How to Build a Portable Serving Cart

Use the same design as a children's lemonade stand, but add variations to make it the perfect piece for adult outdoor entertaining. The design includes wheels for easy mobility, an umbrella to provide shade from the summer sun, and storage for extra entertaining goodies. Guests will be impressed with your handiwork when you serve from this versatile cart.

One Weekend
Less Than $1,000

What You Need for This Project

  1. 1

    Glue Skins to the Cabinet

    Apply wood glue to the outer sides of the cabinet.

    Attach the unfinished cabinet skins to the outer sides of the wall cabinet using wood glue. Allow to dry. Place bricks or other heavy objects on top to hold panels in position until glue sets, approximately 30 minutes.
  2. Steps:

  1. 2

    Glue & Attach Corner Blocks

    Cut paint-grade 1/2 inch-thick plywood to 30 x 30 in., and attach to back of cabinet with wood glue and finishing nails. This adds support for balance to the cabinet.

    Turn cabinet upside down, and glue four corner blocks, cut from a 1 x 6, to fill the lip and to create a base for casters.
  2. Steps:

  1. 3

    Drill the Umbrella Hole

    To find centre of cabinet top, place an "X" from corner to corner. Drill a 1 1/2 in.-diameter hole.

    Note: Umbrellas poles may vary in diameter, so check yours, and drill holes accordingly.

    To find the centre of the tabletop, place it on top of the cabinet. With your measuring tape, balance the space at an equal distance, and trace the rectangle onto the tabletop. Use the "X" method again to find the approximate centre of the tabletop. Drill hole in tabletop.
  2. Steps:

  1. 4

    Attach the Casters

    Drill pilot holes in corner blocks through cabinet base for casters. Using 1 3/4 in. galvanized carriage bolts, affix casters to cabinet base from the outside. Secure casters with locker washers and hex nuts on the inside.
  2. Steps:

  1. 5

    Prime, Paint & Seal

    • Prime all pieces of the cabinet and tabletop.

    • Paint the tabletop and cabinet inside and out. Let dry completely.

    • Using 2 1/2 in, wood screws, attach the tabletop from the inside of the cabinet.

    • Add painted decorative touches to the front of cabinet and tabletop as you wish. Your choice of umbrella may help you determine what to paint.

    • Apply a clear polyurethane sealer to the whole piece to protect the finish.

    • Spray paint two wooden knobs and the hooks; attach to cabinet when dry.
  2. Steps:

  1. 6

    Balance the Umbrella

    Using a saw, remove up to 6 in. from the bottom of your umbrella pole to balance the weight of the umbrella and cabinet.
  2. Steps:

  1. 7

    Attach the Pole & Anchor

    Attach a pole anchor to inside base of the cabinet to hold umbrella in place. Poles and pole anchors vary in size, so check your umbrella. Place two 20- to 40-pound bags of sand in the bottom of cabinet for stability.
  2. Steps:

How To Terms

Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes, and local regulations change; therefore, Lowe's assumes no liability for omissions, errors, or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures.

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