LumberJocks

All Replies on What do you think about Shop machines and benches on casters?

  • Advertise with us
View AM420's profile

What do you think about Shop machines and benches on casters?

by AM420
posted 02-02-2018 10:10 PM


38 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 4183 days


#1 posted 02-02-2018 10:35 PM

It depends on the weight of the machine and
the forces applied when feeding work to it.
I don’t much recommend putting something
like a table saw or band saw on non-locking
casters, but if the machine is heavy enough
it can work. My current band saw is on a cabinet
with non-locking casters and I haven’t had problems.
That said, the cabinet is full of wood drawers,
steel tools and screws. The band saw also
adds about 200lbs of weight.

I used various mobile bases for many years
but I’ve been getting heavier and heavier machinery
and these days many of them are on plywood
stands for a pallet jack. When you put a machine
over 600 lbs. on casters it becomes pretty hard
to push it around from the weight alone.

In terms of a work bench on wheels… if you
work with hand planes you may find the wheels
are an annoyance.

View ChuckC's profile

ChuckC

844 posts in 3470 days


#2 posted 02-02-2018 11:16 PM

Everything in my shop is on casters, minus the bench. The casters aren’t even that great (bought from Lowe’s) and I’m not having issues. I know Rockler sells better casters though.

View BlasterStumps's profile (online now)

BlasterStumps

1444 posts in 974 days


#3 posted 02-02-2018 11:55 PM

I work in one side of a two car garage. I have several pieces of shop equipment on casters. Not having problems with the casters. Even my workbench is on casters that can be positioned with a cam lever to let the bench completely down on the floor when I need it to sit tight. Otherwise, I can move the cam levers and the casters take the weight again. My assembly table also is on casters with locks. One large tool that I don’t have on casters is my radial arm saw. I don’t like to move it around. It takes the most time to get set up correctly. Having things on casters sure makes moving things around to clean my shop a lot easier.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

View BuffaloBrewer's profile

BuffaloBrewer

73 posts in 1353 days


#4 posted 02-03-2018 12:20 AM

i have the rockler workbench casters on my workbench. they allow the bench to sit on the floor when not engaged and are a bit of a pain to engage, but that is a minor inconvenience to me. I did see some pivoting casters on a new yankee workshop video that looked pretty interesting also.

View becikeja's profile

becikeja

1019 posts in 3348 days


#5 posted 02-03-2018 01:03 AM

All of my larger tools are on mobile bases. The ability to move them into position to handle a larger board or move them out of the way to provide more assembly area is priceless.

One caution. DO NOT USE ShopFox mobile bases. You will be very disappointed. These bases are a safety hazard. Read my review for details: http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/8906

Don’t believe me, google it. You will find many more with the same experience.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

1243 posts in 2530 days


#6 posted 02-03-2018 01:07 AM

+1 for the rockler workbench casters…expensive but worth it. You can put them on basically any machine.

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7499 posts in 2734 days


#7 posted 02-03-2018 01:17 AM

Be careful with the Rockler lifting casters (as well as the Powertec clones)... they are not rated for much weight (100lbs IIRC), so keep that in mind. I made my own that could handle a lot more just for that reason. If you decide to go with swivel casters and are concerned about movement, look for double locking casters that lock the swivel as well as wheel.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

2249 posts in 2564 days


#8 posted 02-03-2018 01:23 AM

Every machine in my 2 car garage is on mobile base or pallet stands for my pallet jack. I like to pull everything possible out every season to either clean up or move things around, which happens frequently.
To date… I have:
1.) 15” jet planer on pallet stand
2.) 8” long bed jointer on mobile stand
3.) bosch 4100 on gravity stand
4.) powermatic 66 on pallet stand
5.) unisaw on pallet stand
6.) clone 14” bandsaw on mobile stand
7.) 10” drill press cart on mobile stand
8.) combo sander on mobile stand
9.) lumber cart on mobile stand
10.) rockwell lathe…. eh? what? no wheels or on a stand. I better fix that!

