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  • Machines and workbenches on wheels?

    How many of you do that? Do you like it?

    Got another issue of the mags (still missing one). In it is an article on machines on wheels. Most seem not to have any caster lock or other means to secure them.

    I see that a fair bit, and I guess that it can be practical if you have really limited space. I think it would drive be batty, having to pull out and set up the machine every time it gets used. But some seem to like it, or maybe they tolerate it in order to have the machines at all..

    I've even seen workbenches on wheels, without even caster locks. That seems nutty, I'd want some way of making the machine or especially a workbench, stay put. I hate a bench that does not sit still when I am working.

    I have a radial arm saw that is on wheels, but it is a commercial base, and you step on a lever at each side to lower the wheels if you need to move it. That's fine, I do that every so often just so it does not rust in place, but I don't move it around.
    CNC machines only go through the motions

  • #2
    Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
    ... I think it would drive be batty, having to pull out and set up the machine every time it gets used...
    Don't make the mistake of assuming that machines on mobile bases need to be pulled out for use.

    Many of my machines are on mobile bases. Even my Monarch 10EE is on skates. My rollaway cabinets are on wheels, but I don't roll them anywhere just to use them.

    12" x 35" Logan 2557V lathe
    Index "Super 55" mill
    18" Vectrax vertical bandsaw
    7" x 10" Vectrax mitering bandsaw
    24" State disc sander

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    • #3
      Most who do it seem to have minimal room, and they DO pull them out for use. The article mentioned that specifically.

      If that is not the issue, then why the wheels?

      I suppose it could be like a 'fridge... on wheels you can pull out to clean up or retrieve stuff. There is a point to that, for sure, if there is no way to get underneath the machine.
      CNC machines only go through the motions

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      • #4
        Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
        ...then why the wheels?...
        Come on! You're not even trying.
        12" x 35" Logan 2557V lathe
        Index "Super 55" mill
        18" Vectrax vertical bandsaw
        7" x 10" Vectrax mitering bandsaw
        24" State disc sander

        Comment


        • #5
          Toolboxes come on wheels... I had to make a special base for one so that it would NOT roll...

          As for trying, wheels make the thing movable. Now to need that, you either need to easily move the unit somewhere else, need to be able to do that easily by yourself, or you want to get behind it, or, you have it in storage and need to bring it out for use.

          Maybe you rent the shop, and have to be able to get stuff out easily. There ae other reasons for that also.

          Worked for a guy once who had everything on wheels in the lab and shop areas. Near as I can tell, he wanted to be able to move it all himself. We did move to three different locations in a few years, and he is now in a 4th place, so maybe he knew that was coming.
          CNC machines only go through the motions

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          • #6
            The only thing I presently have on wheels is a tool box. I have a second one that I purchased which I plan to use under the table of the floor stand drill press. It just seemed like a lot of space that was wasted 99% of the time. So I will be putting it on wheels so that I can move it easily if I need to drop the table that far.

            I also want to construct a cart with wheels for holding milling vises, my RT, and probably a surface plate. This is a back burner project but I really need it now. But other things are even more urgent.

            That is about the limit of what I want on wheels. I have a wood table saw that has a nitch to live in, but it is light enough for me to pick up and carry - at least so far. And many times I just use it in that storage place. For cuts in large wood stock, like plywood, I like using my track saw. It is far easier to use and has excellent saw dust control.
            Paul A.
            SE Texas

            And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
            You will find that it has discrete steps.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
              ...need to easily move the unit somewhere else, need to be able to do that easily by yourself...
              See? Imagination is a wonderful thing.

              A shop is dynamic--it may even have a life of its own. One perhaps starts with an empty space and adds tools, machines, cabinets, shelves, etc. Over time, the number and types of machines change as we upgrade or develop our capability and go where our interests take us. All this change usually means moving machines and modifying the shop's layout. Sometimes large projects require that machines be moved out of the way in order to create clear workspace for the project or to tailor the arrangement to fit the type of work being done at that moment.

