164: Basket Lid

Jen and I started the new year off right: buying new furniture! Due to some recent life changes, we needed a small rolling cart with a few shelves for storage, and while the blue steel cart we ended up buying fit the bill nicely, the shelves were actually deep baskets with lips several inches tall. Jen recognized that it would be much more useful if she could have a flat surface above the top basket and asked if I could make one with some material we had lying around.

Our new rolling shelf would be more helpful if the top shelf had a lid!

This surface would completely cover the top basket, and it would need to be stowable when not in use. We wouldn’t want it to slide around on the top basket, so feet would hold the corners in place. I have an overabundance of hardboard stored right now, so I decided to use that inexpensive material for this project.

I measured the baskets—16 inches by 12 inches—and drew up a matching lid with a small handle on one side so that it could be hung from the side of the cart when not in use. To spruce up the surface, I scored a simple geometric pattern.

Red lines represent vector cutting, blue lines represent a lower power vector score on the surface

Once the chipboard piece was cut and the measurements were physically confirmed, I cut out the finished piece with four matching feet. While I accounted for the bucket lip thickness in the foot design, I wanted to be able to test them out before committing to their placement with wood glue. I tried to use some temporary double-sided tape to hold them in place while checking the fit on the top basket, but the hold was so weak that they wouldn’t stay on for more than a few seconds. In the end, I relied on the measurements and glued them on.

The hardboard lid fits snugly into the top basket, requiring a small amount of force to press the final foot into place. This wasn’t intentional, but is beneficial as the hardboard was slightly warped with age and this tight fit holds the plane flat across the bucket opening.

I vector scored a simple geometric pattern on the surface for visual interest

While the handle makes for easy storage, the hook I ended up using was kind of garish and the lid will swing a bit when the cart is in motion. Thankfully it isn’t a big enough issue to redesign on its own, but if I decide I want to replace the lid with a more expensive material in the future I might consider something transparent so we can actually see what is in the top basket while the lid surface is in use!

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One thought on “164: Basket Lid

  1. alainb1 says:

    I like this. Another thoughtful and useful post. One of the less explored blessings of this technology is integrating it into our day to day and solving those problems in ways that work with the tech. You could have just gone down to Ikea and picked up a cutting board but instead you chose to create a personal solution.


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