But as you can see… putting machines on a moveable platform in a small work space is nearly mandatory. I really like the pallet stand to be used with my mini pallet jack for the sole purpose that it’s 100% stable with no locking levers sticking out to be tripped over.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View PlanBWoodworks's profile

PlanBWoodworks

168 posts in 1017 days


#9 posted 02-03-2018 01:27 AM

All of my “stationary” tools (table saw, band saw, planer, jointer and even the miter saw cabinet) are on casters. I have no issues with any of them. The only casters that I ever lock are on the jointer. The ability to easily move your tools around when you are in a confined space is well worth any issues they might raise.

-- Why can’t I ever find my pencil???

View BFamous's profile

BFamous

322 posts in 656 days


#10 posted 02-03-2018 01:42 AM

Every piece of heavy equipment I own is on some form of caster system. I have a two flip top carts on the rockler workbench casters, my delta table saw has a built in mobile base. My bandsaw and drill press are both on a portamate bases, with cabinets on top of the base. And I have a homemade drum sander on non locking casters (plan on switching those for locking ones “soon”).

And I love having them this way. With the nice weather we have here in NC I rarely ever have to actually work in my garage because I can roll everything into the driveway. Which means I don’t have to worry about as much sawdust in my garage. In fact, a lot of times my “cleanup” involves just using the leaf blower to blow off the driveway and all of the dust and chips just end up in the natural area along our house.

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC :: http://www.FamousArtisan.com

View Ripper70's profile

Ripper70

1341 posts in 1443 days


#11 posted 02-03-2018 01:59 AM

I’ve gotten locking casters from HD that work well on several of my tools including my tables saw/cabinet and jointer on a stand. Very sturdy and roll smoothly. Not cheap, but worth the extra dough. I think the key is to get casters that lock the swivel as well as the wheel. They offer 3” and 4” versions.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View AM420's profile

AM420

227 posts in 918 days


#12 posted 02-03-2018 02:00 AM

Thanks for all the info. Sounds like casters aren’t bad to use at all. I haven’t heard of double locking casters. I’ll hsve to check those out.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5974 posts in 2944 days


#13 posted 02-03-2018 04:34 AM

As an alternative to 4 casters for a not unreasonable amount of weight you could use two straight wheels and two legs on opposite side. When needing to move lift up on the leg ends and slip a dolly underneath then let back down. The dolly then becomes a mobile base allowing you to move the object and place back on solid ground.

While I do not use this set up in my shop I have made cabinets for others using this idea. My wife likes to have her cat house close to the door in winter and this set up works well for her to be able to move it by herself.

For heavier loads this is not practical but for say a benchtop planer with a cabinet underneath this works well.

Just an idea, like others it has pro’s and con’s. Use what works best for you, experiment some.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

926 posts in 2119 days


#14 posted 02-03-2018 04:57 AM

I have mobile bases on everything except my work bench.

Many of mine are the HTC brand, mostly from Amazon. My Unisaw has its original Delta mobile base. My Dewalt 735 planer is on the matching Dewalt mobile base. My scroll saw is on a steel mobile cart from Sam’s Club.

I too move a few things onto the driveway when it is a better place to work. I don’t move things all the time, though, because I don’t ever have to deal with a car in my shop.

I cannot imagine ever not having these mobile options. Yet, I never think about them when the shop and its tools are in use. There is no negative effect that i can detect. Every once in a while, I just rearrange things and see if it doesn’t seem like a better layout.
.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View WoodES's profile

WoodES

152 posts in 2226 days


#15 posted 02-03-2018 07:08 AM

All of my tools are on casters or mobile bases. Only exception is the dust collector, but that has the piping to the tools, so mobility isn’t required. Everything is locking casters to allow the tool to be fixed in position.

