How to Build a Dolly for 5-Gallon Bucket

Brandon Maxwell

The 5-gallon bucket is one of the most common items found in garages and workshops and at construction sites. It is used for everything from holding water for washing cars to holding paint or building materials. Five gallons of material can be heavy enough to cause back injury after repeated lifting and carrying. By building a dolly -- a small rolling cart with casters -- the bucket can be transported quite easily and safely, even when full. It's a smart way to get your job done faster and save your back as well.

A dolly makes carting a 5-gallon bucket easier.
  1. Cut three pieces of 3/4-inch birch plywood that measure 12 inches by 12 inches each, using a table saw. Find the center point of each board by measuring and marking the center of each side. Draw a light line on the board using a pencil and a construction square, which has a ruler attached to a metal device that holds tight to the edge of the wood. This allows you to make perfect perpendicular lines.

  2. Draw a circle on two of the pieces of the wood, using a compass. The diameter of most 5-gallon buckets is about 8 3/4 inches. Make the circle 9 inches to allow extra room. Place the sharpened point of the compass on the center point of the wood pieces, then rotate the pencil tip around to complete the circle.

  3. Cut out the circles using a jigsaw. Start by drilling a 1/4-inch hole that just touches the inside edge of the circle you drew. Insert the jigsaw blade into the starter hole and cut around the inside of the marked circle. Repeat for the second circle.

  4. Glue the two square pieces with the circular holes together, using the wood glue. Then glue these joined pieces to the third square. Screw all three pieces together from the bottom, using 2-inch wood screws, so the screw heads won't be visible when the dolly is completed.

  5. Attach a caster to each corner of the wood frame, using 1-inch wood screws, or the screws that came with the casters. When the wood glue dries completely, usually overnight, the dolly is ready to be used. Simply put a 5-gallon bucket into the circular hole.