How to Make a Furniture Dolly

I don’t know what took me so long to make this furniture dolly. Instead of boo hooing about how I don’t have what I need to make my furniture painting just a little bit easier, Joe and I worked together to create a simple dolly and now I can’t complain. Well, I guess I can but, that’s annoying. All I needed this whole time was 4 pieces of wood, some screws, bolts, a saw, and casters. Geez, coming from someone who likes to make, repurpose, and refurbish, I feel kind of pathetic that it took me so long to do what needed to be done.

We had a couple of 8′ long 2″ x 4″s in the rafters of the garage that we bought for something else. Can you believe we both can’t even remember what we bought them for? This secretary was what I had in mind so the measurements are based on this.

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How to Make a Furniture Dolly

Supplies & Tools Used

  • (2) 8′ x 2″ x 4″
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Straight Edge Ruler
  • Miter Saw (hand saw and miter box could be used)
  • Drill
  • 3/4″ Spade Bit
  • 3/8″ Drill Bit for Caster Stems to fit
  • Dremel
  • 4 Threaded Stem Casters
  • 4 Hex Nuts
  • 9/16″ Socket & Wrench
  • Drill Bit for pilot holes
  • (16) 3″ Wood Screws

Measurements & Layout

The base of the secretary measures 33 1/2″ x 18 1/4″. The furniture dolly measures 34″ x 18 1/2″. That leaves as little as 1/4″ if the secretary is perfectly centered on the dolly. You may be thinking it isn’t a lot of room and you’d be right. It does work though.

I measured and marked the lengths of each piece, drew a line with a straight edge, and cut them down using the miter saw. I was able to get 3 of the 4 frame pieces out of one of the 8′ boards.

  • 2 pieces = 18 1/2″
  • 2 pieces = 34″

Wouldn't having a dolly make things so much easier? These 2x4s became just that. Visit AmbientWares.com for this and more great DIY and craft ideas!

The 34″ pieces will sit on top of the 18 1/2″ pieces.

I have to sketch out my projects beforehand and this is our DIY dolly. Visit AmbientWares.com for this and more great DIY and craft ideas!

Installing the Casters

Each end of the shorter 18 1/2″ pieces were marked with an “x”. This is where the stems of the casters will slide into. This is a larger version of the type of caster we used. There are much easier casters you could use like these, where you screw through a flat plate. Easy peasy. No matter which casters you use, you’ll just need to consider weight, do they swivel, do you need locking, etc.

Our DIY dolly needed some casters. Come see how we put them to use. Visit AmbientWares.com for this and more great DIY and craft ideas!

Once slid through the wood, a nut will be used to secure each caster.

Hardware to attach the casters to the DIY dolly. Visit AmbientWares.com for this and more great DIY and craft ideas!

We can’t have them sticking out since the longer frame pieces will be attached to the top of the shorter ones. I created a hole large enough for the nut to sit flush or a little below the wood. Using a 3/4″ spade drill bit, I drilled a hole going a little deeper than the thickness of the nut. I first marked the stopping point on the bit with tape so I didn’t go too crazy.

Using the spade bit on our DIY dolly. Visit AmbientWares.com for this and more great DIY and craft ideas!

The next step was drilling 3/8″ holes straight down and through the center of the counterbored (I believe that’s what it’s called) hole for the stems of the casters. Depending on where you’re drilling, you may want to add a piece of scrap underneath. I may or may not have hit the concrete on my first piece.

Pre drilling our DIY furniture dolly. Visit AmbientWares.com for this and more great DIY and craft ideas!

I ended up not drilling directly in the middle of the counterbored hole for the nut to fit, so I had to widen the opening using the Dremel and a sander bit going around and around.

The Dremel comes in handy when sanding down drilled holes. Come see our DIY furniture dolly! Visit AmbientWares.com for this and more great DIY and craft ideas!

Once I could fit the nut in, I used a 9/16″ socket and wrench to tighten. Enough room is definitely needed in order to fit the nut along with the wrench.Tightening the nut with a socket and nut for our DIY furniture dolly. Visit AmbientWares.com for this and more great DIY and craft ideas!

