Author Topic: Which Four Casters for Machines  (Read 7389 times)

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Offline Chris Wong

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Which Four Casters for Machines
« on: February 26, 2016, 11:27 AM »
I need to build mobile bases for my machines (sliding table saw, 8" jointer, maybe bandsaw), which are moving into a small shop.  What is your preference for caster configuration?

  • Four swivel
  • Front two swivel, back two fixed
  • Front two fixed, back two swivel
  • Something else...

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2016, 11:34 AM »
Hi Chris

I have done a lot of this sort of thing and made a few videos. I have always used industrial quality castors but sourced from a UK company called Coldene. I do not know if they have a US outlet. If you need any help do let me know.

Peter

Offline GarryMartin

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2016, 11:46 AM »
When I *first* did this a long time ago, the common approach seemed to be two fixed and two swivel. That's never done anything other than frustrate me when moving things around. I switched all of my castors to four swivel with locks and have never been happier.

Offline Alex

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2016, 11:49 AM »
I would do 4 swivel casters, gives you the best mobility. As long as they all have a brake, there's very little reason not to choose these.

Offline mikeomalley

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2016, 12:18 PM »
Agree with Garry and Alex.
mike

Offline justaguy

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2016, 12:53 PM »
I would do 4 swivel casters, gives you the best mobility. As long as they all have a brake, there's very little reason not to choose these.

I would offer the caution that you consider the floor in your shop and the weight of the tool. My shop is in a home garage that has a pitched floor as required by building code. I tried 4 swivel casters on my 8 inch jointer and went back to 2 fixed and two swivel. YMMV

PS for the jointer think length.. I put two fixed on the outfeed end/side and two swivel on the infeed.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 12:56 PM by justaguy »

Offline RobBob

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2016, 12:54 PM »
4 locking swivel castors.

I like "F"...
Heavy-Duty Polyurethane Casters
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 02:57 PM by zxcv »

Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2016, 12:58 PM »
Agree - 4 locking swivels. Would recommend 4" wheels, as 3" tend to get hung up on flotsam. Also you want the lock that engages the wheel and swivel. These guys have the best prices I have come across:

http://www.castercity.com/cmK3a-plate.htm#Table - Casters

I use the 4" grey poly flavor.

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline Don T

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2016, 01:41 PM »
4 swivels.
RO150, C12, DF 500 Q, CT33, TS75, MFT3, Kapex 120, MFT3/Kapex, MFK 700, RO 90, ETS150/3, CT22, Centrotec Installers Kit, Parallel Guides & Ext, Carvex, OF1400, LR32 Set, MFS400 w/700 rails, KA UG Set, First Aid Kit, RTS 400 EQ, Vecturo OS400 Set, CT Wings, CT Drill Guide, Pro 5, CXS, C18, HL850, Vac Sys set

Offline mike_aa

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2016, 01:45 PM »
Four swivels are nice, but sometimes I have trouble trying to control them especially when there is a slight incline.

I bought these casters on eBay and they seem to be a good price for a heavy duty 4 inch.  The same seller also has them without the brake.

Mike A.

Offline James Biddle

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2016, 03:34 PM »
My mobile base for my moulder was made with 4 swiveling casters with locks.  They also have pins that can be pulled to switch from rotating to fixed.  Best of both worlds.

Offline Knight Woodworks

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2016, 04:03 PM »
Four swivels for sure. I've only needed two to lock.

John

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2016, 04:38 PM »
Hi Chris

I think everyone has said this already but you do need 4 swivelling castors and the brake should lock the wheels AND the shaft so that they cannot rotate. Without the shaft lock it is not stable enough for hand planning.

This is an introduction to my mobile workshop concept recorded some tie ago:



Do also look at the mobile bench project.

Peter

Offline Billedis

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2016, 09:23 PM »
I have used casters from Castercity.com, and they will help you with all your questions.

Offline Claimdude

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2016, 11:41 PM »
Four swivel double lock casters. All my machines are on Woodcraft red casters (they run them on sale two or three times a year). They roll very well and lock Rock solid. I have a sanding station that has two fixed and two swivels and I cuss it every time I use it.

Jack

Offline jtwood

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2016, 11:50 PM »
Four 4" swivel locking casters for me.  I work out of a garage and have to move half of my equipment out in order to have room to work.  Four swiveling casters means you don't have to back and fill to move something sideways.  Four locking casters means you can lock two of them and the item probably won't move if two of the casters are unreachable.  I prefer polyurethane  tires because they roll so well, and the 4" size will roll over small items that may be on the floor.