              Many/most of us have space limitations and need flexible shop layouts which can accommodate the various types of work in which we get involved. Example-- one of my constructions (Bimini top with solar panel and antenna mounts, integrated into the lifeline railings, shown) was 14' wide and required considerable shop rearrangement in order to make space in which to fabricate it.



              12" x 35" Logan 2557V lathe
              Index "Super 55" mill
              18" Vectrax vertical bandsaw
              7" x 10" Vectrax mitering bandsaw
              24" State disc sander

              Comment


              • #8
                I have two welding tables on wheels. The 18x60 table is tall enough to be at chest high when i use an office chair height stool for delicate tig welding. It also doubles as a gurney for moving heavy parts from the mill to fixed benches. My second welding table is 30x60 inches is on heavier duty wheels. I built it onto a Kennedy roller cart with a side car chest, that is made to take standard base tool chest with no wheels. I bought this cart at a garage sale and added the table where the chest was supposed to sit. I built it to serve a secondary function as an off-feed table for my commercial cast iron 12 inch table saw. This welding table lives in the fabrication bay of my shop that i normally keep clear of machines and is used when i build gates or boats under 30 feet or other medium size projects and use this table for grinding and deburring parts. I do have some machines on wheels only because i dont use them as frequently and so store them out of the way until needed. Having once owned a canvas and awning shop, i still have those tools and machines, so many of these rollaround machines have fitted canvas covers.

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                • #9
                  My lathe is on wheels. When I want to move it, I just put a large out of balance piece in the chuck, turn the speed up, and watch it move😀

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                  • #10
                    I have a few woodworking machines on casters, a 12" thickness planer, a 6" jointer and a 2 hp dust collector; their stands came with them and I wouldn't want them not to have stands. I also added a pair of steel wheels to one end of my solvent wash tank so I could move it out into the middle of the shop floor and roll my home made engine stand up to it. The stand has two legs that straddle the stand and an extra high upright with two positions for the engine plate. That way I could use the wash tank to supply a constant source of varsol when I was honing engine cylinder walls. It's also very nice to be able to easily move it on the odd occasion. I've also added four casters to my 20T hydraulic press, 2 straight and two swivel. I have to move it out of the way occasionally when I have to use my mill's table (9"x49") full travel so the casters were a no brainer. Decades ago I found a large round steel plate about 3 1/2' in diameter with reinforcing on one side so I added legs and wheels and a sliding handle underneath it that extends for leverage so I can easily roll it around. Without those wheels it would be almost impossible to move. Relatively recently I've taken to buying $20 500 lb capacity mover's dollies from Princess Auto, 30"x18" with 3" casters on all four corners. I have a couple of things on them that would be a PITA to move otherwise such as an old single cylinder McCormick-Deering LA 1 1/2 HP engine which is quite heavy and a cabinet I built to house several SBC intake manifolds. Also a couple of tool boxes, one standard size that I keep a valve grinder on top of and the other an old 41" wide Beach "Highboy" box with the optional side hung boxes on each end are on casters plus my 4500 W standby power plant is on a home made stand that's on casters plus all my engine stands are on casters of course and I have a couple of those cheap hand trucks that convert to laydowns. I also have a small bench with wheels on one end and a home made 32"x24" plywood base with casters to hold a stand for another small yet heavy machinist's chest.

                    My shop is just a two car garage, 24'x28' and a great deal of space is taken up by benches along the walls and upright shelving units plus a 2'x4'x4' enclosed stand my 80gallon air compressor sits on. I consider it an absolute must to have as many things on casters as practicable.
                    Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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                    • #11
                      An alternative to wheels is to make whatever it is easily liftable with a pallet truck. This gives the benefits of the thing not moving when set down, it's cheaper than buying good quality casters, but still makes stuff moveable. It results in about the same increase in height.

