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Thread: Ideas for bench lifter

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    South East Michigan
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    84

    Ideas for bench lifter

    Not sure if this is the right section to put this in but I need to be able to move my very heavy work bench around my shop. I could put locking casters on it but I prefer to have a good solid base when I am working on it. My idea is to use some sort of jack screw that would be mounted to the table and let me jack down the casters for when I need to move the bench. I would like to be able to adjust the jacks using my portable drill on a nut to make the job easier. Has anyone seen anything like this before or does anyone have any idea where I would buy such a system?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    N. Ga.
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    15
    I use levelers on my benches and mobile power tools to fix the position. Mount your casters such that there is only a fraction of an inch extending below the bench, that way the levelers don't have to lift the bench a lot to steady it on the floor. For levelers I use 1/2" bolts run thru a t-nut mounted in the bottom of the benches cross member or foot. To steady the bolt on the floor I use hockey pucks as a rubber foot set below the bolt. It helps to bore a shallow hole in the top of the hockey puck and set a washer in the hole, that gives the bolt something to rest on and keeps the foot from sliding out from under the leg as you raise the bench by screwing in the bolt.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    1,367
    How often are you going to need to move it? Daily? Between uses? Weekly? Monthly? Frequency will dictate how sophisticated you get, here.

    How heavy is your bench? What's it made of?

    You might could get away with just a couple simple hinged flaps with casters on 'em and a short "catch" that raises things up 1/2" or so on the casters.

    You might could get all sophisticated, too. First thought I had was a scissor jack on each end with the casters bolted to it. The trouble you're gonna have, here, is that scissor jacks aren't terribly stable in motion and you'd probably have to rig up some kind of "stay puttedness" so the forces of motion aren't born by the jacks.

    Another way is to copy a thing I saw on NYW. The casters were on a hinged platform on each end. They just sit on the floor, angled up a little bit - they're not fully engaged or bearing the weight, yet. When it came time to move it, ya lift the end of the bench up maybe 2" tops and the casters, by way of gravity, fall down to fully extend their range of motion - at the same time, two hinged "flaps" fall and lock the platform in place. You set the end down and the casters are now bearing the weight of that side. Repeat on the other end. The flaps have twine tied to them so that you can pull 'em up outta the way to set everything back down again. I thought this was a nifty mechanism, and very simple. A couple hinges and some string and yer good.

    If your bench weighs as much as ten cows, then maybe it isn't so easy to lift - but that can always be solved with a reversabl Bessey clamp in "spread" mode. I lift all sorts of heavy things up a few inches with that method. It's a handy way to raise things enough to get moving dollies under stuff, too. If ya have it handy, a floor jack and a post works well, too.
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    South East Michigan
    Posts
    84
    Thanks for all the great ideas. I'm going to try the simplest one first which is to use a t-nut in the stretchers and use a caster with a threaded attachment. I will extend the threaded portion with some threaded rod and a couple of nuts on the end to extend and retract the caster with my cordless drill. If it works I will post some pictures.

    If it doesn't work I will try the NYW idea.

    Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,470
    hey kevin i think vaughn has got that system on bench he has,,when he gets back perhaps he can show you or do search for vaughns shop thread its a ways back but it showed the bench well.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
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    15,807
    Your idea of lifting the casters will work well, but if your bench is really heavy, and it you do this a lot, you may wear out the T-nuts, they were not really designed for this kind of thing.

    I went the opposite way with my jointer......

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This works well for the jointer, but I'd not suggest it for a workbench, as you want the weight of the bench on the larger foot of each bench leg.

    Good Luck, Take Pictures
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    South East Michigan
    Posts
    84
    Larry/Stuart:

    Thanks for the ideas. The workbench is really not that heavy because it is one that I use for assembling carcases and such. I just need to move it out of the way when I am not using it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Posts
    1,071
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    I went the opposite way with my jointer......
    How convenient your bench had notches exactly where you need them, to pull your jointer out!



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