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Thread: Flip Down Casters For A Workbench

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Tokyo Japan
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    Flip Down Casters For A Workbench

    I have a friend here who is looking to make a real workbench, but it has to be moveable as he parks his van in his workshop.

    I was looking to find an easy way to do this. I like the idea of two swivel casters mounted on a board of some sort that is hinged to ends of the work bench that flip up or down, so when moveable, the wheels touch the ground, but when in use the four legs sit right on the ground. He will use this bench for hand tool work, including a lot of hand planing, so it has to be solid and stable, no locking caster kind of thing.

    Anyone have pics or a website with such a thing? On a quick search, I could not find much...

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Posts
    170
    The only one that I've seen that comes to mind is Norm's work table. But for a stout bench, that could be a real pain to lift up each end even if it is only an inch or two.
    Last edited by Matt Warfield; 03-02-2010 at 08:50 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
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    30,020
    Here's what I did with mine. My bench is too low to use for Neander work (and it doesn't have a woodworking vise on it anyway), but I needed a way to move it while it's loaded down with junk. I don't move it often, but when I need to, It's nice to have the capability.

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    In theory, the bungee cord is supposed to flip the wheels up or down (depending on how the bungee is routed) when I lift the bench with a jack. In reality, I have to give it a bit of a nudge, but the wheels stay in place fine once I do.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    638
    Heres what I made for my lathe stand. It works well, there is a cam style lever that I can operate with my foot. The semi circle under the lever is a large metal washer that acts as a wear plate since the oak lever is much harder than the white pine board that it pushes against. If the bench is on the lighter side then you wouldn't need wear plates or if the cam was wider it would also distribute the weight too. With the lathe and all of the weight I added to the stand to make it stable I think the whole thing weighs upwards of 350 pounds and the casters work well. When the wheels are down it lifts the legs up about a 1/4". It works well and it rolls real nice. Make sure when the wheels are in the down position that the board they are mounted to are level or else they won't swivel very well at all. The way I did it was to set the legs up on 1/4" shims and marked the position of the "caster board" so it was level. This made sure that the board was level and let the caster swivel correctly. If I was to do it again I think I would make it lift up the legs more than a 1/4" because if the floor is uneven in places it can scrape or if I happen to be running over sawdust ( not sure why there is sawdust in the shop all the time) the dust can jam under the leg.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCF1294.jpg   DSCF1293.jpg  

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    9,076
    I couldn't find a better pic but something like Norm's here: http://www.newyankee.com/getproduct.php?0207 The strings pull the little paddles up and release the hinged board.

    I also have seen a version where a piece of pipe is used as a lever to lower the board with the casters. With your ingenuity (as demonstrated here many times) this would be a cake-walk . . . I'll keep digging for pictures of it.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
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    Thanks guys!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
    I stole many of your good ideas and applied them to fit flip up/flip down wheels to a heavy workbench that was donated by a neighbor. I attached 4 casters on each corner, hinged to flip up….bungee cord powered. Built a makeshift foot jack to lift the table. Use ropes to pull the casters into the down position and hook and eye catches for safety to keep wheels from accidently flipping back under the bench. Thanks for your post……gave me a lot of good ideas.

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