                      I occasionally have to pull my lathe out to get behind it; the lathe weighs 2 tons, I have the C/G marked and can make minor adjustments of balance by moving the saddle. I lift it a few mm, roll it and drop it down again, no probs. Just make sure there's no swarf etc on teh floor first. I do have very good, very flat concrete floors in the workshop.

                      Ian
                      All of the gear, no idea...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by elf View Post
                        My lathe is on wheels. When I want to move it, I just put a large out of balance piece in the chuck, turn the speed up, and watch it move😀
                        That got a good belly laugh out of me! WELL DONE!

                        I can see some machines being on wheels or skates. But the ONLY way I'd want to do a lathe with a stand on wheels would be if it used the three hinge point "floating" beam such as used on ships where the deck flexes as the lathe is being used. Floors have a nasty habit of being anything but flat. And a lathe on a rolling stand or bench that did not use the floating beam in the design would end up with the lathe being twisted one time and straight the next and twisted the other way the following time.

                        That being said none of my machines are on wheels. And I like it that way. A couple of the roller cabinets are on wheels... It's sort of implied by the "roller" in the name? But other than that the only things I want on wheels is my two wheel dolly and my engine lift used for moving the heavier things.
                        Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                        • #13
                          Most all of my shop (purely hobbyist and home handyman/weekend warrior & most all power tools are benchtop/mini) is on wheels. Including my primary work bench.

                          it started when I had my previous shop - I didn’t have space to put everything in a fixed setup. I had to put most all of the power tools bunched up in one corner just so that I had room in the other corner to stand at a work bench. Even the workbench was on wheels - so I could shove it aside to pull out a power tool. This shop was actually so constraining that I really didn’t do much in it.

                          fast forward a few years…

                          we bought a second home/vacation/getaway/… place with a huge basement and huge garage. I experimented with a couple of designs putting everything on fixed benches/etc. no matter how I laid things out, I always had a “but I want to do something else” come up that really wanted a different arrangement. So when I finally moved things to the new spaces I left everything on wheels. I can
                          - make a 12’ square area completely clear for big or unwieldy projects without making my main bench and tool storage unusable,
                          - rearrange the tools to be suitable for a given project
                          - move things around for maintenance (whether it’s getting to the wiring and plumbing in the joists or cleaning in the corners … I can make free space to get there!)
                          - in the garage, I have a couple of benches, welding gear, and a bunch of dust generating power tools - they can all be pushed together to leave room for our cars, plus all the shi# that accumulates. Or pull out the cars, ””uncompress” the tools&benches and I’m back in business.

                          none of the downsides of having things on wheels are real problems for me. I don’t do anything that’s really heavy that would require a really firm/steady base. For my machining, I don’t need .0001 accuracy, nor do I need repeatability, so if the lathe isn’t perfectly true … no big deal.

                          Some of the technical details - everything that’s on wheels has locking casters. I designed a standard stand for my tools - top is 18”x30” on which almost all of my tools fit. All have a lower shelf, 4 swiveling casters. 2 casters on each are locking. Many (such as for the minilathe and mill) have small toolboxes on the shelf to hold tool-specific stuff.

                          the big problem I had is that originally I made the carts using framing lumber from a big box store. It kind of worked but they are not very square, etc. for a couple this is annoying. So I’m thinking of redoing the worst of them with better lumber and/or welded steel. Someday. Maybe.

                          Frank

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                          • #14
                            I built a bridge crane Everything can be on wheel, but the wheels are 10' up...
                            Location- Rugby, Warwickshire. UK

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ezduzit View Post

                              See? Imagination is a wonderful thing. ............
                              All you are really saying is that the shop is small enough that you may need to move machines out of the way for certain tasks. That is exactly the original premise..... "thoughtologically" equivalent.

                              It's why most folks who put everything on wheels do that. You just don't move things as often as some........., and you don't necessarily have to put the mill away in order to use the lathe.
                              CNC machines only go through the motions

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