Plywood Lifting Jig System. Carry Plywood by Yourself!

Last Updated:  July 1, 2021

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I’m more excited about this project than any I’ve designed and/or built in a long time! As a one man show in my shop, I often have to move full sheets of plywood around. Enter, the complete plywood lift system.

There’s a handle to move the plywood around and it will stand freely with a full sheet of plywood sitting on it. And then, there’s the lift arm. Mount it to your work table and use the handle to place plywood sheets on the lift arm and easily lift them onto your table. It really is ridiculously easy!

Building the Handle

After cutting out the sides, I used the jigsaw for the cutouts on the feet. The easiest way to do this is to mark the layout of each foot on either end of a longer board, make the cut with the jigsaw, and then crosscut each foot to length.

The feet are glued to the side and I used a couple of screws to secure them. Then I used a 1” forstner bit to drill a hole for the dowel through the foot and side at the same time.

The dowels fit tightly into the side, but I don’t want them to spin around in the future. So, I hammered the dowels most of the way in, spread some glue around the opening, and then hammered them the rest of the way.

Once the dowels are in I dry fit the other side and then measure for the support pieces.

To finish up assembly the side was pressed on until the support pieces will barely fit (the side will be not quite all the way on). I glued the support pieces up, put them in place, and then pressed the side the rest of the way on and clamped up the handle assembly.

Building the Lift Arm

The lift arm is built almost exactly the same way as the handle except for a couple of differences: The sides are 4” longer and the feet are mounted on the outside, so the lower dowel is 1 1/2” longer.

To avoid the handle getting stuck on top of the lower dowel I also added an additional support. The handle was put in place until it touched the dowel and then the lower support piece is put in place against the handle’s feet and glued up.

Building the Mounting Base

The mounting base pieces are the only ones that aren’t the width of a standard 1×4. If you have a table saw, rip them down to the correct width. Otherwise, the pieces can be laid out and cut with a jigsaw.

Glue all of the pieces together. The three back pieces are glued together and then to the bottom piece.

I glued them up and, once they were dry, drilled 3 pilot holes. I countersink the holes so the screw heads won’t get in the way.

Mount the base to a sturdy table with 3 1/2” wood screws in an area that will accommodate a full sheet of plywood.

This lift system really makes moving full sheets of plywood, and getting them up on a table, extremely easy.

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