In my previous shop (two car garage) I made a rolling work table that was designed as somewhat of a swiss army knife. It had a small dust collector mounted on the under side. Served as an outfeed table for the table saw. The table had a pull out shelf that supported a bench top jointer and the chop saw (including extensions). Using T-tracks on the top surface, I mounted the bench top planner. It had storage, a vice mounted to one end and was very versatile tool. It was about 42” x 7’ in size. The T-tracks were also used to hold down a variety of implements.

For the new shop, the benches are fixed, but I left the underside open and have built carts that have various drawer sizes for the tools. The cart pull like one big drawer (carts have wells in the top for the quick access items), then access to the drawers. As this shop is dedicated space I can get away with this system.

One significant advantage, moblitity makes it easier to pull things out to sweep out the shop.

Invest in good casters for the heavy items or rated mobile bases. I used soft casters on the rolling worktable, but they kept folding over from the weight and heavy use. I changed these to a polyurethane caster and that solved the problem.

View Dennis T.'s profile

Dennis T.

4 posts in 4237 days


#16 posted 02-03-2018 11:58 AM

Everything I have in my two car garage shop is on casters including my bench. I have only moved my bench twice in 10 years, so if I had to do it again, I probably would not put casters on the bench, but for everything else I would, as I move them often.

-- Dennis

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4229 posts in 2523 days


#17 posted 02-03-2018 12:47 PM

I also have all my tools on casters. I use the 3” double locking casters from Woodcraft. I catch them on sale and they have held up well. My shop is either plywood floor or smooth concrete.

My 15” planer is the heaviest one on casters and has been on the same casters for 10+ years. For most of tools, I have built the bases of 2×4s and mounted the casters on them. I use an engine lift to put the heavy tools on the base.

View TexasUnicorne's profile

TexasUnicorne

16 posts in 711 days


#18 posted 02-03-2018 01:10 PM

Being a newbie, I hesitate to throw my 2cents in…. But here goes- when I got to the point where I needed actual tools and benches, I never even considered not putting casters on everything. Like most others have stated, I’ve never had any problems with anything being on casters and the convenience is priceless. Having the ability to adjust ny workspace to fit the needs of the current project(s) is, quite simply, the best thing since sliced white bread.

-- *The only people who don't fail are those who don't try. ~Albert Einstein *

View mrg's profile

mrg

860 posts in 3534 days


#19 posted 02-03-2018 01:35 PM

Everything on casters but the bench. Makes for easy cleaning and rearranging.

-- mrg

View AlmostRetired's profile

AlmostRetired

220 posts in 1249 days


#20 posted 02-03-2018 02:30 PM

Almost everything is on casters….with the exception of my old fold up work table.


Now that I am in a 2 car garage instead of a 12×16 shed I have a little more room….but everything is still on them.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

4080 posts in 1922 days


#21 posted 02-03-2018 04:18 PM

I initially had a mobile base on my big ~400 lb 18” band saw but it made it too wobbly. I started looking at other options and stumbled upon commercial air sleds that use compressed air to float heavy industrial equipment around. There are some smaller versions that would work in a shop but they are expensive so I first made a small prototype with plywood and an old inner tube just to see if I could. It worked but was not very practical. I then found an air sled idea here and here by LJ silac that uses a shop vac to create a cushion of air to lift the base enough to slowly move it around. I slapped one together for my bandsaw and it works well enough for my needs. I usually just have to move my band saw a couple of feet but Initially I used this to move it 10 feet across my shop to its current position. I would want to work on it a bit if I had to move it long distance frequently but I like it a lot better than casters or a traditional mobil base. The nice thing about this approach is that when stationary, it is absolutely immobil.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

6615 posts in 2800 days


#22 posted 02-03-2018 05:04 PM

Just about everything I’ve got is on casters. Like you my shop is in the garage. In the winter I push my boat into the back of it. I Couldn’t doing anything without my stuff being mobile.

