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Retractable wheel base for Powermatic

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Forum topic by Washam posted 02-16-2020 04:00 PM 383 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Washam

11 posts in 290 days


02-16-2020 04:00 PM

I have a new (to me) Powermatic 3520 lathe and would like to install a retractable wheel system for mobility but still have the lathe rest on its own support feet when in use. The Lift, Load & Roll mechanism is ideal but out of my price range plus I’m not sure its still available.
Another member built a retractable lift system using Rockler heavy duty mobile base casters and the system looks good. Has anyone else build this or a similar system and has it been serviceable? Do you have any other suggestions for moving the 700-800 pound beast?
Thanks in advance.


16 replies so far

View LesB's profile

LesB

2411 posts in 4114 days


#1 posted 02-16-2020 06:50 PM

The lathe definitely needs to sit on it’s own feet for stability and one other thing….I had a friend who put his similarly sized Jet lathe on a mobile stand which raised it about 4+ inches. Now he is only about 5’8” to begin with so he ended up holding his turning tools practically under his arm pit. Being new to turning he did not see the problem until I pointed it out to him. He had to make a platform to stand on so he had the proper height to guide and control of his tools.

Maybe you could use a automotive floor jack to lift it and dolly to roll it around.

-- Les B, Oregon

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Washam

11 posts in 290 days


#2 posted 02-16-2020 10:08 PM

Thanks LesB, Yup, I had my old Delta on a DIY mobile base but the increase in height was no problem since I’m a little over 6’.
I had the same thought concerning the floor jack & dolly crossed my mind. That approach will work until I can find a better solution. The post I was inquiring about is entitled “DIY Mobile base for Powermatic lathe” here on lumberjocks back in 2015. Still interested in something like that but looking for a little more construction detail and reports on serviceability.

Thanks for you thoughts in input Les; greatly appreciated.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7809 posts in 2870 days


#3 posted 02-16-2020 11:16 PM

I built a mobile base (but not for a lathe) and wanted a lifting caster(s) like you are looking for – the problem is that the ones I found at the time were all rated for ~100 pounds max, which was way to small for what I wanted. Since then, I notice that some heavy duty versions have been introduced (with up to 200 lbs each). I just would up making my own using a 4” HF caster that had a 330 pound capacity , which solved the problem (and was fairly inexpensive). The caster was the only thing I had to buy… the rest was some scrap metal and my Mig welder :)

Cheers,
Brad

PS: I wound up using the base for my generator instead of the machine I originally designed it for, but it has worked great for that purpose as well. More info can be found here.

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

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Washam

11 posts in 290 days


#4 posted 02-17-2020 08:28 PM

Thanks Brad, I’ll sure give it some thought. Nice looking base. I make kind of a “gorilla” welds – ugly but strong! A good friend is a “master manipulator of molten metal” so I’ll call on his expertise if I go this route. Thanks again.

View RobS888's profile (online now)

RobS888

2712 posts in 2516 days


#5 posted 02-17-2020 10:08 PM

We bought a set of these to move my wife’s PM2020 they say 800lbs, but they are pretty sensitive to the direction. We can easily spin her lathe in a circle, but moving in a straight line the front 2 will pop up.

Not recommended:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B078JS7RCP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

-- I always knew gun nuts where afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View Washam's profile

Washam

11 posts in 290 days


#6 posted 02-18-2020 12:13 AM

Thanks RobS888. Had seen these and was unsure how they would do. Thanks for the heads-up.

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

741 posts in 2133 days


#7 posted 02-18-2020 12:40 AM


Another member built a retractable lift system using Rockler heavy duty mobile base casters and the system looks good. Has anyone else build this or a similar system and has it been serviceable? Do you have any other suggestions for moving the 700-800 pound beast?
Thanks in advance

- Washam

I would love to see the base made from the rockler heavy duty base.
Is it the all terrain base? I have that under my bandsaw.
So I am 6’-4” tall, and my lathe, All lathes are to short for me. so right from the start I had built it up on blocks around an extra 4.5” tall. Then one day I got to thinking about a mobile base too.

So here are a bunch of photos of what I made. I have a little video, but I need to figure out how to upload it.
It is made from 3” harbor freight castors, Ply wood and an extra 3/4” pipe I had laying around.
I have a concrete stake with a slight bend in it that I use as a lift, and insert the base into the holes that are drilled into the riser blocks. The wheels are completely removable, so no tripping over them when working at the end of the lathe.
I have always intended to rebuild it out of metal. I even have the parts. But I don’t weld, and have not got around to having my friend that does build it for me.
So excuse how clunky it all looks. It was intended as a prototype. That works so well its still in use.



