CARTIS: the TARDIS Crafting Cart
The CARTIS (“Crafts And Related Tools In Storage”) is a combined wheeled cart and workbench, inspired by the TARDIS in Doctor Who, that can easily be moved around and hold everything for your craft of choice conveniently in one spot. In its presented setup it was designed for 3D printing with plenty of spots to store plastic filament; but don’t let this detail stop you.
Just like the TARDIS throughout the history of the series has taken on slightly different shapes, colors, and control rooms you too can make this base design uniquely yours. Instead of spool holders you could instead put hooks for canvas bags, mount small baskets, install tool hangers, or attach things to be removed with hook-and-loop fasteners. The possibilities are truly endless and are only limited by your imagination.
Standard features include, and possibly easy to miss at first glance, underside lighting along with left and right wing power strips as well. This project is also not overly expensive and you could easily make this for $150 USD or less depending where your shop, the deals you can find, and what items you might already have on hand.
This project for myself grew out of a much simpler goal of just wanting to slap some wheels and a board on top of a cabinet and calling it done. I have been running out of bench space in my craft room and needed something to set my new 3D printer on that could hold its supplies and be easily moved around. But as I started taking pictures to share with some friends, as well as thinking how boring the top would be, I decided I would at least stain the top blue to try something new.
Needless to say, as you can see from the results, it quickly escalated from there into a labor of love. So I would like to note that the instructions given here have been placed in a different order than what the pictures will and could depict. Basically if I was doing this over again there are things I would do differently and wrote it up that way to hopefully curb some frustrations and to save on trips to the hardware store.
Step 1: Find Your Donor Cabinet
First and foremost this is definitely a love story about a cabinet. It could be something old, something new, or something borrowed from another past project – but it will for sure end up blue at some point in time.
For this project I would highly recommend in trying to acquire a previously used, and gently loved, cabinet before going out and buying something new. Not only will this be more cost effective for your project but in many cases you can do some overall good or help out local businesses and people as well.
If you end up going for something new you might want to get it unfinished, if you can, since this will save you from possibly having to sand it in later steps. But if you are like me and want to repurpose something old then below is a list of places you can easily check out for your cabinet.
Places you can find a used and lower cost cabinet:
- Already have an old cabinet
- Thrift, second hand, or resale stores and other small shops
- Online local listings of free or minimal cost if picked up
- Display, opened box and returned, or damaged items from a hardware store
- You, or someone you know, is remodeling a kitchen or bathroom
If you take your time and shop around I am sure you will find something you can work with at a price you will agree on. If you are lucky and willing to do some hauling or demolition work yourself it can end up being totally free in some cases.
For my cabinet I was keeping an eye out for different sales and specials going on with several charity stores. The local Habitat For Humanity ReStore ended up having a 50% off a single item sale one day so I went and checked it out. Tucked away among several other cabinet pieces, between several rows of kitchen and bath items, was what would become my cabinet. I requested some assistance, paid what was due, and got it loaded up in my car all for about $20 USD.