How to Build a Furniture Dolly

Written by michael straessle
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How to Build a Furniture Dolly
Need something to help move these? (brown leather furniture image by Leonid Nyshko from Fotolia.com)

No one should be without furniture dollies. Dollies are great for moving small pieces of furniture such as end tables. However, when moving from one home to another or just for rearranging large pieces of furniture, two furniture dollies turn an all day affair into minutes. Construct the furniture dolly from strong solid lumber. Decide the length and width for them according to your needs. Choose casters for your dolly based on the weight of the furniture it will move. Swivel casters are the best choice because they allow you to turn your furniture around tight corners.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 4 pieces of 2-by-8-by-18-inch lumber
  • Carpenter's square
  • Variable speed drill
  • 1-inch paddle bit
  • 1/8-inch drill bit
  • 16 lag screws, 3/8-by-2-inches
  • Socket and ratchet
  • Carpet adhesive
  • 4 pieces of carpet 1 1/2-by-33 inches
  • 4 pieces of carpet 7 1/2-by-18 inches
  • 4 heavy duty non-marking casters

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure from both ends of two 18-inch lumber (crosspieces) and make marks at 2 and 5 1/2-inches. Put the carpenter's square on the marks and draw lines across the width of the lumber. Next, make a mark on the lines 2 inches from the long edges.

    How to Build a Furniture Dolly
    Measure and mark. (measuring a wooden board image by sanyal from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Set the point of the paddle bit on the lines where they intersect and drill a hole about 1/2-inch deep. Exchange the paddle bit for the 1/8-inch bit, set it on the centre point created by the paddle bit and drill a hole through the lumber.

    How to Build a Furniture Dolly
    Paddle bit drilling countersink hole. (drill press image by Nancy Ottenweller from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Apply glue to both ends of the 30-inch lumber covering an area from the ends out to 7 1/2-inches. Place the crosspieces on top of the glue creating a rectangle that is 18-by-30 inches. Secure the pieces with the lag screws. Clean up the excess glue with a damp cloth.

    How to Build a Furniture Dolly
    Lag screws hold the dolly together. (screw image by Raimundas from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Spread the carpet adhesive to the crosspieces according to the manufacturer's instructions. Apply the carpet to one side and both ends of the crosspieces first and then the top.

    How to Build a Furniture Dolly
    Cover the crosspieces with carpet. (woollen carpet texture image by Tolbxela from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    Turn the furniture dolly over. Place the four swivel casters on the ends of the 30-inch pieces and mark the screw holes on the lumber. Drill 1/16-inch pilot holes deep enough for the screws supplied by caster manufacturer. Install the casters with the screws provided.

    How to Build a Furniture Dolly
    Choose the right caster for the job. (Single furniture caster wheel shot in black and white image by Steve Johnson from Fotolia.com)

Tips and warnings

  • Allow the carpet adhesive to cure at least three days before allowing the dollies to get wet.
  • Build a smaller furniture dolly with plywood and smaller casters.
  • Do not leave power tools within reach of children.
  • Do not use carpet adhesive without proper ventilation.

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