Help building two rolling platforms

Hi there, I have been designing sets for a while now...but have recently been tasked with creating construction drawings as well- normally my carp team takes care of it. I am wondering how best to make two moving platforms. One is 3ft high while the other is 20" high. The 20" one is more like a riser so I am less worried about it. The 3ft high platform needs to be 5'x6' and one of the 5' ends is a set of stairs coming down to 20". Both of these platforms need to be on casters so that they can move and spin between scenes. Ideally the casters are hidden from sight. I am most unfamiliar with what sort of structure I would need in the units to suport both the unit and the casters on them. Any help peeps can offer would be amazing. I have cads drawn up - will post them when I can.


It's a very wide open question, and difficult to find a place to start. This isn't the answer you were hoping for, but I would get yourself a copy of a couple of books- Raoul's Stock Scenery Construction Handbook , Ionazzi's The Stagecraft Handbook and possibly the Illustrated Theatre Production Guide. These are good texts with the answers in them as to how to start to tackle this question.

For us, it's hard to say. We don't know your budget, your available resources, skill level etc. Some would answer steel construction with pneumatic casters, some would assume wood construction, etc. So I would head to your library or Amazon and get yourself a copy of these and start going through there.


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Here's one common way:

Platform is typical 2x4 frame, 3/4" plywood deck. Use 2x4 compression legs (the platform frame is sitting on the leg, and there's a secondary 2x4 that runs up inside the frame to attach.) On the bottom of the legs, run 2x6 horizontally leg-to-leg. This gives you a surface to bolt casters to, inset just enough to have space to swivel. Cross brace like crazy to make it all stiff. Add lauan or masonite facing down to within 1/2" or 3/4" of the floor.

You need a leg and a caster about every 4' in any direction, for typical use.

Then you need to think about wagon brakes, or cane bolts into holes in the floor, or something to keep it stable when it's being occupied.

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