DIY Easy Rolling Shelf Rack for Uneven Surfaces Boldly go where no plant rack has gone before!

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Plants on mobile storage rack, cart, shelf outside

DIY easy rolling shelf rack is a go anywhere, do anything mobile storage solution. Racks, carts, shelves and stands all work with these large pneumatic casters on a pressure treated plywood base. Perfect for hardening off seedlings, bringing tools to where you are working, and more…a useful, fun and easy DIY project for any situation.

The problem:

We needed a way to bring our seedlings outside in the daytime to acclimate them to outdoor weather and natural sunlight. Nights were still too cold for tomatoes, peppers and other sensitive plants. Bringing dozens of plants and trays out in the morning and back into the garage at night was taking way too much time!

The solution was a DIY easy rolling shelf rack to put the plant rack on wheels. The wire shelving unit we had inside the house as our grow station worked great on casters, so one should work for outside too, right? Good idea, but it didn’t exactly move easily or securely in the backyard, which is currently an obstacle course!

The optional 4″ casters for the shelf unit are heavy duty, but too small to handle the rigors of the wilderness of our backyard. It quickly became apparent these were not going to work out. In less than a week, I discovered the shafts of the casters were severely bent. 

Miniature countertop and stools being placed by a comparatively large hand.

“One of these things is not like the others,

One of these things just doesn’t belong,

Can you tell which thing is not like the others

By the time I finish my song?”

Music notes

The solution:

Caster size comparison

An 8 inch caster vs a 4 inch caster doesn’t sound that much bigger, but a picture speaks a thousand words!

Lowes, Home Depot and Ace Hardware don’t seem to carry large casters in stock locally. Fortunately, I found 8″ heavy duty pneumatic swivel casters at Harbor Freight that were perfect for the job. The 8″ casters come with a mounting plate, rather than the threaded shafts of the 4″ casters. So, I mounted them on a wider, 3/4″ pressure-treated 2′ x 4′ plywood base. 

TIP: Make sure to round off the corners of the plywood before assembling the platform. It will save some irritation when trying to maneuver into doorways. 

I demonstrate the easy process for building this super sturdy setup in the short video above. All the specifications for the hardware I used for my project are listed below in the “resources” section.

The whole project only took a couple of hours and now it is SO EASY to let all the plants enjoy play time out in the yard!

Summary of Steps:

  1. Trace the legs of shelving and the hole pattern of the casters onto plywood
  2. Drill holes for bolts
  3. Round off or cut corners of plywood
  4. Attach shelving rack and casters to plywood
  5. Take your new heavy duty off-road rack for a spin!



Once those seedlings are hardened, you’ll need a place to put them. Check out the Cold Frame with Double Wall, Protective Screen AND Automatic Opener!

Plant rack with large wheels at Delicate Arch, Arches National Park


I would love to know how your “Off-Road” storage solutions work for you. If you try my design, please make sure to leave a comment below.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, I may earn a small commission on items bought using them. These are the same recommendations I would make regardless of any compensation. For products that I have older versions of, I recommend the items that I would replace them with if I were buying them new. 

Resources for Easy Rolling Shelving Rack Project

8 in. Pneumatic Heavy Duty Swivel Caster

From Harbor Freight 
Great price for casters. I couldn’t find ones these large in the local hardware stores.

3/4 in. x 2 ft. x 4 ft. Pressure-Treated Plywood

From Home Depot 
I recommend only pressure treated plywood for this. 


There are more DIY projects in the works, so stay tuned to Uncharted DIY. Feel free to comment, post photos of your Easy Rolling Shelving Rack or ask questions about this project.

Uncharted DIY is for DIY enthusiasts tackling uncommon projects, utilizing common tools and often on a limited budget

Uncharted DIY is for DIY enthusiasts tackling uncommon projects, utilizing common tools and often on a limited budget