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Workbench design problem: Caster Jacking?

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Forum topic by poopiekat posted 11-27-2010 10:07 PM 16948 views 2 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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poopiekat

3634 posts in 2392 days


11-27-2010 10:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I know I’ve seen ‘em, but now that I need a workable design for retractable casters, I can’t seem to find one. I will be constructing my be-all to end-all combination tool chest/workbench, and I want to have casters under it to make it movable in the shop, but sitting on all four legs when I’m doing my woodworking on it. You know, kinda like landing gear on an aircraft? Dropping into position when landing or taking off, but retracted out of the way when not in use. Nope, casters with brakes just don’t do it. I’m familiar with those step-down brakes that lever down to the floor, but unless I use four, they’re tippy. I’m thinking of some sort of lever-actuated thing, or foot-pedal driven thing, but I’m staring at my graph paper and nothing ingenious comes to mind. I will be building this unit VERY rigid, I want no wiggly surface when I’m planing, etc, so it’s gotta be sitting on its LEGS alone when I’m using it. . Can anyone please direct me to a workbench/cabinet project using some clever caster-retracting mechanism? This unit will resemble a piece of furniture, and the casters will not be visible or accessible.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!


24 replies so far

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Gregn

1642 posts in 1641 days


#1 posted 11-27-2010 10:45 PM

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2003703/2023/Retracting-Casters.aspx?refcode=05INFROO

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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Gregn

1642 posts in 1641 days


#2 posted 11-27-2010 10:55 PM

Or these.
http://www.castersupply.com/NAV/gd_60.htm

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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A10GAC

189 posts in 1736 days


#3 posted 11-27-2010 11:26 PM

Wood Magazine has an outfeed table that uses retractable casters. Raise it onto the casters to move it around, lower it down and it rests on the table legs. Here’s the link>> Wood Magazine They have a 2 minute video that shows how the wheels work, the only catch is that you have to register on the website, not a big deal…it’s free and you can set your account to not send any advertisements.

I think the plan was also in the September 2007 version of the magazine.

-- Men have become the tools of their tools. - Henry David Thoreau

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Brit

5153 posts in 1500 days


#4 posted 11-27-2010 11:42 PM

I actually laughed out loud when I read your post. Like you, I have sat thinking about an ingenious way to lift my bench design onto rotating casters kinda like an under carriage that is out of sight when the bench is seated firmly on its legs. I have scribbled designs involving bicycle chains and cogs, racks and pinions, acme threads. You name it, I’ve tried to use it. I haven’t seen anything on the internet that I could buy.

All I can say is, if you have a brainwave PLEASE let me know and I’ll do the same :-)

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

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SASmith

1591 posts in 1645 days


#5 posted 11-27-2010 11:47 PM

Here is a link to more casters like gregn linked to http://www.greatlakescaster.com/great_lakes_caster___swivel_caster_with_stabilizer_leg___175_stabilizing_casters_with_a_220lbs_capacity_in_motion_and_a_550lbs_capacity_when_the_stabilizer_leg_in_extended-LV-1710-NYP-S-M12.php about $15 each
I used them to make a mobile base for my 17” BS . I dont know how well they would work if you are hand planing on your workbench though.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

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BurtC

89 posts in 1788 days


#6 posted 11-28-2010 12:09 AM

I too was orginally wanting a bench on casters, then I stumbled across something better.
I had some scrp office grade carpeting handy so I just placed a small piece under each leg until I got the caster thing worked out. I never did, so I glued the carpet to the legs. If you have a smooth floor surface, pushing the bench aroound is quite easy, yet is stable enough from racking.

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Brit

5153 posts in 1500 days


#7 posted 11-28-2010 12:39 AM

Just remembered, I did find this some time ago. It isn’t right for me, but it might give you some inspiration. There’s a video clip of it in action at the bottom of the page.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

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poopiekat

3634 posts in 2392 days


#8 posted 11-28-2010 01:34 AM

Ok… I think I found what I need; and the cost will be next to nothing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko3-Lzt7BFY&feature=related however, I think I’ll extend some thick-walled square tubing across the hinges and operate the levers while standing in front. Brit, that video link you posted was indeed the video I saw once, and I was quite impressed with it! I might connect both hinged platforms in a way that they both swing together in the same direction; that way I can do it all with one lever. Thank You, everybody for your great ideas! I’m trying to recall the details of an old Rockwell contractor saw that had a built-in lift; it operated with eccentric cams to raise the saw above the floor by about 3/4 inch.Please keep the ideas coming! Roger Clark.. don’t you dare suggest a wedge!! Thanks again, everyone!!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View jim C's profile

jim C

1452 posts in 1756 days


#9 posted 11-28-2010 11:50 PM

Here’s another idea.

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/24461

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

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poopiekat

3634 posts in 2392 days


#10 posted 11-29-2010 08:18 PM

Thanks again, everyone!!I was even thinking of possibly using those lawnmower wheel axle mounts, those too are adjustable, but they don’t swivel. and then there’s the pallet jack principle, where the leg trolleys are forced down by rods operated by levers whenever the hydraulics are raised. Again, not castered. I’ve seen casters mounted on hinged boards, which flip down when you want to move your cabinet, but I’m not sure of the lateral stresses on the swivel joint when converting from stationary to moble operation. Are there any pneumatically operated lifts? Seems like a small pancake cylinder at each corner of a dolly might be sufficient for a cabinet not moved too often. Hmmm…4 eccentric circles, one at each corner, operated with a ‘farmer’s jack’ mounted horizontally… My head hurts!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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Bob #2

3808 posts in 2679 days


#11 posted 11-29-2010 08:38 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JF7EgoYJAqc

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

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Brit

5153 posts in 1500 days


#12 posted 11-30-2010 11:38 PM

When you posted the this link, it got me thinking. I had actually seen that video before, but hadn’t saved the link. Watching it again, I built on the concept and have now sketched out a design that I think will lift a heavy workbench 1” off the ground onto 4 swivelling casters. It won’t involve me doing a lot of cranking, just moving a single lever through a 30 degree arc.

Although I am pretty confident it will work, I need more convincing, so the next step for me will be to build a prototype. I’m not promising anything, but if I get time over Christmas, I’ll give it a go. If it works, I’ll shoot some video and post it.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

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poopiekat

3634 posts in 2392 days


#13 posted 12-03-2010 06:24 PM

Thanks again, Brit!
just now I was pondering whether the whole concept of retactible casters is wrong, and perhaps I should think of retractible FEET instead. Hmmm… 4 eccentric cams that lever down to the floor….it’s do-able?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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racerglen

2303 posts in 1438 days


#14 posted 12-03-2010 06:38 PM

Hydraulic jacks with wheels ?
jack upside down to press bearings etc..it’s been in use for over 20 years now !

Those bottle jacks actualy work upside down, a local transmision shop has a metal press that uses a regular

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

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poopiekat

3634 posts in 2392 days


#15 posted 12-03-2010 08:03 PM

Good idea, Glen!
I keep a couple of bottle jacks in a plastic pail for leveling our camper when setting up at a campsite. If those jacks are not stored upright, they leak. And my jacks are all high quality Taiwan units ;-). If there was a way to actuate all 4 corners from one central jack, I’d be quite happy! But I’d kinda lean more toward air than hydraulic, though either would have the design benefit of equal pressure at all 4 corners. Kinda brings me back to the pallet-jack kind of thing, but I really want my finished project to look like a nice frame-and-panel piece of furniture when it’s done, not some Rube-Goldberg contraption. Did I really say that?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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