Turn your old Big Red into a rolling shop cart

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Hi there. John’s wife Maria here. So far, I’ve stayed behind the scenes, posting John’s blog entries and editing photos. This week, I offered to take over the writing duties and tell you about a little DIY project my handy husband knocked out on a recent afternoon.

One of the hardest-working pieces of equipment in John’s shop is his Big Red creeper seat. For years, it’s been doing double duty, hauling both his aching bones and his most-used tools around the garage. So, it was a sad day when he finally admitted that what had once been a cushy seat was beyond repair.

Even though he also recently acquired an adjustable padded medical stool, he was loathe to kick Big Red to the curb. The medical stool is great, but it doesn’t hold tools, and getting up 20 times to get just the right wrench gets old fast when you’re, well, getting older.

His first impulse was to ‘reupholster’ Big Red with padding and black ‘leather’ left over from the bobber seat he built. Then he remembered why he hadn’t done that already. Turns out Big Red is a little too low to the ground now. Years of sports in his younger days and multiple surgeries on both knees make that little creeper seat a torture device when you sit down and get up over and over.

So, he came up with a better idea: Use the medical stool to get around and turn Big Red into a rolling cart by bolting a tray onto the seat. It’s the perfect size for a small garage shop and the perfect height for holding tools. Problem solved. Here’s how:

  • Pick up a 10″x14″ lasagna pan at the supermarket or discount store for about $5. It’s close to the size of the Big Red seat, has tall sides, and the nonstick finish will make it easier to wipe down. A cookie sheet, metal or plastic tray would work too.
  • You’ll also need four bolts, washers, and nuts.
  • Mark four points on the bottom of the pan for drilling (below, right) … approximately 2″ from the ends and 1.5″ from the sides.
  • Drill four holes in the pan using the dots as guides (below, left). Use a drill bit that matches the width of your bolts.
  • Center the pan on the Big Red Seat.
  • Drill holes in the seat using the holes in the pan as guides (below, right). To keep the pan from shifting, drill one corner at a time and bolt it down before moving on to another corner. Recheck the alignment before drilling each hole.
  • Once you have all your bolts in, add washers and nuts on the bottom and you’re done. Tip: If your bolts are long, you may want to cut them down and sand them smooth, or use a crown/cap nut (below, left) to avoid cuts and scrapes when reaching for tools on the bottom tray.
  • Now load up your rolling tray with your favorite wrenches, pliers and drills, sit on your stool, and admire the latest member of your shop team. Oh yeah.

Next: After taking apart the motorcycle…

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