Plate versus Stem Mount Casters


Recommended Posts

I need to put some casters on a roll around cabinet for the grill. If I had to guess, all in the cabinet will weigh 200-300 pounds tops. The legs are 4x4 posts, and I actually used 6 legs in the design. Initially I was just going to use the casters that I saw in TWW Big Green Egg build (first link). These casters install with threaded inserts in stems. I noticed in the comments, however, that someone had an issue with the stem bending back completely when moving the cart. I contacted a place (caster city) that sells nothing but casters, and they recommended against using stem casters for anything even remotely heavy. They said that for heavy-duty applications that will see a lot of use, you should use plate casters. 

On the plate caster front, it seems like the plate for the 4" heavy duty casters from rockler should fit on the bottom of my leg. I'm a little concerned, however, about how close the mounting holes would be to the edge of the leg. 


I asked Rockler about the spacing of the holes in the mounting plate, and this is what they told me: "Looking at the plate long side running left to right.
Holes are elongated 3/8" along the long side of the plate.  Center of hole from the end in is also 3/8",  center to center is 2-7/8". Looking at it narrow part of the plate running up and down Center of hole from the end 7/16".  center to center is 1-13/16". 
Do you think that would leave enough "meat" in the leg around the mounting screws? Or would I potentially have an issue with the screws tearing out the side of the leg?




Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you should be good with those plates into 4x4's. I've never had a problem with any tool/shop cart using similar plates right up to the outside edge (including my former lumber rack). Unless you're really off-roading that thing lateral force on the screws shouldn't be a problem. As I see it any force the screws do encounter is spread across multiple screws via the plate, and as long as they're snugged up the plate also provides a "shoulder" to reduce racking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Finally at a point where I am going to install the casters. The new place we are moving too has a brick back patio that is very bumpy, so I went with the 4" casters. The final dimensions on the legs were 3.75 by 3.75, and the pre-drilled mounting holes are little close to the edge of the leg for my liking. I have a ton of scrap left over from the project, so I was trying to think of a way to make a decorative "shoe" that has a larger diameter than the leg base (e.g., maybe 5x5) that I would connect the caster to. Then, I would connect the shoe to the table leg. Is there a woodworking term for what I am trying to do here? I'm coming up empty with my googling. Ideally the shoe would look like a trim piece and not a complete afterthought.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I might consider a 1/2" collar around the end of the legs; 4 pieces for each leg epoxied into place with mitered corners and beveled top. These would make the ends of the legs another 1" bigger in both directions and would be strong enough even if the screws ended up going into a seam.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

The casters arrived today. I am looking at the mounting plate, and if I don't expand the leg of the base, the pilot holes would be about 3/4" from the edge of the legs if I don't install the collar described above. Is this cutting it too close, or should that be enough material to hold the screws?

While I like the collar idea, I am running out of material, and I am moving very soon. Not sure I can fit a trip to the hardwood store in before the trucks come, and the movers obviously want this thing on wheels.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.