Its ugly, but I stick the concrete stake under the riser block like this.


Put one hand on the lathe bed so I don’t fall over, and my size 15 boot on the stake and lift it right up.
Insert the wheels into the holes and let it back down. Only lifting one end at a time. So while I can get a little tippy, the lathe stays very stable. I will store it on the wheels when not in use. makes it very easy to move anywhere in the shop.

-- John

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Washam

11 posts in 290 days


#8 posted 02-18-2020 01:05 AM

Hey Big John,

Looks like a plan to me! Thanks for all the detailed photos and description.
FYI, I think if you search the sight for “DIY Mobile base for Powermatic lathe”, you’ll see the mobile base that closely resembles the Load, lift & roll commercial mover. He used the same retractable casters that are on the mobile base by Rockler. I have one of those bases under a 1958 Delta Rockwell 12” tilting arbor saw and it’s a breeze to move – once you get it moving! :-)

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

741 posts in 2133 days


#9 posted 02-18-2020 06:03 PM



Hey Big John,

Looks like a plan to me! hanks for all the detailed photos and description.


Your welcome, and I hope it works out for you.
So I need to finish the permanent version myself.
I have 4”X3” metal tube to take the place of the ply wood riser block.
And 1/8” steel plate to mount the casters too. I only need to weld the pipe to the plate.
And will bolt the casters in place. Keeping them easy to replace if needed.
Make sure you use a minimum of 3” caster. I have had that rockler set. And the issue I had was they were to small. Got stuck in expansion joints on the concrete floor.
So replacing the concrete stake.
Some 30 years ago off road racing here in southern nevada. We had what we called a quick jack to pick the cars up for tires changes.
The suspension systems out grew them, I don’t have a photo. But formula 1 racing is still using the same concept.
So I took a screen shot. What we used had no wheels, just a steel plate to slide on.
I plan on that sort of idea for the lift. The concrete stake works. But it has fallen over a couple times. Not that it hurts anything. Lathe is only about an 1-1/2” off the ground. So scale down to make it foot operated with no wheels.

I may even keep the stake, and just weld a bar across it to keep it from tipping.

-- John

View Washam's profile

Washam

11 posts in 290 days


#10 posted 02-19-2020 12:10 AM

That quick jack looks remarkably like a gizmo they use around here to move boat trailer around! Believe that would beat the concrete stake hands down. I was wondering how you kept it from slipping. :-)

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

547 posts in 2320 days


#11 posted 02-19-2020 01:37 AM

Lots of DIY versions of casters that can be levered or rotated into place. GOOGLE it. How complicated may depend on how often you want to move it. For my table saw, I have sitting on levelers, but I have 4 3-wheel caster dollies that I can slip under with a crowbar. I hope to never move it. But my band saw is on a DIY caster set that swings down.

View Washam's profile

Washam

11 posts in 290 days


#12 posted 02-20-2020 01:29 PM

Thanks tvrgeek, yup seeing quite a few designs. I’m narrowing them down to ones that have retractable/removable casters since I want the lathe to sit solidly on its own feet when in use. I’ll be moving the beast several times a week depending on other tools needed. Thanks for input.

View Rink's profile

Rink

171 posts in 708 days


#13 posted 02-20-2020 02:17 PM

I use these on my lathe and they work as advertised. But I wouldn’t use them for moving something often.

Another issue with moving a lathe a lot, if you’re turning larger pieces, is that you should spend some time leveling it each time.

David

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moke

1509 posts in 3447 days


#14 posted 02-20-2020 04:23 PM

Great design BigJohn!!! but will that work with size 10’S? .. lol .. I have a metal lathe that I have on a double wide tool box. It’s really not a great tool box because the better ones were too tall! So it’’s kind of narrow I could widen the stance and give it much more stability while keeping the wheels. Thanks!!!!!

-- Mike

View RobS888's profile (online now)

RobS888

2712 posts in 2516 days


#15 posted 02-20-2020 08:31 PM



I use these on my lathe and they work as advertised. But I wouldn’t use them for moving something often.

Another issue with moving a lathe a lot, if you’re turning larger pieces, is that you should spend some time leveling it each time.

David

- Rink


We looked at those, but even though my wife is 5’10 they raised it too much for her.

-- I always knew gun nuts where afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

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