Nut and bolt sitting flush on our DIY furniture dolly. Visit AmbientWares.com for this and more great DIY and craft ideas!

Securing the Frame

Now it’s time to connect the longer pieces to the wheeled ones. Again, on the ends, an “x” was marked in the center and about 1″ from the center we marked where the 3″ screws would go. We thought the 3″ screws would end up poking out a bit in which case we’d file them off but, to our surprise, they did not stick out so just keep that in mind when choosing screw length.Measuring the placement of the casters for our DIY furniture dolly. Visit AmbientWares.com for this and more great DIY and craft ideas!Marking where the casters will go on our DIY furniture dolly. Visit AmbientWares.com for this and more great DIY and craft ideas!4 pilot holes were drilled and finished up with screws. We did clamp the pieces together since the screws wanted to push the pieces apart. Clamping them prevented that.

Marking where the casters will go on our DIY furniture dolly. Visit AmbientWares.com for this and more great DIY and craft ideas!Marking where the casters will go on our DIY furniture dolly. Visit AmbientWares.com for this and more great DIY and craft ideas!Casters installed on our DIY furniture dolly. Marking where the casters will go on our DIY furniture dolly. Visit AmbientWares.com for this and more great DIY and craft ideas!

The only thing I think I’ll add are some scraps of carpet on the corners for grip. Also, be aware of bumps. Our garage floor doesn’t meet up flush with our driveway so I just have to remember not to run full speed ahead while pushing it. Which would never happen since I’m only running if I have to. I’m so happy I now have the furniture dolly I’ve always complained about not having! Grow up, Angie. Grow up.

How to build a furniture dolly. Marking where the casters will go on our DIY furniture dolly. Visit AmbientWares.com for this and more great DIY and craft ideas!How to build a furniture dolly. Marking where the casters will go on our DIY furniture dolly. Visit AmbientWares.com for this and more great DIY and craft ideas!How to build a furniture dolly. Marking where the casters will go on our DIY furniture dolly. Visit AmbientWares.com for this and more great DIY and craft ideas!How to build a furniture dolly. Marking where the casters will go on our DIY furniture dolly. Visit AmbientWares.com for this and more great DIY and craft ideas!

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Super Easy to Make Furniture Dolly on Casters! Visit AmbientWares.com for this and more great DIY and craft ideas!

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18 thoughts on “How to Make a Furniture Dolly

  1. Angie this is such a great idea, I am pinning it to my idea board! Thank you for linking up to Talk of the Town you are my feature pick for next weeks party! BTW, I love that piece of furniture on your dolly!
    Julie @ Love My Simple Home

  2. I can’t believe I never thought of it either. I even have everything I need. And yes I have been thinking I need to buy one. Good job Angie. You are a genius for thinking this up.

  3. Good job, so clever and very smart. A dolly is what hubs took casters off of for my stand (previous post). Couldn’t think of right word. This happens all too often the older I get.
    Your dolly will serve you well since you did such a good job of making it sturdy, very important. You’ll wonder what you did without it.
    It amazes me what so many female bloggers have learned to do and make.
    Because of physical limitations am not allowed to use hubs power tools. Besides have him, altho he argues with me so much about how to and what to make I wish I could make my own pieces. My visions and his are not the same.
    Enjoy your new dolly, noticed were already making good use of it. Have wonderful rest of week.

    1. Thanks again, JaneEllen. I’m always learning, for sure and my husband and I also see things very differently. I’m sorry you’re unable to use the tools in the way you want and hope you’re able to still envision and create exactly what you need.

  4. Okay now I feel dumb too. We’ve been lugging around furniture for months and never once did we even consider making a dolly. We even thought about getting one of those trolley things, but couldn’t find the right size. Geez, I feel like a complete idiot. Thanks a ton Angie , you just saved our backs.

    1. Why do we wait so long, Michelle?! Especially when it’s not hard to do. I like to learn things the hard way apparently and sometimes it takes longer for me to catch on πŸ˜‰

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