Anyone know how to setup retractable casters on a workbench?

Hi,
I'd like to build a decent sized work bench, and be able to move it around my garage. I saw this "assembly table" that has some type of mechanism to do this from The New Yankee Homepage (http://www.newyankee.com/getproduct3.cgi?0207 ). However, I can't see in detail how it's done.
Plus, I think a heavier workbench would need some type of lever/pulley system to get enough force to push the casters down and lift the bench up. I'd want to be able to let the bench down gently, too - not a drop. Does anyone have any ideas or possibly have done this?
I'd like to do this on a smaller scale, too, for my jointer, and possibly other heavy tools.
Thx.
-- Kent Iler ---------------------------------------------------------------------- snipped-for-privacy@iler.NOSPAM.com Please CC: all replies via e-mail Remove .NOSPAM from e-mail address
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Basically, you build a hinged assembly that lifts out of the way so the casters are pointing up when the bench is on the ground, and that fold under the bench when it's lifted up. You can build it so you can use your foot both ways.
I've seen plans but didn't bookmark them. It's pretty straightforward.
djb
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Ali

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But how do you have enough force to push the casters down to lift the bench. We're talking about a significant amount of weight for a good workbench.
Some type of crank similar to those on the front of a boat trailer? Something that would let all the casters up gently to let the bench down? Air/Gas type shock system to let the rope loosen quickly, and then keep the bench from banging down? I'm just brainstorming - I really have no idea.
Thanks.
--Kent

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On Sat, 02 Aug 2003 02:27:01 GMT, "Kent P. Iler"

Just brainstorming...
How about a small hydraulic jack? Doing one side at a time...in the middle...should only take a few minutes. I've always got a jack handy in the basement.
You might also consider not installing any casters at all...and get a couple sets of furniture/refrigerators dollys. Then use the jack only when you want to move the bench.
If yer gonna move the bench quite often, that may not be the best solution.
Also...why not just get LOCKING casters? Why do you need to raise and lower the bench. Just 2 locking casters in front would probably do the trick for you.
Anyway...just brainstorming...with what little bit I have! lol
Good luck.
Have a nice week...
Trent
Follow Joan Rivers' example --- get pre-embalmed!
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Take a look at stagecraft books.
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Another idea ... if your floor is flat, and you have a compressor ...air casters.
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Norm has plans for a workbench with retractable casters on the NYW website. I think it uses regular casters on some kind of small base that flips up and down.
HTH
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I thought I saw this one on the Yankee Workshop site, but a quick scan and I can't find it. Basically, the wheels are mounted to a flap which has a rope handle attached to it. When you lift the side, the flaps falls down into place and the wheels stay. You tug on the rope handle and the wheel flaps pops up and you hook the rope over a hook or nail to keep them up.
Ahhhh. Here it is: http://www.newyankee.com/getproduct3.cgi?0207 I knew I wasn't crazy. Well ....
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"mechanical advantage". a lever or a screw, in some form.
Contemplate a board, with a caster attached 'close' (i.e. an inch or tow) to one end. Attached _with_a_hinge_ to one of the legs of the workbench, so that the caster just touches the floor, while the board is at say a 30 degree angle above horizontal (as you move away from the hinge). Make the board long enough to reach the _other_ leg, "and then a bit".
Press the "lever" down, to 'horizontal', and guess what happens to the leg where the hinge is.
Make a hole in the 'other leg', to hold a 'pin' that locks the lever in the 'down' position. Voila!
Replicate the above for each corner of the workbench, and maybe for any 'interior' legs (if there are any).
Then, to move things, you 'lever' each leg up, and 'pin' it in that position..
roll it to where you want it.
Then, for each leg, you hold the lever down, remove the pin, and gently let the leg settle.

That's another possibility.

Usually, a one-at-a-time, kind of thing. for "simplicity's" sake. It's easier to build several single-point suspensions, than one multiple-point one.

overkill. Not that there's anything terribly wrong with that. <grin>

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OK. I play around on my jointer for something works on a small scale, and then hopefully blow it up (enlarge - that is - not explode!) for something that works on the bench.
Thanks for your tips!
--Kent
bonomi@c-ns. (Robert Bonomi) wrote in message

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I used the Ryobi wheels on one end just above the floor on the TS and lathe. Works well but heavy bench might be another problem. Have seen wheels on a jig with handles so object can be lifted that might be adaptable for your need.
On Wed, 30 Jul 2003 02:59:52 GMT, "Kent P. Iler"

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I don't move mine around a bunch, but here's how I do it. I made a piece of 2x4 with a caster on each end. When I'm ready to move the bench, I prop the end of the bench up using a 2x4 for a lever just enough to put the board and casters underneath the legs. I then pick up the other end and wheel it around to where I want it.
I bought a real cheap set of small jack stands that I keep around for shop to use as a fulcrum just for cases like this.
On Wed, 30 Jul 2003 02:59:52 GMT, "Kent P. Iler"

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It will be hard to get to the back side of my workbench when it's against the wall where I'll need to store it (of course, I'm talking about a bench that I haven't built yet). I'll store it along the wall, and use it there for day to day stuff, but when I'm building something I'll want to bring it out in the middle of the garage for easy access to all sides.
--Kent

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Cool idea. It probably is a bit heavy for my application. I'll see what I can find.
--Kent

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I have casters on the inside of each leg (looking from the end of the bench). The legs actually sit on a 3/4 thick board. The board extends from the front leg to the back with a lip on the outside to make sure when you kick it in place it doesn' go to far. To move the bench I lift and kick the board out. This puts the casters on the floor. After moving I lift and kick the board back into place under the legs. I use this system on my drill press and band saw as well.
It is so simple and works very well.

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You've gotten plenty of good advice on this, but I'm thinking that the easiest way to do this is a sort of wheelbarrow arrangement. Simply fix two wheels to one end of the bench legs just above floor height and facing horizontally on the outside. Attach some sort of "handles" at the other end so that you simply have to lift that end until the wheels engage on the opposite end. Roll into position and set it back down and you're done.
To give credit where credit's due, I believe it was Mr. Unisaur who first posted that idea here on the wreck.
Chuck Vance
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That's just too damn simple. Where's the requirement to buy a new power tool in the plan?

Simple, elegant solution... Figgers it was him.
;-)
djb
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I did just pull the motor out of an old washing machine....wonder if I could create an electric lift :-)
--Kent
wrote:

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Old Rockwell/Delta catalogs sold this idea. You could get a kit with two wheels and a long handle. Insert handle into stand, tip up onto casters, and hit the road.
GTO(John)

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Here's my solution on bench I just built. I put regular legs on one and, and some legs that folded (about the last ten inches folded up and locked down). Then I put 10" wheels on the end that had folding legs, a little in front of the legs. The wheels are set so that when the legs are locked down, there about a 1/2" off the ground.
Ugly, but it works.
Mike Wagner
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