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Need advice on casters for kitchen island and follow along for the build!

Update:

I changed the title from just needing info on casters to follow along since I seem to continue my discussions by adding to them, lol.  Okay, so I will add a new response below to continue on.

We are building a small kitchen island for my small kitchen and for my small self, I am short and am not comfortable cutting on the tall counter tops because I have to lift my shoulders.  I came across this awesome kitchen island made using an old door so we went out and bought an old panel door with all the panels equal in size. 

The door is 30" wide so it is perfect for starting height before adding a top and a cutting board to it.  This is where the greatness ends though because I can't find any hidden casters which would work well for a kitchen island without damaging the kitchen floors.  I would like the casters hidden because I don't want to raise the island very far off the floor so I can keep my low profile 34" high. 

This link shows where the inspiration comes from and we bought a white door similar to the white one on her blog but mine has six equal in size panels instead of the five like hers does in the picture.

http://www.blueroofcabin.com/2012/02/kitchen-island-from-door.html

My final measurements with a 1" overhang of the top are 33.5" wide by 16.5" deep;

My husband cut the panels in this order.  He cut a section with two panels intact and cut the other four into separate panels.  The two panel section will be the back of my island and each side will have one panel.  The last two panels will be used for the sides of a new small cabinet I need for a small coffee bar I would like on a tiny wall.  Did I say my house was small?   LOL

Anyway, I need some good casters that can be hidden but also locking so it doesn't slide around on me while I am chopping fruits and veggies.  I don't mind having a drop down front kick plate to hide the casters and such, I just need help finding the right ones.  I saw some casters made for attaching inside the corners but alot of people are saying it is too hard to control  what they are connected to.  The ball casters look like they don't have enough space between the actual caster and the hardware without having things getting stuck such as a potato peel that might fall on the floor and be missed in cleanup before I move the island to it's place.

Is there anyone that has any ideas?  I just need them hidden and not to raise the island up too far from the floor so I can maintain my lower profile.  We plan to make the lower shelf higher to allow for the space needed to hide the casters as well.

Thanks in advance!

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Are these Ball Bearing Rollers that you are talking about? I've not used them for casters but I've used them for heavy duty drawers. They were my first thought.

No these are the ball casters I am thinking of, see the space between the ball caster and the metal is almost nil so I have concern that something as simple as a potato peel will get stuck inside it.  Those rollers are kinda neat, how did those work out for you?

http://www.rockler.com/ball-wheel-caster-with-swivel-plate-non-lock...

If you are building the cabinet use piece of 3/4 thick plywood and make the bottom out of that.  Then inset this bottom up into the cabinet box and attach it to the cabinet box using glue and pocket screws.  The amount that you inset the bottom depends on the total height of the casters.  I build many cabinets that are on casters and are hidden from view as they are set so that there is about 1/2 inch exposed of which are almost hidden from view unless you get down on the floor and look.  I use caster such as found at harbor freight and use either four swivels with or two swivel and two that are fixed.    If your cabinet box is 30 inches high and you inset the bottom up into the cabinet box you will raise the cabinet box up to 30 & 1/2 inches. 

When doing this set the casters back in from the edges and the ends so that the swivel casters will swivel without hitting the cabinet edges.  You have a choice of low profile casters with either rubber or nylon so they will roll well on a floor without damage to the floor and heavy enough for the weight of the cabinet plus any live load you place on it by working on the top.  I will try and find a photo that will illustrate what I am referring to.  If I do I will post it for you.

Suzy, Didn't have any photos that were not in a slide show but here is a slide show that has what I am referring to pictured in the show.

http://www.smilebox.com/playBlog/4d7a637a4f5445314e7a513d0d0a&b...

Look at the following frames:  42thru 56 and you will see the inset bottom and also the wheels attached.  This box sets  close to the floor and is set so that it appears to be setting on the floor when on carpet.  By raising the bottom upwards in the cabinet box you can set it so it is within a 1/4 inch of a floor such as laminate or hardwood.     I build all my furniture like this so it appears to be sitting on the floor but since it is on rollers it can be moved without difficulty but is ridged while in use.  Just an idea and is the method that I would suggest when you are faced with a height problem.

