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Inexpensive road case wheels
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Head
 

Inexpensive road case wheels

Hi!

I want to put a wheels on a few road-cases I own.

These cases are not for touring.

They are hardly ever used. Just putting some gear in them and putting them in the back of the car when I am going to another studio, so it is only a few times a year.

I want to get wheels to save my aging back, but don't feel like spending tons of money for wheels on stuff that really doesn't "travel".

Any suggestions / sources?

Thanks!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
loujudson's Avatar
I have no idea what "tons of money" means for you. I have two rocknroller carts and one I replaced the flimsy original wheels with medical hospital quality casters, I think around $30-40 each. The other one I got some from a local hardware store for something like 10-15 - the cheaper ones would not pivot under loads so now need to be replaced (with the good ones!)

Moral: get the best you can afford, it costs less in the long run!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for snowflakes
 
12ax7's Avatar
 

In a pinch, you can just put a roadcase on a skateboard, and push it around.
.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
hbphotoav's Avatar
 

I have several home-made dollys that, after 20 years or so, are still truckin'. They are not lightweight (I use one of three trailers, depending on the size of the gig) but do handle curbs and door frames without catastrophe. They are a simple 2x4 frame, and four casters (two fixed, two rotating, 1/4" bolts) from Home Depot/Lowe's, with a 1/4" or 3/8" plywood piece screwed to the top. Topping that is a black plastic tub (same source) with a lid. The bottom tub is affixed to the frame with drywall screws and nickel plated washers (large 1", with a small hole). You could use whatever small, stackable tub(s) you want, and build the caster board to size.

I also use standard "collapsible" 2-wheel/4-wheel steel dollies for loose cases (mics, mixers, etc). These see duty in gigs requiring trailer or a simple van. Heavy bungees or lightweight ratchet straps keep the loose cases onboard.

For my Midas M32 road case, I simply built a 4-wheel caster the same size as the "tall/on edge" dimension of the case. Four dolly wheels (all rotatable on this one), a screwed down sized piece of 1/4" plywood, and a medium duty ratchet strap tie it all together. I can roll it into the trailer or slide it into the old Chevy van on its side, and rock on down the road.

The same scheme (a "custom" caster board and straps) can be used for any large-ish case, and will fare better than attempting to bolt casters directly onto a case not designed for them.

For really small gigs, I also use a "rolling" attache-type case (usually filled with cables and accessories) and a big backpack (recorder, small mics cases, etc) strapped to the roller bag's handle. Mic stands are in a OnStage speaker stand bag (I use Manfrotto lighting stands for main mics which usually won't fit into a shorter "mic stand" bag). I can, with that, carry a second backpack on my shoulders, for three cases and a stands bag that fit in any vehicle.

If I was smart, I'd also hire an assistant.

FWIW... after 50 years of schlepping gear (I started in 1969) I have trouble lifting anything over about 50lbs these days. Therefore... trailers with ramps, and a van into which I can "tip-and-slide" larger bits in and out, and wheeled conveyance into and out of venues is my goal.

I also concur with what Lou said... cheap casters are of Satan... breaking only at the worst possible moment. Buy heavier capacity than you think you'll ever need, and you'll buy once.

HB

Last edited by hbphotoav; 4 weeks ago at 05:21 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 

My #1 favorite piece of gear is my Magliner. Decades on it looks like it has been through a few wars, but it works on nearly every job I do. It's a good example of the "buy once" philosophy.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hbphotoav View Post
I have several home-made dollys that, after 20 years or so, are still truckin'. They are not lightweight (I use one of three trailers, depending on the size of the gig) but do handle curbs and door frames without catastrophe. They are a simple 2x4 frame, and four casters (two fixed, two rotating, 1/4" bolts) from Home Depot/Lowe's, with a 1/4" or 3/8" plywood piece screwed to the top. Topping that is a black plastic tub (same source) with a lid. The bottom tub is affixed to the frame with drywall screws and nickel plated washers (large 1", with a small hole). You could use whatever small, stackable tub(s) you want, and build the caster board to size.

I also use standard "collapsible" 2-wheel/4-wheel steel dollies for loose cases (mics, mixers, etc). These see duty in gigs requiring trailer or a simple van. Heavy bungees or lightweight ratchet straps keep the loose cases onboard.

For my Midas M32 road case, I simply built a 4-wheel caster the same size as the "tall/on edge" dimension of the case. Four dolly wheels (all rotatable on this one), a screwed down sized piece of 1/4" plywood, and a medium duty ratchet strap tie it all together. I can roll it into the trailer or slide it into the old Chevy van on its side, and rock on down the road.

The same scheme (a "custom" caster board and straps) can be used for any large-ish case, and will fare better than attempting to bolt casters directly onto a case not designed for them.

For really small gigs, I also use a "rolling" attache-type case (usually filled with cables and accessories) and a big backpack (recorder, small mics cases, etc) strapped to the roller bag's handle. Mic stands are in a OnStage speaker stand bag (I use Manfrotto lighting stands for main mics which usually won't fit into a shorter "mic stand" bag). I can, with that, carry a second backpack on my shoulders, for three cases and a stands bag that fit in any vehicle.

If I was smart, I'd also hire an assistant.

FWIW... after 50 years of schlepping gear (I started in 1969) I have trouble lifting anything over about 50lbs these days. Therefore... trailers with ramps, and a van into which I can "tip-and-slide" larger bits in and out, and wheeled conveyance into and out of venues is my goal.

I also concur with what Lou said... cheap casters are of Satan... breaking only at the worst possible moment. Buy heavier capacity than you think you'll ever need, and you'll buy once.

HB
Hey thanks that is a terrific idea. It's just a few cases, and a few feet between car and studio load-in, and bringing them in one by one, and it's not like some "world tour" or anything!

Thanks for the idea!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
There is a shop in Cleveland that sells nothing but casters. They have a "table of shame" where the display casters that have failed in use. The owner of the shop convinced me early on to only buy the best casters I could afford. Some of the casters on display have lost all their ball bearings, some have broken axles, some have been bent or broken. Most of the casters on the "table of shame' were NOT made in the USA but made to look like the USA made ones. Buyer beware!!!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
hbphotoav's Avatar
 

^^^^^^^ THOSE! ^^^^^^^

Buy once, cry once.

HB
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
tourtelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbphotoav View Post
^^^^^^^ THOSE! ^^^^^^^

Buy once, cry once.

HB
These are quite respectable for the cost. I use them pretty hard on two mixers and they have held up well for me.

As is said here often, YMMV.

D.
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