In the previous “Shop Mobility” blog posts we examined ways to add mobility to your floor model tools, and how to make shop built tool cabinet movable. This time we will look at heavier lift capabilities.
Tools such as cabinet saws, heavy duty planers/jointers, lathes and workbenches are either so heavy or receive such heavy use that even heavy duty locking casters would not be practical to use. But now there are options for adding mobility to the heavyweights in your shop.
Your workbench needs to be absolutely stable in use. A saw or hand plane exerts a lot of force on the bench and only having the feet firmly on the floor keeps it in place. Rockler’s new Workbench Casters are a great way to add mobility to your bench. In use, the bench is firmly on its own feet, but can be raised up onto free rolling casters by stepping on the caster’s lever for moving. The lathe stand shown above uses the same casters.
Heavy planers, jointers and cabinet saws also require a very stable foundation in use. Mobile Bases can help with these tools. The wheels are mounted outside the tool’s base to keep the lift low and the tool stable. The bases can be adjusted for different tools. By adding optional extensions to Rockler’s Rough Terrain Base, my storage cabinet and extension table remain together as the saw is moved. Locking /unlocking the casters is a simple process and does not even require bending over.
It would be wonderful to have a shop large enough to position all my tools permanently and never have to move them, but very few of us will ever have such a dream shop, so being a bit creative and adding mobility to the shop set up we do have can allow you to work more quickly, efficiently and comfortably. It may even make sharing your shop space with the family car possible!