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Wheels on road cases


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My rock band uses a Mackie Onyx 28-8, which is stored in a Road Ready case made with 3/8" plywood. The case is fantastic in terms of durability, but I'm getting kind of tired of humping this thing, it must weigh 70 lbs.

 

Are there any drawbacks or gotchas to bolting some casters to the narrow face? Any great ways to do this? Any favourite casters for the job? I was thinking of using some commodity 2" casters, two swivel, two straight.

 

Thanks for any ideas,

Wes

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Are there any drawbacks or gotchas to bolting some casters to the narrow face? Any great ways to do this?

 

Which would be the "narrow face"? If it's possibly the front or back cover, I'll offer that's a less common surface for mounting casters than the bottom of the case. There's some pluses and minuses for mounting casters to rack case covers. The pluses would be that you can use the case dual duty as an equipment dolly... pile more stuff on the case to wheel where you need to go, and you likely won't need a casterboard mounting the casters to a cover. Also you don't need to worry about the case rolling off the stage once it's upright (no longer on the casters). And with the casters on the covers, that might be better for rolling the case into a mini-van or such where the case wouldn't otherwise fit standing upright. A minus is that can put undue strain on the cover latches, and you may need to stand it back upright for a truck pack. And 3/8" is on the thin-side for mounting casters... 3/4" is preferred... and even at that, I've seen 3/4" casterboards broken... and it's better to risk ruining a reasonably cheap and easy to replace casterboard than a case cover.

 

Some (lesser known) advice if you go the route of adding a casterboard on the bottom:

 

1) Add a little spacer wood (1/8" - 1/4" is usually enough) between the casterboard and bottom of the case to facilitate getting the covers on and off.

 

2) Make your casterboard MOL the size of the case with the covers attached. This is so you can mount the casters to the casterboard in such a manner so the axels of the front two casters "swiveled back" are ahead of the front rack rails, and the axels of the back two casters swiveled forward are behind the back rack rails. Mounting the casters too close together front-to-back (with the axels on the wrong side of the rack rails) can (will) make the case tip-prone when rolling.

 

3) Tee-nuts are my recommendation of how to affix the casterbolts to the case and/or casterboard.

 

 

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We have some on our equipment and have not any trouble. We did glue a 1/2 inch backing boards to the bottom to give allow the forces to spread over a larger area. Remember laminated wood is a lot stronger than solid wood. I concur that bigger is better for casters and they come in many quality levels. 3 inch minimum. I have some 5inch run flat 2 inch wide ones on a cart and you can push them on grass no problem.

 

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4" casters and a casterboard is essential. Some schmoe who is careless could punch a wheel flange through the type of plywood used on those cases (3/8" luan). I have had some cases with the back (bottom edge when riding on wheels) being fabricated from 3/4" Baltic Birck (high ply count, all birch core plys) with directly mounted casters, that was plenty tough for a 150 lb console, but that's a far different grade and thickness of wood than yours.

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Thanks for the feedback, guys! Meant to stop by days ago but the forum has been flaking out on me. Lots of info here to talk me out of this idea, while providing great alternate suggestions and thought patterns.

 

I've used a gigantic Yamaha 32(?) channel 10(?) bus board that had caster on the narrow long face, which made it easy to move - but I'm thinking now that the case must have been more robust than the Road Ready we have here. That case was a Clydesdale, if that means anything to you guys south of the border. It was also big enough to support 4" casters about 10 inches apart. That board was a monster, bigger than a card table.

 

I also use 2" or 3" casters on Leslies, mounted through the 3/4" plywood with T-nuts. The 3" are okay, the 2" suck. I have some 4" casters I bought on sale for a 145 I'm doing up, all swivel, two brake. I'm thinking now I should have bought more, and am debating the merits of non-swiveling casters (push one-handed easier).

 

I'm working on making my load-in/out a bit easier these days. Since I posted this, I've bought a Chevy Express 2500 ... which makes things more difficult, in a way. I'm carrying more instead of hoping others will pick up my slack. But now I'm lifting just that much higher, plus I have the weight of my ramp to contend with, and I seem to get stuck parking a bit further from the door. But the organ and Leslie are travelling better, the speakers aren't getting beat up quite as much, soo...

 

I actually bought three caster boards earlier this year, but they have somehow been taken over by organs and Leslies in my home and garage. It sounds like I should be making one with 4" casters. Any disadvantages to going BIGGER than 4"? I'm in snowy gravel driveway territory. Maybe capptenron's 5" run-flats...

 

Also trying to figure out how to get my load-in more efficient without spending a buttload of money. The X32 rack looks like a great way to minimize size and eliminate outboard gear, but I don't trust it, in particular, I don't trust that I can use it without looking. I am very efficient with the Mackie, discrete EQs, etc. I keep thinking that I could go with one tall rack (say, 14-16U made with 3-4" casters), as that would eliminate two 6U racks, a 4U rack, and an organ bench. I set the mixer on top of one 6U rack which is on top of the bench right now...thinking I could just drop the mixer right on top of a taller rack, and then I'd have fewer things to carry and plug...................although the winter/spring carry gets more difficult, since my walk-out basement is not all-season friendly. New van has been stuck in the back yard twice this month, guess I will have to wait a while longer for non-stair access.

 

Wes

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I probably SHOULD invest in one of those at some point. I was looking at them for hauling keys a couple of years ago. I don't remember them being that cheap. I wonder if they'll stretch long enough to hold 6 speakers...

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