Love the slide slow, you are talented Jay.

So the plan for the bottom shelf is to make it look older using some tongue and groove boards and attaching with some anchor boards or what should I say Cleats?  Don't know if my terminology is correct or not, sorry.  Attaching those tongue and groove boards to another support board that is attached to the sides of the cabinet allowing for me to raise it up high enough to hide the casters.  Are you saying I don't need locking castors? 

My concern is movement when I am chopping or kneeding bread dough on it.  I plan on a butcher block top that is 1.5" thick plus allowing for my actual chopping butcher block which is also 1.5" thick.  I won't be cutting on the permanent block to preserve it.

Thanks for helping me to understand my needs.

Thank you Suzy,  casters with brakes are always a problem if you are trying to hide the casters.  There are a few that have the toe operated brake however not always easy to operate and some slide about easily especially on a polished floor.  What I would do in this situation is one of two things:   1.  not use swivel casters and add casters that are fixed and position them so that they are 90 degrees to the direction of the most often motion.  This would most likely be pointing them towards the ends.  You can still turn the unit but takes more room.  2. The better method is use two swivel and two fixed casters and make a set of low profile chalks made of 3/8 " thick hardwood  ( thickness that will just slide under the units bottom) of which a beveled taper is made.  Place them in front of and rear of the swivel casters thus locking the unit in place until you plan on moving it.  You can attach them together with a short section of cord to make it easy to move them when you are wanting to move the unit.  I have found that casters move and anything with them under it will walk around due to vibrations with in the house as well a anyone walking by and even lightly touch the unit.  The amount of movement is of course depend on the amount of applied pushing, and the weight of the unit.  In my shop I have some moveable benches and large tools on wheels and although they have locking casters it is seldom that I lock them when I am using them and I do not have problems of them moving.  What I am saying is that unless you are very aggressive in kneeding the dough I do not think you will have too much problem with moving.  The chopping is a downward pressure so it should also not be a problem.

There is a solution also by making a custom set of locking wheels in which you alter the frame of the wheel by drilling a hole through it and threading it and using a pointed bolt of which you tread into the tire by making the bolt long enough to go from the inside of the floor of the cabinet.  Manufacture a knob to make it easier to turn by hand.  This might involve welding a nut to the caster frame but it is a minor welding job.  I built a large router cabinet about 10 years ago for a door company of which they needed to be portable.  It was a must to be able to lock the wheels and the supplied brakes on the wheels would not hold.  They were pushing a lot of 6 and 8 quarter lumber past a large router bit.  This is how I solved that problem.  Like I always say, "if there is a will then there is a will."

You could also use some threaded inserts in the bottom of the cabinet.  In the cabinet thread down some long threaded rod.  On the floor end of the rod attach something like a crutch tip.  Make the rod long enough to reach the floor and  bend over the rod to make yourself a handle in which to turn the rod up and down.  In this case if you made four in the cabinet bottom you could actually use them to jack the cabinet up off the floor.  The crutch tips are soft enough to grip the floor using the weight of the cabinet and should stop any movement.  This is a lot simpler that the above method and would be the method I would most likely use.

Something to keep in mind also is that the larger the wheel dia the easier it is to move so stay with the smaller wheel that will support the weight even if you have to add more wheels. 

You are on the correct on your assembly methods.  Have a good day.
 
Suzy said:

Love the slide slow, you are talented Jay.

So the plan for the bottom shelf is to make it look older using some tongue and groove boards and attaching with some anchor boards or what should I say Cleats?  Don't know if my terminology is correct or not, sorry.  Attaching those tongue and groove boards to another support board that is attached to the sides of the cabinet allowing for me to raise it up high enough to hide the casters.  Are you saying I don't need locking castors? 

