Introduction: Add Wheels (Casters) to Your Drum Rack
After many weeks of my wife complaining about how hard it is to move my electronic drum rack out of the way, and constantly having to straighten out the legs after she drags it across the floor, I got fed up and went on a mission. I decided to add a pair of wheels to one side of the rack so that we could lift one end of the rack up and roll it around, similar to moving a wheelbarrow.
My only stipulations were that the wheels could not touch the ground when playing and that I did not have to drill my drum rack at all. It was surprisingly easy, and everything was available at Lowes for less than $20! The entire process took less than an hour, and if I had to do it again, would take about 20 minutes.
These wheels were installed on a Roland MDS-6SL+ electronic drum rack, but should work for any drum rack utilizing standard round 1-1/4" tube.
Step 1: Parts & Tools List
These are the item numbers and prices for everything I bought from Lowe's. Pricing and availability may vary.
297208 1/4 x 1 x 10 blk sponge (weatherstripping) - $4.58
169308 2" HD ridgid caster - 2 @ $2.98 each
22249 1/4 x 3/4 x 2-1/2 U-Bolt - 4 @ $0.99 each
315711 Stan 3" ZN Mend Brc 4pk (flat brackets) - $2.97
Total cost: $17.47
11mm or 7/16in deep well socket and appropriate ratchet
Cutting tool (scissors, utility blade, knife, razor, etc.)
Step 2: Apply Weatherstrip/Foam
The first thing to do is decide which side will be easier for you to get a good grip on and roll around. You do not want to have pads, cymbal arms, etc. in the way of your hand/arm/face when rolling around your kit.
Once you have decided which leg the wheels will be placed on, get your rubbing alcohol out and clean the area where the wheels will be installed. This will help make for a clean surface to stick the weatherstripping to. You are using the weatherstrip to help prevent the finish of your kit from getting scratched/gouged, and also to keep the caster from slipping around the tube.
Unroll some weatherstrip and, with the backing still on, wrap it around the leg where you will attach the wheel. Mark with your finger or pen where you need to cut the foam so that it wraps all the way around. Cut your foam, peel off the backing, and apply it to the leg. Try not to pull too hard on the foam when you are wrapping it around. It will stretch out and overlap. Once you have applied the first piece, measure and cut another piece and apply it next to the first one. Go to the other side of the leg, and repeat the process.
Step 3: Bolt on the Casters
1. Unscrew the nuts from the u-bolts and remove the flat piece of metal that is included with the U-bolts - it will not be needed.
2. Get a caster and insert each end of a u-bolt through the top two holes. Take one of the flat metal brackets and hang it from the end of the u-bolt. Screw a nut onto the end of the u-bolt to keep the flat bracket from falling off. Just one or two full turns of the nut is all you need to do right now.
3. Get another u-bolt and insert it through the bottom two holes. Place the caster against the foam leg, ensuring that the flat bracket is hanging down from the opposite side of the caster. Insert the end of the bottom u-bolt through the bottom of the flat bracket. This will be a tight fit - you will have to push against the caster and u-bolt to get the foam to compress enough to get the u-bolt inserted into the bottom hole of the bracket and get a nut started.
4. Once you get the bottom nut started, hang another flat bracket from on the other side and lightly bolt it on, top and bottom. Once you do this, the caster should be snug. Now, you need to adjust the caster so that the wheel is just barely off the floor (less than 1/4"). You can then tighten up each bolt in a criss-cross fashion, a couple of turns at a time, until you feel like the caster will not rotate around when weight is applied to it. It is likely that the position of the caster will change, so keep an eye on this and make any necessary adjustments as you tighten the nuts down. This will be by feel - I do not have a torque specification at this time. Just be cautious not to tighten it so much that it bends/warps the tube. You may have to tighten the nuts some more after you do some testing.
5. Repeat the process for the other side of the leg.
Step 4: Finish and Test
That's it! A few things to bear in mind:
- Make sure the leg clamp is very secure, or else the leg itself will rotate around in the clamp.
- Check the position of the wheels after you roll your rack around a couple of times to make sure they aren't slipping.
- Be mindful of small children and animals that may be in your path of rolling-drum-rack destruction!
- Bask in your glory as your significant other dolts affection upon you for making their (and, consequently, your) life better.