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

1147 posts in 1126 days


#23 posted 02-03-2018 05:19 PM

My heavy table saw is on a Grizzly mobile base which locks to the floor by two threaded rods. It is very stable but still in rare cases when I need to push harder for some reason, the whole construction wobbles. Ideally the rollers should roll up or somehow else be not in contact with the floor when not in use.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

2149 posts in 1138 days


#24 posted 02-03-2018 05:23 PM



Everything in my shop is on casters, minus the bench. The casters aren t even that great (bought from Lowe s) and I m not having issues. I know Rockler sells better casters though.

- ChuckC


+1 I call it “my shop”, my wife calls it “the garage” so everything is on wheels.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

7504 posts in 3903 days


#25 posted 02-03-2018 06:00 PM

I use casters from Caster City that lock both the wheels and the swivel on the caster, they do not move.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5974 posts in 2944 days


#26 posted 02-03-2018 10:05 PM


Everything in my shop is on casters, minus the bench. The casters aren t even that great (bought from Lowe s) and I m not having issues. I know Rockler sells better casters though.

- ChuckC

+1 I call it “my shop”, my wife calls it “the garage” so everything is on wheels.

- Andybb

My shop is a separate building not attached to the house, french doors only so no cars. The wife refers to it as ”the place where the magic happens.”

LOL

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Ripper70's profile

Ripper70

1341 posts in 1443 days


#27 posted 02-03-2018 10:11 PM


The wife refers to it as ”the place where the magic happens.”

LOL

- woodbutcherbynight

What exactly in tarnation are you doing in that shop, Mr. Butcher?

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View Breeze73's profile

Breeze73

102 posts in 1216 days


#28 posted 02-03-2018 11:03 PM

I use the Rockler flip down castors and I love them. They are only rated at 100lbs per side. However, I have a 430lb workbench and have put well over 100lbs of tools/material on it and have no issues. I upgraded the castors from 2” wheels to a 250lbs rated 3” wheels. It throws off the recommended mounting position, but it works fantastic for my workbench. I use the removable mounting plate as well as I can use the same castors on other cabinets/tools.

-- Breeze

View Sparks500's profile

Sparks500

255 posts in 865 days


#29 posted 02-04-2018 02:42 PM



Every machine in my 2 car garage is on mobile base or pallet stands for my pallet jack. I like to pull everything possible out every season to either clean up or move things around, which happens frequently.
To date… I have:
1.) 15” jet planer on pallet stand
2.) 8” long bed jointer on mobile stand
3.) bosch 4100 on gravity stand
4.) powermatic 66 on pallet stand
5.) unisaw on pallet stand
6.) clone 14” bandsaw on mobile stand
7.) 10” drill press cart on mobile stand
8.) combo sander on mobile stand
9.) lumber cart on mobile stand
10.) rockwell lathe…. eh? what? no wheels or on a stand. I better fix that!

But as you can see… putting machines on a moveable platform in a small work space is nearly mandatory. I really like the pallet stand to be used with my mini pallet jack for the sole purpose that it s 100% stable with no locking levers sticking out to be tripped over.

- Holbs

Pallet jack is a great idea.

-- A good day is any day that you're alive....

View Sparks500's profile

Sparks500

255 posts in 865 days


#30 posted 02-04-2018 02:47 PM

I have a basement shop and everything I have is on wheels or soon will be simply because I can’t make up my mind on how I want things arranged, and, I want flexibility for different projects

-- A good day is any day that you're alive....

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1453 posts in 3296 days


#31 posted 02-05-2018 03:09 PM

The best deal on GOOD casters is Harbor Freight. I even have my 800 lb. sliding table saw on HF casters. None are locking casters and I have no problems with any of my machines moving when working. If you are putting enough pressure on the wood when machining it to move the machine, you are doing something seriously wrong.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View moke's profile

moke

1434 posts in 3311 days


#32 posted 02-05-2018 06:48 PM

I have everything on casters…...the key is to get GOOD double lock casters…..I have a 400 lb TS….450 lb Lathe and a 600 lb planer in there. They roll ok, but changing directions is sometimes difficult. Locking casters are not the same as double lock casters. Double lock means they do not rotate after they are locked. Simple locking casters, only lock them from rolling.