My concern is movement when I am chopping or kneeding bread dough on it.  I plan on a butcher block top that is 1.5" thick plus allowing for my actual chopping butcher block which is also 1.5" thick.  I won't be cutting on the permanent block to preserve it.

Thanks for helping me to understand my needs.

Thanks again Jay, you are always so helpful.  I like all your thoughts here but think I will start with just using smaller swivel casters.  The little island will have to be set against the window wall when not in use but will also have to be moved so I can get into the dishwasher or the pantry.  The kitchen is a galley 11' long by 8' wide with a window taking at least 2/3 of the wall up with no ability to use the wall for anything except maybe a clock above it.  The window sill blocks the opening of the 12" cabinet connected to the wall and also the pantry door opposite the 12" cabinet, lol.  The pantry is 30" wide but the entry door is only 15" wide. 

This house has the worst in kitchen planning I have ever seen so we've done a few things to fix it.  Eventually we will build all new cabinets but for now adding the pullout drawers in the bottom cupboards and moving the pots and pans to the top wall cabinets has really helped.  We also removed a useless tall bar/counter without any storage odd thing I couldn't see over and replaced it with the 48" cabinets with counter and turned it into an L.  This provided more bottom storage (I cook fresh) for all my single ingredients and helps to keep a counter clear for me to do prep work on.  I am sure my husband is happy he doesn't have to listen to me complain much anymore, lol. 

I am currently using a small wobbly four shelf made of white plastic covered wire with my cutting board on top of that, I store onions, potatoes and garlic in this shelf with plenty of air flow.  I have to put it against the cabinets to keep it from wobbling too much and it isn't much space so I put all my veggies I am cutting on the counter top and use my small cutting board, lol.   This new island will be a real blessing but definitely need to be easily moved around in the small floor space available.

I did some more searching for casters last night and found some from this website that I think might work.  Thanks to someone posting somewhere here on Kreg forum about casters.  Thanks whoever you were.

These 2 3/8"  double wheel casters  that attach to the inside corners look to be much better than the other corner attaching casters.  These hold 100 pounds per caster so that should be plenty for my small cabinet or I could add other casters to it for more support, the price is reasonable.

http://shop.servicecaster.com/inside-corner-mount-Caster-p/psf60223...

Then there are these Low Profile 2" casters that are also dual wheeled with 180 lbs per caster support weight.

http://shop.servicecaster.com/dual-wheel-low-profile-caster-p/c0020...

Thanks again Jay!

Jay Boutwell said:

Thank you Suzy,  casters with brakes are always a problem if you are trying to hide the casters.  There are a few that have the toe operated brake however not always easy to operate and some slide about easily especially on a polished floor.  What I would do in this situation is one of two things:   1.  not use swivel casters and add casters that are fixed and position them so that they are 90 degrees to the direction of the most often motion.  This would most likely be pointing them towards the ends.  You can still turn the unit but takes more room.  2. The better method is use two swivel and two fixed casters and make a set of low profile chalks made of 3/8 " thick hardwood  ( thickness that will just slide under the units bottom) of which a beveled taper is made.  Place them in front of and rear of the swivel casters thus locking the unit in place until you plan on moving it.  You can attach them together with a short section of cord to make it easy to move them when you are wanting to move the unit.  I have found that casters move and anything with them under it will walk around due to vibrations with in the house as well a anyone walking by and even lightly touch the unit.  The amount of movement is of course depend on the amount of applied pushing, and the weight of the unit.  In my shop I have some moveable benches and large tools on wheels and although they have locking casters it is seldom that I lock them when I am using them and I do not have problems of them moving.  What I am saying is that unless you are very aggressive in kneeding the dough I do not think you will have too much problem with moving.  The chopping is a downward pressure so it should also not be a problem.

