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Easy machinery and equipment moves with scaffolding casters.


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  • Easy machinery and equipment moves with scaffolding casters.

    Shop equipment like horizontal compressors, milling machines, welding tables, work benches etc is vastly easier to move when it's on wheels, but large bolt-on casters are expensive and inconveniently slow to remove, install and swap. Many items don't need permanent wheels but life gets much easier if you can toss them on when convenient then pull them for other use after placing your equipment. This would be perfect for large rolling tool boxes especially added to an angle steel base frame like the Air Force uses on towed flightline tool boxes.

    Here's one of my favorite solutions that also works with the milling machine and lathe dollies in my other posts. Large scaffolding casters cost less in most cases and work much better. No need to deal with bolt holes unless you want to add mount tubes by welding them to a drilled mounting plate (which may be useful depending on what you want to move).

    Ingredients are casters, allthread (I used 1" because it was handy), nuts, flat washers and tubing to fit the casters. I had seamed tubing so I ground the internal seam weld away with a die grinder so the casters will slide easily. Do not just smack them into place or they'll get stuck if they even go in.

    Large casters of this style work best. You can have many tubes with as few caster sets as you prefer.

    I drilled the mount tube shown with lock pin holes but prefer the stud and nut shown for speedy, easy installation and not having to drill a bunch of holes vs. welding one stud or bolt to each caster. You could be more elegant by drilling and tapping the caster for your bolt of choice but that's more work and I had the allthread handy. Quick and crude is fine so long as it's strong.

    The principle (fast, easy caster swaps and the simplest mount possible, a hunk of tubing) are the main points. I'll post related items in this thread as I add them. I just scored two heavy Saylor-Beall (excellent USA-made machines which seem to get no advertising so I bitched about that to their customer service) air compressors that suck to move so they'll get rolling chassis shortly.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by farmall; 06-05-2023, 7:17 PM.

  • #2
    Thanks, that just gave me one of those Slap the forehead why the hell didn't I think of that moments.


    • #3
      It gave me one too when I first checked the prices after scoring used scaffolding casters. I just never thought they'd cost so much less than flat topped casters for a much more versatile, stronger part that swaps so quickly. The pipe sections I showed in the pics are referred to as "receivers" in scaffold parlance. That pipe can accept these "caster jacks" too:

      Caster Jack - Scaffolding Accessories - Scaffold Jacks - Caster Jack -Scaffolding & Scaffold Accessories at the Best Possible Prices-

      I'm adding more receivers so I can raise equipment using the jacks to easily remove casters to use elsewhere. That's what caster jacks (I need to order some but pantograph jacks will do for the moment) are for and they can be left in place or also removed if the user wants a different "foot" to support their machine. Most caster jacks are Acme thread making them quite stout.

      Pic shows one of my compressors on a castered frame of heavy channel (self and bro team up to hunt used steel racking etc at industrial auctions). Air tank feet are tack welded to the frame which is far quicker and cheaper than bolting. I just got the compressors so first order of business is get 'em rolling for easy winching and pushing (mostly winching because it's so efficient and controllable, snatch blocks are wonderful things). I'll add features as I connect them. That compressor will connect to its twin and to a much larger vertical tank on the other side of the shop using red rubber air hose and Chicago couplings for fast setup and easy reconfig.

      My shop is set up like a job site for easy reconfig. I've seen too many home shops stagnate because owners didn't make them easy to work with.

      Renters take note because if you do this you can move out easily if your landlord raises the rent. I collect mobile home frame sections as ramps which also work on dirt or gravel. I torch hand holes in mine for easy handling or bend handles out of thin scrap rebar for those. Ramps let me move heavy shit over soft or rough surfaces and mobile home frame also works nicely with pipe rollers.

      Visible at bottom center are pantograph jacks I collect on Pull-A-Part runs. Upward facing channel grabs machinery, car and truck jacking points, motorcycles and much more. I barely use my hydraulic floor jacks any more. I also use RV leveling jacks with the same channel for greater lift. They can push horizontally too.

      The medical oxygen cylinder cart protects small acetylene cylinders nicely. The brown box on the wall of my Steelmaster building is a typical truck box from a service body. They make great rugged wall cabinets for steel buildings and shipping containers.

      Bonus points if ya know or guess what the steel flat bar thing bolted to the slab does.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by farmall; 06-16-2023, 6:53 PM.


      • #4
        Bonus points if ya know or guess what the steel flat bar thing bolted to the slab does
        Attachment point for multi angle frame pulls?

        A trip hazard for your mother in law?

        Part of a large pentagram to summon the Clintons and contain them once they arrive?


        • #5
          Attachment point for multi angle frame pulls?
          Bingo! They're referred to as "race track" setups in the southeast.

          Were it the second I'd have a tiger trap in the center.

          Were it the third I'd have summoned Cthulhu to greet them.
          Last edited by farmall; 06-18-2023, 12:04 PM.


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