I wanted to build a new platform for our drummer and thought something metal would be really cool on our stage but would be able to move anywhere on the stage with just one person.
The parameters of design:
Sturdy enough for a drum set and drummer without shaking
Able to move around our 100'x50' stage with ease
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Step 1: Planning
Maybe I just like using Autodesk too much, but most of my projects begin with designing in 3d cad a basic concept.
Make a plan, and start to build it, sure enough you'll run into a few problems and will have to change your plans on the go. Thats not a knock on your design skills, just a chance to go from purely engineer to engineer-builder. if you plan on becoming an engineer or designer anyone who builds your designs will greatly appreciate you taking the time to make whatever it is your designing that way you'll be able to sort out all of the issues and bugs before handing it off to someone else to figure out.
Step 2: Cutting and Assembly
Cut your pieces out (a harbor freight band saw is a great investment for this project, we had to cut 72 pieces out on 45* angles just for the cross bracing alone) and build a jig to hold the cross bracing in place that way you can be sure everything will be exactly the same. Building a jig is very important for something that a lot of people will be looking right at, I wouldn't want to put my name on something that was uneven and not spaced properly, but I'm quite happy with this platform. I've actually built two of them exactly the same and both needed to be identical because they sit only 20' apart.
Magnets are your best friend with metal framing work, be sure to have a few around and make use of them. Measure from corner to corner when welding the square together to check and make sure your frame is square.
When laying out your supports be sure that your plywood will break on center properly.
I used 4" wide 1/4" flat bar and cut it into squares then welded them to each corner of the frame along with a drop leg and plate in the center to use to mount the casters to.
Step 3: Decking and Finishing
Add your decking, we used 1 1/8" T&G plywood and then put 3/4" rubber stall matts on top of that followed by an angle iron ring around the entire platform to finish off the edge.
The mic cables run to a snake that runs to my plugs on the stage. that left me with a single cable that has about 30' coiled up so I can move the platform wherever I want on stage without ever having to unplug a single cable. Even on carpet the platform rolls easily with just one person. It stays completely still with no vibrations or movement when the drummer gets on or is playing. Although I tried it on a hard floor first and it rolled all over the place. If you are going to be on a surface without carpet you will need to get locking casters.