There is a solution also by making a custom set of locking wheels in which you alter the frame of the wheel by drilling a hole through it and threading it and using a pointed bolt of which you tread into the tire by making the bolt long enough to go from the inside of the floor of the cabinet.  Manufacture a knob to make it easier to turn by hand.  This might involve welding a nut to the caster frame but it is a minor welding job.  I built a large router cabinet about 10 years ago for a door company of which they needed to be portable.  It was a must to be able to lock the wheels and the supplied brakes on the wheels would not hold.  They were pushing a lot of 6 and 8 quarter lumber past a large router bit.  This is how I solved that problem.  Like I always say, "if there is a will then there is a will."

You could also use some threaded inserts in the bottom of the cabinet.  In the cabinet thread down some long threaded rod.  On the floor end of the rod attach something like a crutch tip.  Make the rod long enough to reach the floor and  bend over the rod to make yourself a handle in which to turn the rod up and down.  In this case if you made four in the cabinet bottom you could actually use them to jack the cabinet up off the floor.  The crutch tips are soft enough to grip the floor using the weight of the cabinet and should stop any movement.  This is a lot simpler that the above method and would be the method I would most likely use.

Something to keep in mind also is that the larger the wheel dia the easier it is to move so stay with the smaller wheel that will support the weight even if you have to add more wheels. 

You are on the correct on your assembly methods.  Have a good day.
 

The rollers worked very well but I used more than just one on each corner. I spread 6 around the base of the drawer. When I finish the next set, I may post some pictures.

Suzy said:

No these are the ball casters I am thinking of, see the space between the ball caster and the metal is almost nil so I have concern that something as simple as a potato peel will get stuck inside it.  Those rollers are kinda neat, how did those work out for you?

http://www.rockler.com/ball-wheel-caster-with-swivel-plate-non-lock...

It's important to select a "wheel type" that is suitable for the type of floor that it will be traveling on.

Small diameter and narrow wheels, when loaded, can leave depressions in the flooring material.

Thanks Ken, that's the problem not knowing what I actually need for my not so good floors I have now.  The vinyl tiles are original to the house built in 1998 and were not taken care of at all.  I can't get them clean because the damage is what makes them look dirty all the time.  It told my husband a few times there is no satisfaction in cleaning those floors because they don't look clean, lol.  I could say I don't care what happens but at the same time I wouldn't want them to look worse than they already do. 

Ken Darga said:

It's important to select a "wheel type" that is suitable for the type of floor that it will be traveling on.

Small diameter and narrow wheels, when loaded, can leave depressions in the flooring material.

I decided on the low profile dual wheel 2" casters.  The overall height is just under 3".  I called the company and told them what I was doing and the salesman said those casters are middle of the line quality and should have no damage to my floors.  This is the deal, my floors are trashed from the prior owners and renters not taking care of them so I figure I can try out these casters and if I have any problems I know I have to go another direction.  I got four and there will be no locks, another part I might regret but I am hoping the overall weight of the island will make it a non issue as Jay has mentioned.

Now on to another part of the island design, the top.

I have decided I would like to have butcher block but we decided not to make it because we don't have all the tools necessary to make it properly.  The local wood shop will charge too much money to plane the final piece and will only allow 14" total width which means we then have a bit more sanding to do after we put together two pieces to make a top that is only about 17" wide.

We decided on a company called "Forever Joint" and they have great pricing and looks like a fantastic product.  I won't be cutting on the tops of either one of my projects, not only are we building an island but we are also building a small cabinet for a small coffee bar on a 24" wall.  For this reason I haven't decided fully on what I want for a top with my choices being Hard Rock Maple or Walnut.  I like darker wood, all of my furniture is dark stained except my dining table, it's oak and an old pull draw leaf style so I just wonder if I do the tops the same as the furniture that is dark if I am over doing my dark wood in the house, lol.  I guess I love how a thick dark wood top looks on a cabinet.  The hard rock maple tops he makes are two toned and I am not so sure I like that as much as I do the two toned Walnut.

So, what are your likes and dislikes?  Just want to bounce off of others.

Forever Joint

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