Hot metal fans: Ludlow cabinet wheels?

Limited space in the shop & am considering adding wheels to the feet of Ludlow mat cabinets. Has anyone done this? What was your experience? Any recommended sizes, brands, construction, etc.? Thank you.

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I’d take weight into consideration. These cabinets are a lot heavier than they look. The weights published by Dave Seat at:

are 296 pounds for an angle-top cabinet and 610 pounds for a (grey) Universal. Those are *empty* weights, before you fill them up with brass!

I have an angle-top cabinet that I keep on a 1000 lb capacity furniture dolly, and it really does not work very well at all. If I were to re-do it, I’d consider a mobile base designed for machinery, such as (without implying any endorsement - I haven’t used this particular one):

David M.

I have 3 of my 13 Ludlow cabinets on casters. What I’ve done is cut the legs off to the length that will keep it the original height with the casters. I get the right-angle caster brackets that are for the stem-type casters from Grainger. Get the ones that fasten to the inside of the leg not the outside. Take my word on this. All that’s required for tools is a hand hacksaw and a 5/16” clearance drill. I haven’t had any problems and my cabinets are loaded.

If you’re putting casters on a grey universal cabinet you’ll need a caster with a flange. I used old piano casters on mine. A little more work to install as you have to use a hole saw to bore a hole for the stem.

My shop is tight on space, just about everything i own has wheels except for my presses and ludlow cabinets. I even picked up 3 galley racks with wheels on them, once full of type i can hardly move them, i think ludlow cabinets with wheels would be hard to move also. When i feel the need to put wheels on my ludlow cabinets i might think about an addition to the building.

Thanks for all the suggestions and observations. I really do appreciate them. John Horn tells me he has some wheels on a few cabinets for me to see so I’m looking forward to seeing those. I appreciate everyone’s feedback. Thanks, again.

John Horn had the answer I liked best. In the end, I bought four, 300-pound-tolerance (3” wheel) steel casters from Tractor Supply locally. Cut three pieces each of 3/4 plywood squares & glued & clamped them together into a giant sandwich. Affixed the casters so they would line up with the legs above of the cabinets. Took about four hours each day across two days. John cautions me the wheels only roll on flat smooth surfaces & he’s right. His didn’t have glue between the wood & roll fine, too.

If you get castors with soft wheels, you’ll be able to roll over bumps, cracks, and stuff on the floor. I have ‘em on the bottom of my saw, jointer, and other heavy bits of cast iron.

Bigger diameter wheels also roll easier.

Look up McMaster-Carr. They have pages of castors, with useful specs, like capacity. If your cabinet weighs 1000 pounds and you aim to use 4 castors, you’ll probably want each castor to be good for 300 pounds or so.


If you have a smooth concrete floor steel casters are best; a wooden floor use hard rubber. With the weight you will have on them I wouldn’t recommend soft wheels of any kind, they will become flat-sided and be impossible to roll.


This is the kind of co-operation which is wonderful, made possible by Briar Press. Perhaps follow-up reports on the success of the venture, after a month and 3 months, would be useful?


I can give a follow-up on my method right now. I’ve been moving my loaded cabinets around for 10 years on phenolic casters and haven’t had one ounce of problems. I can spin them 360 degrees with one hand and slide them in and out of tight spaces most people would consider impossible. In fact, I’m going to modify a half-dozen more the same way this Winter. And what I like about my method is they are still the same height as original.

Regarding soft castors, I got a few sets of these ( years ago and they’ve served me well.