-- Mike

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5763 posts in 3778 days


#33 posted 02-05-2018 08:34 PM

I’m in the process of putting everything on casters or a mobile base in my 1200sf shop.The only tools I am leaving where they are is my cabinet saw, pedestal bench grinder and floor drill press. Everything else is mobile right now except for my workbench which I will build once I get my planer back together.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5974 posts in 2944 days


#34 posted 02-06-2018 02:54 AM


The wife refers to it as ”the place where the magic happens.”

LOL

- woodbutcherbynight

What exactly in tarnation are you doing in that shop, Mr. Butcher?

- Ripper70

ROFLMAO

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View retfr8flyr's profile

retfr8flyr

386 posts in 2204 days


#35 posted 02-06-2018 04:45 AM

All of my machines are also on mobile bases. I have tried most of them and I think the Jet heavy duty bases are the best and I now have those under all my machines.

-- Earl

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

32086 posts in 3401 days


#36 posted 02-06-2018 02:47 PM

In my shop I can get by without having to move my two table saws, my lathe, my planer, and my shaper. However, It helps so much to be able to move just about every thing else so most of the rest is on casters.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

926 posts in 2119 days


#37 posted 02-06-2018 04:32 PM

Lately, I’ve been watching a buildup of crud (saw dust & pet hair) growing under my bandsaw.

Yesterday I turned the levers on its HTC mobile base to roll it aside and do a good cleaning under there. In the process I hit upon a different place and orientation for it, but it involved a shift in the placement of my jointer, which is also on one of those bases.

I think this current, new machine layout is a great improvement. Having the machines on those bases made this possible.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View BikerDad's profile

BikerDad

347 posts in 4136 days


#38 posted 02-20-2018 07:04 PM

As you can see, mobilizing your tools is a viable option. If you choose to do so, keep three things in mind.

1) Everything else being equal, larger wheels roll better. How much this will matter depends entirely upon the surfaces YOUR tools will be rolling over. This is a combination of the actual surface, and how clean you keep it. Know that it’s darned inconvenient when you’ve got something like a bandsaw moving and all the sudden it stops because the dinky little 2” wheel can’t roll over a 1/8” scraplet of Masonite. Inconvenient, at a minimum, or the bandsaw may just decide it wants to lay down and take a nap.

2) Clearance. When adopting a mobilization plan, keep in mind the clearance you’ll need while moving the tools. Not only the clearance for the tool, but also for the motive force, i.e. you. A second aspect of clearance is UNDER the tool. Most commercial mobile bases provide about a 1/2-3/4” or so of vertical lift. That’s fine across a level surface. It may not be sufficient when you want to move your tool out into the garage and find yourself high-centered. (DAMHIKT)

3) Quality. Casters vary wildly in quality. It’s my suggestion to go for double locking plate casters whenever possible.

A fourth consideration is this: When not mobile, how do you want the tool “planted”? You can do nothing, lock the casters, double lock casters, or raise/lower the tool. Each has advantages and disadvantages, and whether a tool needs to be planted or not is also variable. There’s a myriad of ways to raise/lower either the tool or the mobility solution out there.

ANY tool can be mobilized. Just because it can be, doesn’t mean it should be. My floor model drill press is not mobile, it’s simply too top heavy to make it worth doing. Yet the storage cart UNDER the drill press is mobile. My 24” bandsaw is not mobile, it’s already on the side of the shop and is simply too heavy to bother. My 9’ 500lb workbench is not mobile, whereas it’s 6’ 200lb companion is mobile. My cabinet saw, 12” j/p, 14” bandsaw, SCMS and OSS/OBS are all mobile, as is my 14” lathe, while my big lathe isn’t, yet. I also have a mobile stack of saw ponies and storage crates.

-- I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park! Grace & Peace.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com