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I am *again* looking for casters - should I consider Harbor Freight?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by The Metal Butcher View Post
    Personally I am actively dumping all my casters for one good set of casters, a pallet jack. Makes maintenance much more streamlined and they roll like butter rather than in 72 directions at once.

    YMMV
    Maybe land is cheaper in Alabama, Butcher. My shop is small and a pallet jack occupies a lot of floor space. I have friends who swear by pallet jacks. There is one big question, though - how do you get a machine up onto a pallet? Well, now you need an engine hoist or shop crane too. And that doubles the wasted floor space. Plus, you would probably have a pile of pallets sitting around waiting to be used. That triples the floor space waste.

    I'm all in favor of lots of space. But here, where we have to compete with engineers from Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Boeing for housing, space is very expensive.

    In the end, I ground the welds off 4 plate casters which had been welded to a small cart. Not ideal, but free. Yes, solid feet on the ground keep a machine from moving, but I have found lately that locked caster wheels work pretty well too. As long as the locking mechanism is reasonably well made and effective.

    metalmagpie

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    • #17
      Mark Winquist (Winky's Workshop on YT) was given a set of leveling casters by Vevor for his milling machine restoration. He was quite impressed with them. Very reasonably priced, and worth a look. Maybe not for the Metalmagpie this time but certainly on topic, given the way these threads develop. Vevor has been giving a lot of stuff to youtubers lately to get their name out there and some reviews.

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      • #18
        Here is exactly what you are asking for.
        Habor Frieght
        You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by metalmagpie View Post

          Maybe land is cheaper in Alabama, Butcher. My shop is small and a pallet jack occupies a lot of floor space. I have friends who swear by pallet jacks. There is one big question, though - how do you get a machine up onto a pallet? Well, now you need an engine hoist or shop crane too. And that doubles the wasted floor space. Plus, you would probably have a pile of pallets sitting around waiting to be used. That triples the floor space waste.

          I'm all in favor of lots of space. But here, where we have to compete with engineers from Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Boeing for housing, space is very expensive.

          In the end, I ground the welds off 4 plate casters which had been welded to a small cart. Not ideal, but free. Yes, solid feet on the ground keep a machine from moving, but I have found lately that locked caster wheels work pretty well too. As long as the locking mechanism is reasonably well made and effective.

          metalmagpie
          You do NOT need to get a machine onto a pallet.
          Block the machine up to 4" height.
          If you don't know.... Use steel wedges, a pry bar, and shims to get there.
          The when the machine is up on blocks, slide the pallet jack under it.
          Move it.
          Put the wood blocks back under it.
          Shim it level.
          Slide the pallet jack out.

          And for where to store a pallet jack...
          You can leave them outside ya know.
          Rusty pallet jacks work just as good
          as pretty painted ones.

          I think you are under thinking this.

          -Doozer
          DZER

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          • #20
            Over the years we have used many casters on various projects for our customers and for our own
            needs. Some of the things that I have learned:

            You will be hard pressed to find ​any caster that doesn't come from China or some other offshore maker.

            You generally get what you pay for. Buy cheap casters and chances are they won't work all that well.
            This is one place where spending a bit more money will pay off.

            The weight ratings are, as has been mentioned, usually a bit optimistic but a lot depends on the composition
            of the wheels.

            Rubber style wheels, especially smaller ones, are the worst for load carrying. They will "flatten out" under
            load which makes the cart or machine they are on much harder to move. Some rubber wheels will rub off
            and leave marks on smooth painted floors.

            Polyurethane wheels are better to some extent but under heavier sustained loads, and especially if left to
            sit for long periods of time with a heavy load on them, they will develop flat spots. They are much less
            likely to mark floors.

            Nylon wheels are harder and will handle heavier loads (within their weight range) but if they are used on
            carts that are moved a lot they will break down and wear out faster.

            Phenolic wheels are the most durable and will carry the greatest loads. They do not deform at all, even
            when overloaded.

            Always buy casters that are larger in diameter than you think you need. It only takes a very small stone or
            a tiny nut on the floor to stop a small caster from turning. This is where you run into a bit of a conundrum
            because when it comes to obstacles on the floor, a slightly softer caster will roll over something that would
            stop a harder one. A 4" polyurethane wheel will usually roll over an object that would stop a 2-1/2" one.

            In my experience anything less than a 3" caster is a waste of time in a shop. Personally I try to use nothing
            less than 4" and most of our heavy carts had 6" or 8" wheels...
            Keith
            __________________________
            Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Jerrythepilot View Post
              Last time I needed casters for a project like this I bought a furniture dolly from Harbor Freight. Thirteen bucks for four casters.
              This is the way. Cheaper than buying them separately!
              Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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              • #22
                But you are buying absolute shlt.

                -D
                DZER

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                • #23
                  Check The Caster Guy website.
                  I've bought a few for myself and thousands of dollars' worth for a company I used to work for.
                  Or McMaster-Carr

                  Cheap casters are great, if you don't require them to ever roll or to bear any weight.

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                  • #24
                    I paid about $15 for a set of 3" HF casters. They are not the best, but they work just fine under my 4 x 6 band saw. I don't need anything better to move the saw a few feet once a day

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by sid pileski View Post
                      Here is exactly what you are asking for.
                      Habor Frieght
                      +1 for the Blue HF casters, the ones I have are PVC tread. Stay away from Import Urethane, that stuff turns to goo in a year or less.

                      I''ve also had good luck with these from Amazon- https://www.amazon.com/Casters-Swive...%2C170&sr=8-29
                      I just need one more tool,just one!

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by wierdscience View Post


                        I''ve also had good luck with these from Amazon- https://www.amazon.com/Casters-Swive...%2C170&sr=8-29
                        The exploded view in the video shows the double ball bearings for the swivel axis.
                        Those look very good.

                        -D
                        DZER

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Try Northern Tool. They have 3" cast iron casters rated at 250 pounds each.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by metalmagpie View Post

                            Maybe land is cheaper in Alabama, Butcher. My shop is small and a pallet jack occupies a lot of floor space. I have friends who swear by pallet jacks. There is one big question, though - how do you get a machine up onto a pallet? Well, now you need an engine hoist or shop crane too. And that doubles the wasted floor space. Plus, you would probably have a pile of pallets sitting around waiting to be used. That triples the floor space waste.

                            I'm all in favor of lots of space. But here, where we have to compete with engineers from Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Boeing for housing, space is very expensive.

                            In the end, I ground the welds off 4 plate casters which had been welded to a small cart. Not ideal, but free. Yes, solid feet on the ground keep a machine from moving, but I have found lately that locked caster wheels work pretty well too. As long as the locking mechanism is reasonably well made and effective.

                            metalmagpie
                            You miss the point. Build EVERYTHING to IMITATE a pallet. No ACTUAL pallets are needed.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              That said….way back in 2010’ I built two low profile tooling carts with cast iron wheeled casters. Fireproof, strong, and fit my general motif of anachronistic vintage-ism.

                              Were remarkably cheaper than equivalent capacity soft wheels. Came from Tractor Supply Company, but it’s been A WHILE, so I have no idea what they currently offer.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                You pallet jackoffs are leaking from your rear main seals! You are hijacking this thread big time! I freely acknowledge that pallet jacks can be used and can be useful. OK? I designed my own method for moving machines. See http://www.nwnative.us/Grant/shop%20articles/mtd.

                                And pallet jack guys DO use pallets when they move machines. They lag machines down to pallets to widen the stance to keep from tipping, and of course they load them using pallet jacks.

                                metalmagpie

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