Remember not all that long ago when we were all complaining of having to work in such cold conditions because of winter?  And how we said we couldn’t wait until summer?  Can I go back to winter now?  It’s so stinking hot and I know that I’m not the only one having to suffer through it.  Honestly, I’m not sure if I’d rather work in the cold or the heat.  I have a great little heater in the shop that eases the pain but the best I have for the summer is a fan.  I had been setting it on the floor for lack of a better location but I was so tired of only my legs getting some of that sweet air circulation.  I hatched a brilliant plan to buy a second fan and build a rolling stand to stack them on top of each other so that even my face gets some of the air and I could position it wherever I’m working.  I’m positive I’m not the first one to think of this but I still felt pretty smart.

I started by picking up a 20” box fan from Walmart to match the 20” fan I already had.  They were $17 and there were several colors to choose from.  It was a little different than my original fan but the measurements were pretty close to the same.

I was able to dig through my scrap wood supply and find all of the wood I needed for this project.  I’m more of a scrap wood hoarder so I was happy to be able to make a small dent in it.  I included build plans for the cart (it’s super simple and almost doesn’t need them but I need the drawing practice) but keep in mind that you may need to adjust the measurements based on the dimensions of your fans.

My fans were 20” wide, about 21″ tall, and, taking the feet into account, about 5 ½” deep.  I wanted there to be as little excess space as possible around the sides while still being able to easily put the fan in and take it out.  I planned for extra room at the top of each fan to allow for lifting into and out of their slots.  The overall dimensions of the finished product were 49 1/2″ tall (plus height of casters), 22 ½” wide, and 6″ deep.  Let’s get on to building!

Although I used scraps, I designed the cart so that all of the lumber you would need to buy new is a quarter sheet of ¾” plywood (2’x4’) and a 1x3x8 board.  After cutting all of my pieces to size (cut diagram below), I started assembling the cart.

I attached the bottom piece to the sides with a butt joint (a butt joint is simply butting one piece against the other) and screwed them together with 1 ¼” wood screws.  Make sure that the pieces are aligned so that the sides sit on top of the bottom piece.

You’ll notice that my bottom piece has pocket hole screws in it.  That’s because I messed up.  If you wanted, you could use pocket holes to attach all of the pieces together but this is shop furniture and shop furniture doesn’t have to be pretty.  I did use pocket holes but not on this part.  Carrying on!

The next step was to attach the top in the same manner.

The shelf in the middle is where I used pocket holes.  Drill two holes on each end of the board.

I made a mark on the insides of the sides of the cart at 24″ from the top of the bottom piece.  Clear as mud?  All measurements are taken from the inside of the cart.  I want there to be an opening of 24″ from top to bottom for the bottom fan.

Line the shelf up on the line (bottom of shelf on top of the line) and screw it into place using 1 ¼” pocket hole screws.  You could just screw in from the sides similar to how to top and bottom pieces were attached but this seemed easier to make sure everything was lined up and the screws were in the correct spot.

Now, I’m no math flunky.  I know that with a 48″ side marked at 24″ with a ¾” piece of plywood on top of the mark will not leave me with two equal boxes.  For this project, the ¾” difference doesn’t matter that much and it was easier to break it down this way for instructional purposes.  If it bothers you to not have them the same size, simply make your marks at 23 5/8″.  I did.

The final step in the building process was to add some rails to the fan shelves.  I chose a low profile so that it did not obstruct the fan.  I want all of the air possible!  If you are concerned about the fans staying in place while moving the cart, don’t worry.  I’ve got you covered

I clamped the rails and screwed them into place with 1 ¼” wood screws.  I placed three under the shelf into the rail and one on each side.  Pocket holes could be used for this portion but you won’t have much room to get a drill in and out of the space.

To make a rolling fan cart, you have to add the rollers.  I had some spare 2″ casters so I used them.  Choose any casters you feel work for the project.  The casters I used were locking because that’s what I had.  This stand does not move when the fans are on so it’s not necessary to use locking casters.  It is important, however, to make sure they are swivel casters.  That’s a feature you’ll definitely want.

I screwed them into place in the corners.  You want them in the corners because the cart is very top heavy for such a narrow base and you want to increase the center of gravity as much as possible.

And that’s it! Your cart is done!

Just kidding.  I mean, you could stop here if you wanted but I didn’t.  Remember how I said shop furniture doesn’t have to be pretty?  We’re going to throw that out the window for a minute.  I’m on a mission to make all of my shop furniture builds match by painting them all the same color.  The color I use is Azure Jazz from Lowe’s.

If you are going to paint, I recommend doing it before you add the casters.  I was just so excited (and hot) that I wanted to put the cart to use immediately.

With the cart all painted, I had to add a few little extras.

To prevent the fans from falling out while the cart is being moved, the simple answer was to add some bungee cords.  I picked up a pack of surface mount D rings and two 48″ bungee cords.  The D rings were attached to one side of the cart near the top of where each fan would sit.  I think I placed them at 17″ from the bottom of each shelf.

With the D rings attached, I ran the bungees all the way around the cart and hooked both ends into the D rings.

The next little addition was to address cord management.  It’s so annoying, hazardous, and messy looking to have cords lying around everywhere.  I knew I didn’t need the full length of the fan cords so I attached some cleats (sometimes called boat or dock cleats) to the back rail for each fan shelf.  The only thing available was a 4 ½” cleat from my local Lowe’s.  They were a little smaller than I would have liked to use but, since I didn’t have time to order anything, I went with them.

Once the cleats were attached, I wrapped the cords around them then ran the cord under itself where it comes out of the fan to help hold the cord in place and wound.

The final addition was a multiple outlet extension cord.  I knew it was going to be so much easier to plug in one cord each time I wanted to use the fans as opposed to two.  Using an extension cord also gave me greater range of movement away from the wall outlet.  I held the end of the extension cord with the two fans plugged in against the side of the cart without the D rings to figure out my best placement.

Once I had that decided and marked, I installed a third cleat to hold the extension cord in place and to stow the cord when not needed.

Let’s take an “around the world” tour of the cart.

At the recommendation of some friends, I also added air filters to the cart to help clean the air in the shop and hopefully trap some of the sawdust particles.  As luck would have it, the filters come in a 20 inch by 20 inch size.  I picked up a pack of two Filtrete Micro Allergen Extra filters for $20.  There are cheaper options out there but I figured I was worth $20.

There was enough space left in each fan shelf to slide the filters in place.

For not planning for the filter addition, the filters fit in perfectly.

And now we’re really done with the cart!  I absolutely love this thing.  The addition of the second fan a little higher has made such a difference for me.  It was a quick, easy, and inexpensive solution to my problem.  I gave some sneak peeks during the build process on my Instagram page and it was a huge hit.  If you think this fan cart will work for you in your shop (or house or outdoors or wherever), I’d love to see pictures of your build!  And if you improve on my design, I really want to see that because I may be able to make mine better.

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