Moving tools around

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Forum topic by William Shelley posted 02-19-2017 01:55 AM 700 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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William Shelley

609 posts in 2034 days

02-19-2017 01:55 AM

First off, I hope that everyone is not as indecisive as I am.

That being said, I’m sure that most of us will move or relocate tools and other items in our shop from time to time.

I recently had a “duh” moment: pallet jacks.

Why bother spending time and money on casters and mobile tool bases and all that stuff, when you can simply buy a pallet jack for $75-200 that will not only lift ANY tool and move it around, but can also be used to lift stacks of material and move that around too?

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner…

And for those with a larger shop, really compact stand-up electric forklifts can be had for $3000-5000 on the used market.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

9 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4213 days

#1 posted 02-19-2017 01:59 AM

I use a pallet jack for moving several heavy machines.

There are drawbacks to having machines up
on bases for pallet jack forks. At 6’1” I’m
not inconvenienced by the higher table
heights but I imagine that could be a concern
with some machines for some users.

View Slider20's profile


119 posts in 1086 days

#2 posted 02-19-2017 04:30 AM

You still need to keep the Tools on a base to utilize the pallet jack. Just adds and extra step for what does not seem like any convenience, makes moving your tools harder

View Holbs's profile


2254 posts in 2594 days

#3 posted 02-19-2017 06:48 AM

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

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3933 days

#4 posted 02-19-2017 08:11 AM

I prefer to keep them on mobile stands of their own. If you have to pelletize them it’s a lot more work and if you use a narrow truck that goes between the machines legs you risk having the machine tip over on you. Just my.02 worth.

View hotbyte's profile


1000 posts in 3540 days

#5 posted 02-19-2017 01:07 PM

With a small shop, I have no room for pallet jack.

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3079 days

#6 posted 02-19-2017 01:29 PM

Plus 1 with hotbyte. I have enough room for my body, and some wood.
The rest is machinery, bench and a couple shelves.
I hate the winter when I cannot open my garage door. Lucky for me, I live in SE Tennessee where winter is only about 90 days, and even some of those I can open up the door.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Lazyman's profile


4210 posts in 1952 days

#7 posted 02-19-2017 01:35 PM

I am in the same boat as hotbyte when it comes to space to use a pallet jack or store it when not in use. Sometimes I can barely walk through my shop much less use a pallet jack. I also would not want to add the extra height needed to be able to get the jack under it to lift it

I made an air sled that works with my shop vac (exhaust side) for my 17” band saw instead of a traditional mobile base and it works great. It adds less than 1” to its height and sits completely flat even when moving it, which is important for a nearly 7’ tall machine that weighs over 300 lbs. I initially tried a traditional wheeled base with it and it felt very unstable to me, especially when I am milling heavy 10” logs on it and when moving it.

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

View shipwright's profile


8414 posts in 3363 days

#8 posted 02-19-2017 02:10 PM

I have underfloor dust collection and wiring so the big stuff has a fixed position that was carefully planned when I built the shop but I do move them when I do a “major” cleanup and my thoughts are:
- A cabinet saw with a long fence and table extension is easy on a mobile base but would be difficult with a pallet jack.
- The pallet jack makes the moving “thing” bigger and consequently less maneuverable.
- My shop is 30×40 and I would find it a pain to give up space for jack storage.
My vote goes to mobile bases.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Holbs's profile


2254 posts in 2594 days

#9 posted 02-19-2017 03:08 PM

My pallet jack has served me well and I was happy to have purchased it. Mind you, this is a mini-pallet jack of 1,000lbs capacity, much smaller than the standard warehouse jack. I have a 2 car garage so I “think” I have medium sized space, not small. I guess this mini pallet jack serves me well for a couple reasons: it is small and coincides nicely with my space; it was waaaaay cheaper than buying dedicated mobile bases for my 500lb cabinet saws, jointer, and planer; it’s home is under my mobile lumber cart. A pallet jack may not fit everyone’s workshop needs but I would not part with mine. I would say it’s a “alternative”.

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

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