Reply by CaptainKlutz

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Posted on Plywood joints

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2251 posts in 2102 days

#1 posted 12-03-2018 05:06 PM

Most any strong joint will work for rolling plywood cabinet.

Sound/Stage crews used to use painted cabinets with pocket screws on butt joints, protected with external edge guard to prevent breaking corners. Heavy duty rolling amplifier or tall rack mount equipment cabinets usually get 1×1 corner bracing glued/screwed in to reinforce corners. Built hundreds of sound stage cabinets over years. These days, blow molded HDPE has replaced plwood to deal with abuse.

Spline reinforced miter or lap miter joint would be my recommendation for cabinet that is supposed to appear more like furniture in church. Add some decorative brass plated steel corner guards too.

One challenge is using wheels combined with tall 6’ height.
If any substantial weight is inside the cabinet, it will attempt to bend/rack from top to bottom as it gets pushed around. Will need to have couple of permanent bonded shelves inside to eliminate the tendency to rack.

Will need to reinforce the caster mounting, as the smallish metal plates on plate casters will punch right through plywood if they get rolled down a set of stairs with only 7-8 inch drop. Either use double thick bottom plate, or add 6×6 hardwood plate between caster and bottom of cabinet to spread out forces. On 300+lb amplifier cabinets we used to use 1/4” steel plate for reinforcement. Don’t skimp and buy cheap plastic casters, get decent urethane wheeled version with weight rating at least 1.5x what cabinet is supposed to carry.

This may seem intuitive, but is often missed when designing tall rolling cabinets.
How best to ‘grab’ 2 foot x 2 foot cabinet to move it?
You can’t get your arms around it. hehe
Most professional rolling cabinets will use a flush mounted drop handles. If you mortise the large versions in 3/4 plywood, need to double up thickness behind handle. Not uncommon to mount a external wooden plate on side with mortise handle mounted into plate – ugly but it works.
If dust & dirt inside is not of concern, add some simple oval holes for hand grab in back corners.

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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