Please feel free to download and build your own Woven Panel Rolling Hamper!
There is something that has become abundantly clear since having a kid: we make a lot more laundry! As a result, we need more space for our dirty clothes and towels. Nicole specifically requested something on wheels with double capacity and this is what I came up with. The woven panel design is not only beautiful, but functional as it allows the laundry to breathe. Mobility is provided by a set of four casters well-hidden by the lower rails. The top features Rockler Torsion Hinges for both safety and convenience. Inside the hamper are two cotton laundry bags held to the interior rails via snaps. These bags are easily removed or can be left in place.
Because the woven panels were something of an unknown to me, I wanted to employ a fast and efficient way to make the primary joinery for the hamper. This way I could spend the majority of my time puzzling out the tricky parts of the project instead of laboring over mortise and tenon joints. I’m very lucky to have a Festool Domino so I used it to cut all 60 mortises in just 10 minutes! To make life a little easier during assembly, I like to glue my Domino tenons into the rail sides of my mortises. If you’re looking for tips on cutting similar joints with more basic tools, check out the Outdoor Sitting Bench video.
By the way, if you’re in the market for the Domino and you can’t decide between the 500 and the 700, check out this article I wrote that might arm you with more information.
Even though I could have used Domino joinery for the center divider, I thought it would be fun to do a traditional sliding dovetail instead. All you need is a dovetail bit, a miter gauge, and a router table. With some careful/clever layout, the dovetail slots are located perfectly and the dovetailed rail slides right in. Just be careful not to make the fit too tight since it will be a nightmare to install once glue is applied.
The weave is constructed of 1/4″ vertical posts and numerous 1/8″ thin strips that weave in and out horizontally. Surprisingly, weaving the strips was the easy part. The only tricky part was getting the second leg installed while the strips find their home in the leg groove. Using cauls and clamps, this also turned out to be easier than anticipated. A few tips for you to consider. First, make sure the strips have room to breathe. The cut list gives the maximum width so you’ll likely want your strips to come in just a hair under 1 3/4″ wide. Also, there’s no harm in going thinner than 1/8″. It will make the weaving process easier and as long as you don’t go too thin, it shouldn’t sacrifice the integrity of the panel. With this test run out of the way, we can proceed with the finishing touches and final assembly, all of which happens in Part 2.