Help with retractable castors

plaske

New User
Patrick
I'm making a laundry pedestal using plans I found from "This Old House" (Plans Here). However, I'm making two major changes to the plans - I'm putting in pull out shelves to rest the laundry baskets on, and I'm putting the whole thing on retractable casters using a method I found on this site. The caster method is from a rolling lathe cabinet that TedAs posted on this site a number of years ago. I'm having some concerns about the caster method so I'm looking for an opinion if you've done this sort of caster retraction method before. See the photo below although I'm still in the process of doing the caster work.

My issue is that there seems to be two "sticking points" where the hinges for the casters kind of bind and make the wood arms hard to put down or up. It's hard to explain but let's say the casters are fully retracted. When pushing down on the wood caster "arms" it's very difficult to get past the first inch or so of travel. Then it's easy until the wood arms are completely horizontal and casters are fully extended. But then to move the arms up to retract the casters there is another very difficult stretch in the first inch or so. Then it's easy the rest of the way.

I'm sorry I can't explain this any better. I'm hoping someone with experience with this method will understand what I'm saying and let me know if I can do anything about it. It seems that if I would loosen the screws on the hinges it would give it some play and then it wouldn't bind. However, I think that would make it come apart at some point down the line.

Your thoughts? And thanks if you can help!

Patrick

IMG_2891.jpeg
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Why do you need retractable casters to raise and lower this? Won't the "arms" be in the way of the pull out shelves for the laundry baskets?

Mechanically I don't think that the problem is with the hinges themselves. It may be the mechanics of the entire mechanism to raise or lower the weight of the wood frame.
 

plaske

New User
Patrick
Why do you need retractable casters to raise and lower this? Won't the "arms" be in the way of the pull out shelves for the laundry baskets?

Mechanically I don't think that the problem is with the hinges themselves. It may be the mechanics of the entire mechanism to raise or lower the weight of the wood frame.
I want the casters so I can roll it in or out of position in an alcove in the laundry room. The shelves go on the bottom of the top frame. The arms are on the bottom frame so they won't be in the way at all. Did you look at the post I referenced above for the rolling lathe cabinet. TedAs mentions that this method is used for set construction for performances so the weight shouldn't be a problem. He also said that his lathe table will have multiple pieces of heavy equipment and this method will lift it perfectly.

I'm new to the forum and I couldn't find a way to ask him a question directly. Do you know if there is such a way for direct communication?

Thanks!
 

MarkE

Mark
Corporate Member
I'm new to the forum and I couldn't find a way to ask him a question directly. Do you know if there is such a way for direct communication?

Thanks!
Hover your cursor over the users name or picture on the left. A window will pop up with a 'Start conversation' button.
 

bowman

Board of Directors, Events Director
Neal
Staff member
Corporate Member
As a 'New User', he will not have that option yet.
 

plaske

New User
Patrick
Have you looked at the New Yankee workshop his design may work for you
I did see that. The issue with that method is that you have to lift the table in order for the casters to fall. Since the laundry pedestal will have a washer and dryer on it and also be in a little alcove in the laundry room, I'd like to use the mechanism that uses a lever to lift the whole pedestal. Thanks for responding though.
 

RedBeard

Burns
Corporate Member
Have you tried moving the casters in or out on the 2x to change the pivot point? Are you going to have to disconnect the washer/dryer to move it?
 

plaske

New User
Patrick
Have you tried moving the casters in or out on the 2x to change the pivot point? Are you going to have to disconnect the washer/dryer to move it?
It's not a caster issue because I can prop the frame up on blocks like you see it in the photo I posted above and the binding still happens. The casters just barely touch the ground in the fully extended position when the frame is propped up so they don't really come into play. It's a geometry of the hinges problem.

I will be able to move the washer and dryer a little bit without disconnecting but If I want to roll it all the way out I will have to disconnect. The connections for the washer are on the side of the alcove and easy to get to. The dryer electrical plug is easy to reach and the gas connection is on a flexible hose but the dryer vent is the real issue. I'm leaving the cabinet without a back so that it can be crawled through for that very reason.
 

RedBeard

Burns
Corporate Member
Do the hinges function properly when not installed? If you raise the whole thing up high enough where the casters can’t hit the floor does it still bind?
 

plaske

New User
Patrick
Do the hinges function properly when not installed? If you raise the whole thing up high enough where the casters can’t hit the floor does it still bind?
Not sure about "when not installed." If you mean that the hinges that are connected to the frame are not attached to anything and only the middle hinge has to move - no, then there is no binding. However, if the hinges on the ends are connected to the frame then, yes, they still bind. I think I will sketch out the geometry problem. That might make it clearer for me and for others.
 

plaske

New User
Patrick
I'm going to try slightly loosening the screws for the center hinge. I've also decided to do the 2nd side of "arms" and casters but be more careful in how I'm aligning the arms and the hinges. I've inserted a photo to help demonstrate the problem. When the arms are horizontal the pivot point of the center hinge is at about 250 degrees, give or take, on the circle that radiates from the side hinge points. The distance between the side hinge points and the center hinge point is approximately 13 3/8". This is like the hypotenuse of the triangle. When you pull the arms up and the center hinge gets to the 270 degree point on the circle it now forms the long side of the triangle, but that is shorter than the hypotenuse. So there is some binding. I do believe TedAs when he says that this is supposed to work well. I'm guessing there is just some nuance that I'm not aware of.

Thanks for everyone who's responded so far and for other's attempts to contact TedAs. Much appreciated. I'd buy you a beer if I see you. :)

289F313E-67FE-4155-880F-0E599DD4BB03_1_201_a.jpeg
 

plaske

New User
Patrick
Update - I installed the 2nd side of arms and casters and took more time to line the hinges up so that the pivot points are completely parallel to each other. This went well. There is still a little binding due to the geometry but I guess that it is just the right amount so that the mechanism works as it should. So, I redid the first side except for the two outer hinges that connect to the frame. This improved things a little but it is still not as good as the 2nd side. I'm guess that the outer hinges might be a little off. But, I'm going to go with it as is. I think it will probably work. We'll see.
 

Our Sponsors

LATEST FOR SALE LISTINGS

Top