One of my hobbies is building live theater sets.  Often times when building for different theaters I need to bring a fair amount of tools with me.  My answer to the tool transport problem was my mobile tool station.  I started out with an existing rolling tool cabinet and added to it from there.  I made the addition out of 1/2″ MDF.  Being I am 6′ tall, I find myself crouching or leaning over for most worktop heights.  That being said, I wanted the addition to raise the worktop height by approximately 4 inches.  Adding to the height addition was cabinet on the back.  The sides of the back cabinet were also 1/2″ MDF and the bottom of the cabinet I made from 3/4″ plywood for added strength.  An integrated air compressor station on the top meant I needed an on-board air compressor to be housed in the back as well.  All pneumatic connections were made from 1/4″ nylon tubing and push-in style connectors.  Air compressor, built in charging/power station and a coffee maker for good measure meant I needed power.  I mounted an electrical cord reel in the back and re-wired it so the extension end had a male end plug and cord reel was then hard wired to 4 duplex receptacles inside the cabinet.  This meant the top power strips, cordless battery chargers & air compressor had sufficient places to be plugged in.  The top control panel for the compressor was custom made and centrally mounted.  Add an additional retractable reel for the air hose and throw my logo on it and it was just about complete.  I have a build video of the entire process for you to check out as well. Thanks

 

Component List:

Rolling tool cart

Air Hose Reel

Electrical Cord Reel

Air Compressor

Pneumatic Tubing

Pneumatic Fittings

Air Gauges

Air Regulator

Cam Lock

Control Switch

Power Strips

 

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26 Responses

  1. Carl

    Looks great good job on build
    I have a question, its mobile so how do you transport it and load and un load it can you do it by your self?

    Reply
    • Nick

      I have ramps for a cargo van or use a small trailer. I pickup truck works as well but it’s nice to have an extra set of hands for loading it into a pickup.

      Reply
  2. davis

    Nice concept have you considered on upgrading your air compressor tank I also see that you have a lot of space in the back of your box have any more plans on your box in the next few future on upgrading I would like to see some more of them

    Reply
    • Nick

      I did consider a bigger tank but this size fit my needs – I don’t have any plans to do any upgrades in it other than maybe add some drawers to the front of the top –

      Reply
  3. Stephen

    Awesome idea man!!! I am getting a new house and there for a new workshop!!! I am planning on doing this concept with the outlets and the air outlets on the back of the bench. I will be adding a section of pvc with T’s for a shop vac to hook up. Anyway you could send a detail on how to build the air portion of the build. Thanks!!!

    Reply
    • Nick

      thanks – not sure I will be making another air station anytime soon – I suppose if someone wanted to buy one I could make one – if you have any specific questions about it let me know – I’ll try and answer anything you got

      Reply
  4. Richard Greaves

    Nice build Nick! I like the idea of using the tool cart as the basis. I’ve been toying with the idea of a TD cart that would double as a stage managers desk. This could work very well for that.

    Reply
    • Nick

      I do not currently have plans for this build – I have been wanting to make plans for it but I never seem to find the time to go back and work on them

      Reply
  5. Dan

    I really appreciate your help in showing a neophyte like myself how these things are done. Do you remember any information regarding the regulator and on off switch. Their model number and where you bought them? I’d like to give something like your idea atry. Thanks, I really appreciate you taking the time to show us your skills.

    Reply
    • Nick

      You are more than welcome. I am really enjoying showing my builds. I have added the regulator and switch to the article above. Only thing to note is that the switch is a essentially a relay control and has a fairly low amperage rating. For higher amp applications a relay should be used. I was right at the limit of peak amps with the small air compressor I used.

      Reply
  6. Greg

    Great job Nick. I got a lot of super ideas from this video. I’m new to your stuff. Saw your sled and miter sled earlier. You do a great job presenting. You’re very clear and easy to understand. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing so openly with all of us.

    Reply
    • Nick

      I really appreciate that – I am always trying to look at it from a different perspective in the hopes that I’m getting the message across clearly – it is really awesome to hear that I’m doing a good job, thank you!

      Reply
  7. V-Ger from Cali

    Hi Nick, Just found your channel & web site. Great stuff! Hey, can you share where you get your custom labels?

    Reply
      • V-Ger from Cali

        Thanks Nick! Between you & Amazon, I’m a goner. Already bought some stuff through your site. Not a table saw, sorry, but I may need an upgrade some day.

      • Nick

        I know how you feel – always a long list of things to get and make as well as things to buy to do so!

  8. Kenny Jones

    I know circumstances come up while building set that you end up having a lot of items plugged in. so with everything plugged in, would you have added a small breaker to the cart in the event you were to trip a breaker?

    Reply
    • Nick

      I opted not to but someone could if they saw fit – where I have done theater gigs I have only seen 20 amp circuits and I don’t draw anywhere near that in the cart

      Reply

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