Casters consist of more than just a wheel. While available in different types — plate, stem, rigid, etc. — they all feature a housing frame. Within this frame is a part called a fork. The fork is an important part of a caster. It helps to hold the wheel in place while helping to complete the frame in the process. What is a caster fork exactly, and how does it work?
What Is a Caster Fork?
Casters don’t contain actual “eating utensil” forks. Rather, they feature a two-pronged metal part that supports an axle. This part is known as a “fork” because it features prongs similar to those of an actual fork.
The fork is essentially a U-shaped frame. It features two prongs that extend over the sides of the wheel. At the top of the fork is a mounting assembly. Some casters are mounted with a threaded stem, whereas others are mounted with a plate. Regardless, the mountain assembly is found at the top of the fork.
How Caster Forks Work
When inspecting a typical caster fork, you may notice that it features a hole at the end of each prong. Forks have two prongs, and each prong extends over one side of the wheel. They aren’t solid throughout, however. At the end of each prong is a hole.
The holes in the fork prongs are designed to accommodate an axle. Most casters contain a fork, axle and wheel. The fork is a U-shaped frame. A rod-like axle is placed through the ends of the fork’s prongs. A wheel is then placed on the axle. With these parts, the caster will be able to roll. The fork provides the frame needed to support the axle and wheel.
Why Casters Need a Fork
Without a fork, there won’t be a frame to support the caster’s wheel. Casters are undriven wheels in a housing frame. You can find casters in different styles, but they all feature some kind of housing frame. The fork serves as this frame. It’s a metal U-shaped frame with a pair of prongs. The fork will hold an axle, which in turn supports the caster’s wheel.
The fork is one of the most important parts of a caster. Consisting of a U-shaped frame, it supports the axle and wheel. An axle is placed through the ends of the prongs, after which a wheel is placed on the axle.