Attaching swivel casters to a mobile cabinet base

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Forum topic by pjk91 posted 09-19-2012 01:58 AM 10896 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 2040 days

09-19-2012 01:58 AM

Topic tags/keywords: casters on mobile base mobile cabinet tool chest

Imagine you have a clean slate…how would you build the bottom of the mobile cabinet to support heavy weight (200-300lbs), and have casters?

I know how to build the cabinet but I’m unsure how to attach the cabinet to casters…no wood has been cut, just in the planning stages. This will be my first project with my new Jet Proshop w/cast wings. I’m pumped and don’t want to jack this up.

overall dimensions of the cabinet are 48Wx26Dx35H. Height is negotiable due to size of casters.

fyi this will be in my garage. Any suggestions?

-- --Patrick

10 replies so far

View oluf's profile


260 posts in 3003 days

#1 posted 09-19-2012 03:23 AM

Here is the caster system I use for all of my heavy tools.
1. only two wheels per machine.
2. Wheels are fixed and extend just to the rear of the machine 1/4 inch off the floor.
3. Fixed feet on all four corners that are always in contact with the floor when the machine is not lifted for moving.
4. a lift and tow bracket centered along the bottom front edge of the machine. ( there is one of these brackets on each machine and they are all at the same height from the floor)
5. I have made a tow tool that hangs up for storage. This tool is 4 feet long and has a “T” handle It has two 3 inch wheels and a lever lift with a pin at the floor end. To move a machine you ingage the lift pin into the tow bracket on the machine and pull the handle down. the front of the machine lifts and the wheels on the rear contact the floor and all the legs are off the floor. You roll the machine to it’s new location and lift the handle and the machine is firmly set on the floor.

I like this system because I dont have to get down on the floor to mess with caster locks and adjusable feet.
For five machines I invested $ 7.20 for 12 wheels and the rest was scrap metal from my junk pile. I did spend something for welding rod and power for the welder also. Just like screws and sandpaper.

-- Nils, So. Central MI. Wood is honest.Take the effort to understand what it has to tell you before you try to change it.

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2250 days

#2 posted 09-19-2012 03:30 AM

I just screw the casters into the bottom of the cabinet (typically 3/4” Baltic birch plywood is what I use). My assembly table probably weighs well over 200 pounds with all of the stuff in the drawers, and it works fine.

Here are the casters I used:,240,66331

I used the 4 or 5 inch versions (can’t recall of the top of my head). As you can see, each is rated for a lot of weight.

I used pretty large screws, something like #14×3/4” to attach them. If you’re really concerned about the attachment, you could drill through the base of the cabinet and use bolts, although you might have to counterbore the top of the base panel if you have tight clearances for drawers.

-- John, BC, Canada

View pjk91's profile


9 posts in 2040 days

#3 posted 09-19-2012 02:21 PM

Great that what I needed to know. Also using 3/4 baltic birch, i wasn’t sure if it would be strong enough to support the cabinet.

Since I’m going to screw the casters into the bottom of the cabinet, how should the bottom be attached to carcass?

-- --Patrick

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2250 days

#4 posted 09-19-2012 06:01 PM

I used rabbets with a nice even layer of Titebond 3. Clamped it up tight to set the joint and then pinned iit with my brad nailer. Rock solid.

-- John, BC, Canada

View oldretiredjim's profile


206 posts in 2350 days

#5 posted 09-19-2012 06:19 PM

I always have a sheet of 3/4” that extends past the sides of the box an inch or so. I screw the casters with the biggest screws that will fit. I have used 2”, 3”, and 4” casters. All swivel. I would not go with less than 4” & second nw’s recommendation on lee valley casters. I think Woodcraft sells the same ones if there is a store close. I got the best Lowe’s sells and one of the brakes sticks. Less than a year. The problem with a bad caster is once you have 200# or more mounted on the base how do you change a bad caster. Not easily.

View junebug's profile


101 posts in 2369 days

#6 posted 09-19-2012 07:25 PM

I agree with the guys above about using a quality caster. I put together a small assembly/work table and used some cheap casters ($8 each or so). They were rated at 150 lbs each. I used 4 swivel casters and the table weighs no more than 100 lbs.. 1 of the casters refuses to swivel at all. Pain the in butt to move the thing around.

View MrRon's profile


4714 posts in 3208 days

#7 posted 09-20-2012 05:04 PM

Whatever casters you use, make sure the wheels are ball bearing, not just the swivel. The rolling resistance of non-ball bearing wheels is so much greater. That being said limits you pretty much to 4” as the minimum size caster. If you use 4 casters, put brakes on only two casters. You will find that no matter how you move the cabinet around, only two brakes will be accessible at any time. I found this out the hard way.

View NiteWalker's profile


2736 posts in 2541 days

#8 posted 09-21-2012 01:28 PM

+1 on good casters. I like to double up the area where the casters will go.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View pjk91's profile


9 posts in 2040 days

#9 posted 09-21-2012 01:47 PM

Great help guys. No one commented on the size…48” wide is pretty long. Will there be a sag issue in the middle? Would six casters prevent the sag?

I’ll probably go with 4 or 5” all ball bearing all swivel casters. I need to be able to move this wherever I want, quickly.

-- --Patrick

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2250 days

#10 posted 09-21-2012 02:20 PM

My cabinet base measures 48” x 30”, and I just use a caster at each corner (four total). No sag that I’ve noticed.

-- John, BC, Canada

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