Thanx for the post, I'm sure you just helped out a lot of guys' home poker games
 

Richard Cranium

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I was considering pocket screws, but with only 1/2" bite or so (at most), I was concerned about strength along the bottom joint.

Would the pocket screws really be stronger than the 1-5/8" screws going straight in?
Wood glue + pocket screw = the board will fail before the joint would.

I don't like to cover screws with putty in case they ever need tightening or the joint is opened up they can be fixed. So hiding the screws on the inside with pockets helps.
 

justsomedude

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Wood glue + pocket screw = the board will fail before the joint would.

I don't like to cover screws with putty in case they ever need tightening or the joint is opened up they can be fixed. So hiding the screws on the inside with pockets helps.
Thanks for the information, this kind of stuff is greatly appreciated!!!

And I agree that the wood putty does not leave any room for repairs/corrections. However, at the cheap cost and minimal time expense required to build one, if one of these happens to collapse, I'll just make another one. :p
 

justsomedude

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PS: @Richard Cranium ... is the glue/end grain attachment a fairly strong joint? I mean, I know it doesn't seem to be as strong as a pocket screw, but with the configuration I have, do you think it will hold up to regular use/abuse?
 
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Richard Cranium

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I think for the load the drink cart will carry the way you built it will be fine. You did use really long screws and a decent quantity. Wood glue is crazy strong if used properly and clamped during setup. The screws most likely acted as the clamps in that process.

At the 1:39 portion of the following video there is a good illustration on why screws into end grain aren't the best and how the pocket hole pushes the screw across the grain instead.


And I'm not saying this stuff to be critical. I think that is a sweet cart you built and for the type of load it carries the way you built it will be good. I wanted to just point out a few things that might make it a bit stronger if you build another.
 
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justsomedude

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And I'm really saying this stuff to be critical. I think that is a sweet cart you built and for the type of load it carries the way you built it will be good. I wanted to just point out a few things that might make it a bit stronger if you build another.
Nono... I get it and I REALLY appreciate your input/critique. I'm NOT a carpenter by any means, so any advice for improve future work/construction/projects is really very much appreciated.

THANK YOU!
 

CraigT78

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Awesome! Thanks for posting this. I was looking at Target last night at TV trays, and think this would be better and more fun of a DYI. I also concur that pocket screws would be the way to go if you build a second. Thanks for the idea!
 

justsomedude

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You could also add a board at the bottom of the base, like what you did at the top, for additional strength. I addition to securing it to the sides, you could also secure it from the underside of the base.
I did as you suggested... I added a cross brace at the rear/bottom, attached it through the sides and bottom, along with some wood glue on the joints.

It is WAY more stable now, and I am completely comfortable sitting on it. I also added some triangle cuts to the cross pieces for a little decoration, and so it's not as "plain" looking...

IMG_20160905_092703-600x802.jpg


Filling the last screw holes with putty, final sanding and painting is all that's left!
 

justsomedude

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Pardon my ignorance here, but in your tool list, what is the impact driver used for? Tnx...
Good question.

Impact drivers give you a good firm attachment with your screws and the torque needed to drive in the countersink.

This is NOT my video, but it is the exact same process I use when driving in wood screws... (you can hear the impact driver engage as the screw tightens the last couple of turns)


Note... impact drivers are very different from power drills. And they are often sold in kits.

In general, you shouldn't use a drill to drive in a screw, and you shouldn't use a driver to drill a hole. They are two different tools for two different purposes.

And here's the photo from my HOW-TO PDF showing the driver to drive in screws...

driver.JPG
 
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pltrgyst

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Good question.

Impact drivers give you a good firm attachment with your screws and the torque needed to drive in the countersink....
Ah, thanks. I have such a tool, but when driving screws, I always assumed that ratcheting sounds was a torque-based clutch, something separate from the impact driver function.

Live and learn!
 

justsomedude

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Ah, thanks. I have such a tool, but when driving screws, I always assumed that ratcheting sounds was a torque-based clutch, something separate from the impact driver function.

Live and learn!
I think you are correct. It is separate... in that it only kicks in when a certain torque threshold is reached.
 

johnnycnote

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I did as you suggested... I added a cross brace at the rear/bottom, attached it through the sides and bottom, along with some wood glue on the joints.

It is WAY more stable now, and I am completely comfortable sitting on it. I also added some triangle cuts to the cross pieces for a little decoration, and so it's not as "plain" looking...

View attachment 54772

Filling the last screw holes with putty, final sanding and painting is all that's left!
These would be sweet with spade, heart, club, and diamond cut outs in the backs.
 

justsomedude

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Mr. Cheese

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Whoa... I like the squared corners... Simple and sexy!! I'm gonna have to copy that!!
Thanks buddy! I was going to do the rounded corners but after mocking it up I liked the square corner look so I left it :). The hardest part of the whole project was finding a decent 1x12 at Home Depot to use lol
 

justsomedude

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Thanks buddy! I was going to do the rounded corners but after mocking it up I liked the square corner look so I left it :). The hardest part of the whole project was finding a decent 1x12 at Home Depot to use lol
Question... What height did you make yours? Is it a little shorter? If so, I dig the proportions.
 

Mr. Cheese

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Question... What height did you make yours? Is it a little shorter? If so, I dig the proportions.
The Sides are 20 inches and the top and bottom piece are 16 inches. I used smaller casters though so it probably sits and inch or so lower then yours does.
 

justsomedude

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Looks good. The cross brace at the bottom also acts as a stop, so items can't be pushed over the edge.
(y) :thumbsup:

I've been thinking about that... for when I have empty chip trays stacked in there... they won't go flying out!
 
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