Casters for Heavy Machinery
From contributor M:
I've used Caster Store items for these projects, not shop machinery. They are nice, because they are foot operated but they are not cheap.
A number of machines in our shop are on moveable bases. 14" band saw, re-saw band saw, 12" Powermatic 100 planer and a large bench/cabinet are some of them. These are all light to medium weight machines though. I don't know if I'd want to put the SCMI T-110 shaper on a mobile base, or at least any commercially available ones I've seen.
From contributor F:
You can put pretty much any small to medium sized woodworking machine on a mobile base. There are companies like HTC that make these bases for pretty much any machine. Years ago I was at a local dealerís warehouse looking at a jointer. Somehow the topic came up and he showed me a Buss planer about the size of a Volkswagen Bug! I don't know how many thousands of pounds that thing weighed but it was on a mobile base. He told me to give it a push and I moved that planer with one hand! Now keep in mind that one was probably not an off-the-shelf model, but your machines should be!
From contributor J:
Mobile bases need not be restricted to HTC or equivalent. Any competent welder can put together a base of 3" or 4" angle iron and heavy casters to support a 1/2 to 1 ton machine. We have a T110 on a mobile base as well as a Casadei 115F that easily goes 1500 lbs. I would be careful about checking a big jointer or planer for twist with a precision level after shifting it, but it's not rocket science. Most modern machines have a stiff welded base that will plane out fine with equal support under four corners. With three points in contact with an uneven floor, a hardwood shim driven under the fourth corner will do the trick.
From contributor C:
If you just want to move it to the side once and a while, set the machines on 4x6ís and then use a pallet jack as the mobile base. It doesnít cost a lot and another pallet jack can always come in handy. My big 24" Yates American planer hasn't touched the concrete since I bought it. Mainly because I didn't want to try and lever it off the blocks when I put it in place.
From contributor H:
Contributor C has the right idea, a pallet jack. I think every machine made should come with pockets for this device so we can easily move them. I have pockets on two shapers, several scissors lifts and a jointer. I wish it was possible on more of my machines. Itís way easier than using a fork lift in tight spaces.
From contributor F:
Pallet jacks are handy, however one should also mention with pallet jacks your machines sit significantly higher in use than they normally would. I have several shapers that are on hardwood skids to allow for the pallet jack. I think they're roughly 4" high to fit my particular jack. I'm pretty tall but they still can be a bit high for optimal use. Now if we could only get manufacturers to build machines with openings cast into the base for the pallet jacks!
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