Double Sided Rolling Flats Guide


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Hello! I just found this website, very cool!

I am trying to construct two 4’ by 6’ double sided rolling flats. Something like this picture below. Ideally id like them to have fronts of luan that I can remove and replace (not just paint over the front, but save what we painted for the next time we do that show).

Does anyone have a plan for these that I could follow? What material should I use for the standing part? Worried about them being strong enough but not too heavy.
We made some with 1 by 2 and they were too flimsy but also had trouble standing up. Plus the screws started splitting the wood, so maybe need to use nails?

Thanks in advance!

I would make a studio style flat, use 3/4" screws for the luaun and then 3/4 ply triangles on the ends of the wagons screwed into the wagon and into the side of the flat. You'll want the wagons themselves to be pretty hefty to act as low weight on the units. 2*6 maybe, framed on board face rather than edge to keep the profile slim.
Option 1. Studio/Hollywood Flats
So for the framing of the flats, it would depend on how thick you want them to be. I would use at least 1x3, which the finished flat would be 3 inches thick.
See attached for a a basic diagram of a studio flat. You can use 2 toggles instead of 1 for added stability but its probably not necessary and will increase the weight.
Use two 1-5/8" screws (or nails or long staples) at each intersection. Pre-drill with a 1/8" drill bit if splintering is an issue.

Option 2. 3/4 Plywood Flats
But if you wanted them to be real thin, you could cut holes out of a 3/4 inch plywood for weight (See attached) and the finished flat would be 1-1/4 inches thick.
However, they might start to warp if you remove too much material and/or the plywood is low quality. MDF doesn't warp as much but it tends to be heavier.
Leave at least 4 inches of material around the edge. This is essentially a theatrical style flat made from 1 piece of plywood instead of 1x4 framing.

To attach the luan facing to the flats, i would use screws but pre-drill the holes with a 1/8 drill bit to avoid splitting.
I would not recommend nails or staples if you intend to remove and reuse the luan multiple times.
1 screw every 12 - 18 inches around the edge and one or two at the center toggle.
You can use a screw length of up to 1 1/4" for option 1, but for option 2, use 3/4" screws and try not to hit the screws coming from the other side.

For the base of the wagons, how important is their height? Do they have to be under a certain amount of inches from the floor to the top of the wagon base?
Whats the max depth that the wagons can be? (As in, they are 4 feet wide by "this many" feet deep/long) The deeper they are, the more stable they will be, but they will take up more space.
EDIT: Forgot to ask the most important question: Is anyone ever going to stand on the wagon base?


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