Low profile wagon, Broadway-style

tdtastic

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Joined
Sep 16, 2014
Location
Alabama
We've had great luck with Rosebrand's pallet caster. They can be pricey to start with but over the years we've amassed quite a stock of them. They've held up over the years and many many shows. We have developed a way of mounting them that works for us and gives us a pretty low 2" profile. We weld a pallet frame from 1" tube and top with 3/4" plywood. underneath, we've made caster blocks from 5/8" plywood squares about 5"x5" into which is cut a hole on center just large enough for the rubber wheel to 'nest.' All gets screwed to the underside of the lid. Super easy and quick. The structural trade-off is that our wheel is never in contact with the steel frame and depends on the pallet lid's staying attached. If you use enough wheels you'll be ok. Most pallets are going to be smaller with lighter loads anyway. We even did a 30'x9' office pallet for PRODUCERS last summer that tracked up and down stage -- I think it sat on at least 50 pallet casters which was a bit noisy but nothing that wasn't covered by music.
 

MarshallPope

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Joined
Nov 10, 2009
Location
Auburn, New York
A method that I've seen used with the Rose Brand pallet casters is to take a sheet of 3/4 ply, cut holes large enough for the casters to recess (I think a 3" hole saw did the trick) on no more than 3'-4' centers - 2' centers would be ideal - T-nut the casters in place, and top the whole thing with a sheet of masonite. The wagon might have a bit of flex, but it will only be an inch thick with around a 1/2"-3/4" clearance.
 
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Lolliges63

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Location
Joplin, Mo
http://www.rosebrand.com/product2682/Pallet-Master-Caster.aspx

Just built 2 4x8 wagons for some japanese cruise line with these. 1" square tube frame, mitered at all the corners, one toggle. 1"x1/4" flat bar inside welded flush with the bottom. 2 pieces of 3/4" ply cut to 45 7/8"x46 3/8". Ply sits inside the frame and is countersunk screwed in from the bottom through the flat bar. Casters got mounted to the ply and we covered the whole thing with adhesive backed vinyl tiles. Of course for standard uses you can cap it all with a 4x8 of maso. Overall height was about 1 5/8". From what I've been told its holding up well. It had some noticeable deflection when you walked in the center of it, could have been solved by adding more toggles and smaller pieces of ply...
Would you consider demonstrating this construction in a video? I am wanting to construct them but need specific instructions for a builder and a video would help immensely.
 

Lolliges63

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Location
Joplin, Mo
We've had great luck with Rosebrand's pallet caster. They can be pricey to start with but over the years we've amassed quite a stock of them. They've held up over the years and many many shows. We have developed a way of mounting them that works for us and gives us a pretty low 2" profile. We weld a pallet frame from 1" tube and top with 3/4" plywood. underneath, we've made caster blocks from 5/8" plywood squares about 5"x5" into which is cut a hole on center just large enough for the rubber wheel to 'nest.' All gets screwed to the underside of the lid. Super easy and quick. The structural trade-off is that our wheel is never in contact with the steel frame and depends on the pallet lid's staying attached. If you use enough wheels you'll be ok. Most pallets are going to be smaller with lighter loads anyway. We even did a 30'x9' office pallet for PRODUCERS last summer that tracked up and down stage -- I think it sat on at least 50 pallet casters which was a bit noisy but nothing that wasn't covered by music.
Would you ever consider a video showing what you describe so I could see how the pieces fit together?
 

tdtastic

Active Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2014
Location
Alabama
Would you ever consider a video showing what you describe so I could see how the pieces fit together?

I went back and looked over the drawings from the show, the large wagon we did for PRODUCERS was 26'x8' and rode on only 28 Rosebrand "Pallet Casters," with knives riding in two vertical guide tracks in the show deck. You can hear it's relatively quiet -- nothing that music didn't cover during the show. You can hear a noticeable bump as the rollers move over the intersecting horizontal track -- I think with narrower tracks, the rollers could make that jump a little more quietly. But like I said, it wasn't problematic when the band was playing.

I've laid the parts out on the shop table to give you the basic idea of the pallet assembly: 3/4" ply lids with 1" steel frame. We use 5/8" ply to cut caster plates. That gave us the clearance we needed for the rollers on the underside of the pallet but added minimal height to the overall pallet. If you bondo the seam between plywood lid and steel frame, you have a nice clean edge without needing to add a 'skirt.'



 
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bobgaggle

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Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Would you consider demonstrating this construction in a video? I am wanting to construct them but need specific instructions for a builder and a video would help immensely.
a picture says a thousand words
1579035153938.png


edit: Glue/Screw the plywood on from the bottom, and obviously you deck over the whole thing with something.

edit: chamfer the bottom edge of the wood to work around fillets between the flat bar and square tube.
 
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