Rolling A-Frames for Moving Plywood

Ideas for a low-cost shop-built plywood-handling rack on wheels. July 10, 2007

I'm managing a new startup shop and need advice on moving bunks of 3/4 ply without a forklift. Being a new shop, we don't have the funds or space for a forklift, but handbombing 50 sheets of ply is a literal pain in the back. I've pondered the idea of using 1-2 pallet jacks or sourcing some super duty caster to make a dolly. Just wondering if someone has a low budget solution working for them.

Forum Responses
(Dust Collection and Safety Equipment Forum)
From contributor A:
I wouldn't use anything but pallet jacks to move sheetgoods around. If you put them on a dolly, that could be dangerous because it would be very hard to stop the pile after you start pushing it. What if it keeps rolling into a machine or worse, runs someone over?

From contributor L:
I am a one man shop. I have built myself a couple of rolling "A" frames. Each one will hold 20 sheets of 4x8, 10 on each side. They are only about 2' wide so they save space. You can flip through the ply one by one to find something you like. If you want, you could build them wider to hold more, just make sure the casters you use can handle the load.

From contributor W:
What kind of casters did you use on that A frame? Do you know what size, load rating they were, or where you got them from?

From contributor L:
The 4" swivel casters I have on these are under rated. I got mine from the orange box store. Next time I will be getting them from Graingers. They have quite a selection. I will be going with the 5 or 6" metal wheel swivels and they need to be rated for about 400 lbs each. When my "A" frame is loaded with 20 sheets of 3/4 ply, it's a little tough to get it started rolling. When it is loaded with 20 sheets of particleboard, it is a paperweight - can't budge it. Don't use that much particleboard, but needed melamine for a small job and that's where I found out it wouldn't move easily. It's nice because it will go through a standard 36" wide door with ease. This way I can store it out of the way and bring it near the saw when I need to select and cut.

From contributor O:
I am a one man shop also. I also built a plywood rack, a modified A-frame (the back is actually flat) that doubles as a clamp rack. Overall, the cart is 97" W x 25" D x 58" tall. On one side I can stack 18 sheets of 3/4 material, comfortably. On the other side I keep almost 60 bessey clamps (23" - 50"). Needless to say, this cart is heavy when fully loaded. I put 5" casters on it, and each caster has a weight rating of 900 lbs. I got them from Reid Tool Supply. I can move the cart by myself and easily, even fully loaded.

From contributor S:
There are 6 and 8 foot long pallet trucks, so there is no need for a pair. We have many old Mercury Railway Carts that take up to 4000 pounds each. With two fix wheels and two swivels, they are easy to control.