adding castors / lift mech to workbench?

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Forum topic by JesseTutt posted 11-05-2012 05:02 PM 6940 views 2 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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854 posts in 2312 days

11-05-2012 05:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question workbench design mobile workbench mobile base

As I design & build (and re-design) my new bench it is now time to start thinking about adding a method to move the bench. Current plans are for the bench to be against a wall with plywood storage behind it. But, I am sure that there will be the need to move it to the center of the shop, or to get it out of the way of the plywood. Therefore, the bench must be mobile, but when in use I want it to be steady.

I found several options for sale, but the expense in unacceptable. I have a whole bunch of castors from 3” to 6” diameter. I would like to use them.

I came across this but I am concerned about the weight.

Do you have any better solutions?

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

9 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3173 days

#1 posted 11-05-2012 06:04 PM

What about the weight has you concerned?
The landing gear supporting it, or being able to lift the bench to position the gear?

If it’s the former, gear supporting it, that is a function of the capacity of the hinges and the casters. Should be no problem at all.

If it’s the latter, being able to lift it, add a lift lever or trailer jack to assist with the lift.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 3433 days

#2 posted 11-05-2012 06:12 PM

Stronger hinges and hard wood should help. My bench is heavy and I can’t pick it up so I haven’t tried to put it on casters. That might be an option to consider for the future.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 2677 days

#3 posted 11-05-2012 07:33 PM

I second what crank and MT said. Stronger hinges, casters, perhaps hardwood, but I would seriously consider a lifting aid. The caster system in the YouTube video is good on setting the casters by lifting as the retaining stop block sort of falls into place. The action of kicking the stop block out is going to cause wear at the friction point with even moderate weight benches and a jarring bang with heaver benches if you could kick it out at all.
As an after thought, perhaps a bungee chord could be attached to retract the stop block upon lifting.

View REO's profile


929 posts in 2276 days

#4 posted 11-06-2012 02:24 AM

use a destaco type push pull clamp and put a rubber foot on it. too lock the bench in place step down on the clamp handle and to release lift it with your toe. I have a couple work stations like this. one has a full size cabinet saw, router and cabinet, planer and the 6×48 sander. Total with all the stuff in it i would guess it weighs close to 1000 pounds. It rolls easy on steel wheels and locks down so that you cant move it when the pads are down. I use only two pads that cost 11.00 apeice on ebay but they have over 2000 pounds of clamping force. they lift the castors 1/16th off the floor when in use.

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 2677 days

#5 posted 11-06-2012 05:14 PM

destaco type push pull clamp, that’s an interesting alternative. Do you happen to have pics?

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3052 days

#6 posted 11-06-2012 05:27 PM

I think the whole casters and wheel thing is overrated and overused.

I use polyethylene skids on stuff that I want to scoot. I buy plastic cutting boards at thrift stores and counterbore for screws. Stuff that’s not so heavy just gets dense hardwood feet.

No weird foot-kicking at locks, no expensive double locking casters, no rocking the object around because it is supposed to go tight to the wall and the casters won’t rotate properly to do that.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2488 days

#7 posted 11-06-2012 05:37 PM

I did that landing gear thing on a heavy assembly table (400 pounds), but mine was a little …. cleaner?

It still had a solid 2×4-ish sized piece to which the castors were mounted. Wasn’t a SPF 2×4 though. I used a ripped down SYP 2×10 if I remember right.
The “drop blocks” on the sides… I had one at each end of the hinged caster board. toward the bottom of the drop blocks there was an eye screw. Not a real heavy one. Then there was some 600 pound test fishing line (hey, it’s all I had) that connected the 2 drop blocks. I pulled a short piece of rope that was fastened at the middle of that connecting line and when the wheels were down, if you pulled on the rope it would stretch the fishing line a little, then you lift the end of the bench, the drop blocks pop up and you set the bench down on the legs as the casters folded.

It wasn’t important to get the casters off the floor when they were folded. Just get the table down on the legs. The drop blocks contacted the caster board for the full width of an end of the board., not just at the edge of it like in that video. The drop blocks were set into a large mortise so when they were holding the caster board down, the butt end of the drop block was against the inside edge of the mortise. At no time were any of the hinges bearing a lot of weight. We ROLLED that assembly table with over 400 pounds on it. So over 800 pounds total. At no time did the hinges ever fail.

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2312 days

#8 posted 11-06-2012 11:53 PM

Lee, If the table’s legs skids are always attached what is to keep it from sliding while in use? I would hate to be hand planeing a piece of wood and have the bench slide on me. On the opposite side, I wonder about simply lifting the bench and sliding a polyethylene skid under the leg.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View REO's profile


929 posts in 2276 days

#9 posted 11-13-2012 01:19 AM

here are a couple shots. I have only two on the base. this group of machines will not move with the feet down.

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