wheel mounting on play structure mounting questions?

Hello everyone;
THis is not your normal repair question but it seems to fit in this group most appropriately!
I am building a play structure for my grandchildren that is 8' x 6' with a 4' tapered extention constructed of a 1x2 frame with 1/2" plywood flooring and 1/2" plywood siding with 1x2 side frames (its a short term pirate ship playhouse). So far its coming along just fine. However, not wanting to leave it sitting in the same location between their visits I want to mount 8" lawn mower wheels on the bottom. I purchased 6 of them and 3" lag bolts but I can't come up with a good mounting scheme (I am certainly not an engineer).
Therefore I was hoping someone could suggest some effective mounting ideas that would allow me to roll this structure with some maneuverability to move it next to my shed or to another part of the yard when the tikes go home.
Any ideas greatly appreciated. Thanks all!
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Two thoughts come to mind. I built a block cart for my kid's blocks many years ago (cart is still being used by grandchildren). It had a 1/2" plywood base. I simply got some industrial grade casters and screwed them on to the bottom. Fairly large wheels -- maybe 1 1/2" diameter. You might want to go larger in your case.
Also, somewhat later, we made a "go cart" of wood. For wheels, I used lawnmower wheels. However, I used large (1/2") long machine bolts. To secure them to the base, I used a pair of "U" bolts to clamp the bolts to the 2x4s that were the axles. I cut a small groove in the 2x4 to reduce "wiggle," and the "U" bolts retained the mounting bolts in the groove. I used some 1/2" washers to space out the wheel from the end of the 2x4. The "go cart" generated a sufficient number of scrapes and bruises....
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bobmct wrote:

Must be pretty heavy... :)
Lags ain't it... :)
Somebody else mentioned the obvious of industrial casters underneath, instead of the lawnmower-style wheels, but you might not like the added height, I don't know. If that isn't a problem, might consider taking these wheels back and trading them in on the casters with four of the six swiveling type to go on the ends for maneuverability.
To mount these wheels two basic choices -- use long rod underneath as an axle or variations on a theme, or make a mounting block in the corners solid enough to support a bolt through. Shoulder bolts are made for the purpose to allow for a nut to tighten against and still not stop the wheel from rotating. More difficult to design in a swivel to give you the maneuvering, though...
Another approach--Do you have a riding lawnmower/tractor w/ a provision to pull a light trailer/spreader/etc.? If so, you could build a hitch into the structure, mount two of your wheels in the more or less middle, and a couple smaller bumper/outrigger casters on the rear and move it that way, perhaps...
--
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wrote:
-snip-

I think you're too heavy for castors on a lawn. I'd tend to go for a bicycle wheel cart that stores in the garage until you need to move the ship-- or some other awkwardly huge thing.<g>
For a bunch of designs look at ebay for 'canoe cart'.
My kids couldn't 'see' the 1950's plywood runabout as *their* boat until it was off the trailer -- grass can be water, but boats don't have wheels.
Jim
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bobmct wrote:

I had the same concerns when I helped my then 14 year old son build a skateboard ramp six summers ago.
I solved the problem with a couple of pieces of 2x4 sticking out of one end and a couple of wheels off my departed mom's old grogery cart. For an axle, I used a piece of steel rod the right diameter to fit the wheel bores. The rod was a little too thin to keep from bending if a kid stood on its center section, so I slipped a piece of 1/2" galvanized water pipe over it.
The wheel height was set so that they were about an inch off the ground when the ramp was sitting on a flat surface.
the system shows up pretty well on some of the later photos on this page:
http://home.comcast.net/%7Ejwisnia18/ben/qpipe.html
HTH, and thanks for the mammaries.
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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