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My Custom Sound and Follow Cart


ryanpeds
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I've been recently inspired by all of the sound carts and follow carts on here so I finally got started ordering and building. For the main cart I order a custom rack rack case, but that won't be ready for awhile so I started on the follow cart. I was originally going to buy a cart from somewhere and mod it but I have a lot of extra time right now so I figured I would just build a custom one that better suits my needs.

Went with a metal frame because it is much easier to weld and a lot cheaper than aluminum. Weight isn't much of a factor for me. Got the main frame welded together and now working on a "jockey box" and a handle. I'm going to build custom wood drawers that will sit on the left side of the cart. Will post more pics as I make progress.

image1.JPG

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I think Ryan has decided to not dwell on weight and has opted to work with the materials he is comfortable working with. I know the feeling --- I have had to do all sorts of things when building my soundcarts that are not exactly what I would like to do but they are the things I am able to do on my own. Weight IS a big consideration, for me, so that even though I am quite good at wood work I would never choose to build wooden drawers. Ryan has said: "I'm going to build custom wood drawers" --- this would not be an option for me. Manufactured and purchased aluminum drawers for all my cart building.

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weight, size, ability to dismantle into manageable parts and robustness of structure when erected - is all important to me. I started with wooden shelves and a drawer (all made of great old teak wood and hand varnished) - all looked great, but two years ago, after some solid sweat and toil, went totally aluminium. Worth the weight loss. Looks great - fully jet black - modern and stealth mode... heh. 

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I should clarify on the weight is not a factor. I meant that the weight difference between the steel I chose to use and aluminum is great enough to warrant the extra cost and effort that goes into working with aluminum. Plus the type of work I do when I have a follow cart and a main cart is such that two people can easily move either together. I did try to keep the frame as light as possible because I don't want to have to lift a frame that is 500 lbs. This frame by itself I can lift off the ground quite easily. And I figure that once you get all of your gear and cables loaded onto the cart, an extra 20-30 lbs isn't too bad to just weld with steel.

Jeff, I am lucky enough to have a couple very skilled carpenters at the studio that I work at that can help me the wood drawers. I don't think that I could build them on my own either.

Thanks for the confidence in my welding. I am currently not a great welder, just starting out but I am a good grinder. I have an excellent teacher for the welding skills as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got some more finished this week. Built a custom wood cabinet with 5 drawers on the one side. The back side will have a jockey box in the top and the lower area will be for plugging the cart into power. Built out of 3/4" Maple Plywood and the drawers are 1/2" baltic birch. The drawer fronts will be installed after paint.  Got the blimp holders, which idea I got from this forum (I believe R Sharman). Next week everything will get a nice coat of hammerlite paint. Cart_4.thumb.JPG.233898d40241fc890d3dc2cCart_5.thumb.JPG.470722d513c4217411c0dc9Cart_7.thumb.JPG.1e201d33e1ea568f267102e

 

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First off, very cool. I love following a good cart building thread. Especially when it's DIY.

Not to be a backseat driver here but are you worried at all about the bolt head on the inside of the blimp holder causing unnecessary wear and tear?

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First off, very cool. I love following a good cart building thread. Especially when it's DIY.

Not to be a backseat driver here but are you worried at all about the bolt head on the inside of the blimp holder causing unnecessary wear and tear?

I'm going to see if it catches at all and if it does I was going to glue some felt over it

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I am a big fan of wood....  I have a friend who is commissioned to complete a similar cabinet for me, as soon as he gets "less busy".
We plan to use this stuff he's found  -   Phenolic coated plywood.  It is a plastic coated product.  Of course seams and joints will need treatment, but it's a start in the fight against humidity - which is a big thing in these here parts.  

LOVE the cabinet and the cart - especiall the handle...  great design

MF

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A friend has started to build his kitchen using a black Phenolic coated plywood and hand milled timber, i believe a local gum, It is looking good. In nice mix between new age industrial and classic country. 

Ryan looking at the progression of your project really makes me wish I had the jobs to justify building a follow cart like this.  

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I am a big fan of wood....  I have a friend who is commissioned to complete a similar cabinet for me, as soon as he gets "less busy".
We plan to use this stuff he's found  -   Phenolic coated plywood.  It is a plastic coated product.  Of course seams and joints will need treatment, but it's a start in the fight against humidity - which is a big thing in these here parts.  

LOVE the cabinet and the cart - especiall the handle...  great design

MF

I'm going to be painting with a special paint called hammerite. Its a very tough paint coating.

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Here are some more pics. I am almost done with the follow cart. Have to add the drawer fronts and pulls, have to add the wiring and plugs, put the base in for the one side and make a few accessory pieces for the top. The main cart should be finished and ready for pickup this week or next. The custom rack panel came today that will be mounted on the back of the main cart.Cart_in_Paint.thumb.JPG.c4c5a8a933613b78

Cart_Rack_Panel.thumb.JPG.27a106f84f2847Cart_Almost_Done.thumb.JPG.2f444d20662a9

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The Follow Cart is looking great! You did the painting yourself, right? I hope the Hammerite paint is as durable as powder coating. The patch panel, wow! I don't think I have ever seen that big a panel for a production sound cart --- looks more like it is suited for a fixed installation in a studio --- that's a a whole lot of I / O.

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What is the name of that carpet type stuff you have used and where did you find it??

Matt, I'll ask our shop guys on Monday about what type of carpet that is. It was just some extra stuff laying around.

The Follow Cart is looking great! You did the painting yourself, right? I hope the Hammerite paint is as durable as powder coating. The patch panel, wow! I don't think I have ever seen that big a panel for a production sound cart --- looks more like it is suited for a fixed installation in a studio --- that's a a whole lot of I / O.

We don't want to have to ever dig through the back of the cart to patch stuff or have access to cabling. Also the sonosax mixer has a lot of DB-25s and this allows us to break them out to XLR.

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