Steve

Offline kcufstoidi

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2016, 08:21 AM »
Chris for what your doing take a look at Zambus casters, they can take the weight and have leveling ability. The units I've linked to work really well, are low profile, but you have to have a reasonably smooth floor.

http://www.zambus.com/product/ac300.php

John

Offline ScotF

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2016, 10:41 AM »
+1 on Zambus

Offline RobNJ

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2016, 11:05 AM »
I used these for my plywood cart (about 150lbs of construction plus 300lbs or so of wood).  They are super heavy duty and really well made -- each one weighs 5-6lbs and is supposed to support 550lbs.  A little on the expensive side and maybe overkill for even an 8" jointer, but could be helpful for people with even bigger machines or wood carts.

http://www.amazon.com/Grizzly-G8176-Heavy-Duty-Swivel-Caster/dp/B0000DD72F/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1456588891&sr=8-1&keywords=grizzly+casters


Offline Kev

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2016, 12:54 AM »
If a swivel castor locked the pivot as well as the wheel I'd be a real fan. When you have four swivel castors you need to make certain the castors are at angles sympathetic to giving you a stable base when you lock them .. otherwise you get annoying movement. To me this is most frustrating if you push a unit against the wall and cannot lock the back castors - yet still want to use it in that location (here two fixed castors can be an advantage).

My favourite is four swivel castors that jack into operation .. not a cheap alternative though and its a lot of mechanical complication.

Offline JimD

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2016, 08:16 PM »
I use 3 inch totally locking casters.  4 inch are probably better, I get hung up by small wood bits with the 3 inch.  But they otherwise work fine.  The best I've tried came from Caster City.  I recently purchased 8 from eBay, however, and they were about as good and were much less expensive.  I added two from Home Depot to have 4 for my flip top cart and the Home Depot ones are pretty decent too.  The junkiest I've tried came from Harbor Freight.  I didn't figure they would be so good but they were going under my shop vac/dust deputy cart and I figured they'd be good enough.  They will probably get changed they are so poor.  The other ones are good enough to keep using.  My workbench is on casters (6 of the ebay ones), my table saw is (the caster city ones) plus the flip top cart with my planer and hollow chisel mortise, and my router table (the Amazon ones).  When I get around to buying more I will probably go to eBay first or check and see what Home Depot has.  They weren't much more. 

Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #21 on: February 29, 2016, 02:33 AM »
Another vote for 4 swivel castors
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Offline Wonderwino

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2016, 07:45 AM »
I feel your pain, Chris.   [wink]   I have two fixed and two swivel on all my machines as a result of buying commercial mobile bases or factory "mobility" kits.  After getting my Hammer A3-41 a few years ago, it came with roller bearing wheels, which literally allow me to move the 700+# machine with two fingers.  I would get four swivel casters with roller bearings if you can find them.   [smile]
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Offline Chris Wong

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2016, 10:57 AM »
I feel your pain, Chris.   [wink]   I have two fixed and two swivel on all my machines as a result of buying commercial mobile bases or factory "mobility" kits.  After getting my Hammer A3-41 a few years ago, it came with roller bearing wheels, which literally allow me to move the 700+# machine with two fingers.  I would get four swivel casters with roller bearings if you can find them.   [smile]

One thing I do find with swivel casters is that if they are not pointed the right way, it can be difficult to get the machine moving from a stand-still, as the casters need to orient themselves.  I wonder how ball transfers would do?  I don't think they would be able to get over cords on the floor, though.  Mind you, I don't have cords strewn across my floor anyways.


Link

Offline Wonderwino

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2016, 12:06 PM »
Cords can be a problem for any kind of casters.  I would guess you need a fairly flat & smooth floor for the ball casters to work easily.  Larger diameter wheels are easier to move, too.
Water separates the people of the world; wine unites them.

Offline Greg Powers

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2016, 10:07 PM »
How would you get the ball transfers to stay in one place? You can buy casters with breaks.
Greg Powers
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Offline Chris Wong

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2016, 03:11 PM »
How would you get the ball transfers to stay in one place? You can buy casters with breaks.

Probably the easiest way would be to drive shims underneath the mobile base, between the ball transfers.

Offline BuCuTao

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Re: Which Four Casters for Machines
« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2019, 11:36 AM »
So it really depends how much you will be rolling it in a straight line. If you are rolling the casters only in a small shop a few feet you can do all 4 swivel if you need to maneuver it in very tight spaces. If you are needing to roll this more frequently I always recommend 2 Swivels and 2 Rigid / Fixed casters. The 2 Fixed casters will allows you to continue to roll the caster in a straight line a lot easier than 4 swivel casters. For my tables I always use Total Locking Casters since I work in small spaces. These are all 4 swivel and when you need to lock them down you engage one brake and it locks the swivel casters from swiveling and it locks the wheels at the same time. These are those best casters I have used.  ;)