Woodtek 163-703 Bench Casters
The woodworking industry uses various types of casters. Some are stationary, some move with the movement of the wheels, while others are self-propelled.
There are several different kinds of casters available today: Rocker casters, Self-Propelling Casters (SPC), Retractable Casters (RPC) and Workbench Casters (WBC). These four types have their own advantages and disadvantages. Each type has its own pros and cons.
These casters are used in industrial settings where there is no need for stability or safety. They are usually made from steel, aluminum or plastic.
Their main advantage is that they do not require any special tools to operate them. However, these casters may break easily if overused and their weight makes it difficult to maneuver them around tight spaces such as under furniture or into corners.
Retractable casters are similar to Rocker casters but they can be moved back and forth when needed. They come in two varieties: one that allows the caster to turn clockwise and another that turns counterclockwise.
The disadvantage of retractable casters is that they cannot be moved around tight spaces like under furniture or into corners.
Self-Propelled Casters (SPC)
These casters are the same as retractable casters, but they contain a self-propelling mechanism that can move heavy loads with ease. These casters are more expensive than other types and have a high rate of wear and tear.
While they can turn corners, they cannot go under furniture.
These casters are specially designed for workbenches. They have a brake system for safety and their low profile allows them to go under furniture and into corners.
These casters are the most expensive of all types but are heavy duty and can move even the heaviest workbenches with ease.
General Guidelines on Buying Casters for Your Workbench
The first thing you need to do is measure your workbench’s weight. After you have the weight, find out the caster’s load limit.
It is recommended that the caster’s load limit is at least 50% more than your workbench’s weight.
It is also important to measure the height of your workbench because this will determine the base size of the casters you need. Most casters have a 1″ or 2″ base and standard height for most workbenches is between 15″ and 22″.
Other factors you should consider before buying your casters are the floor material and if you will need a metal plate so the caster will roll smoothly. If you will be moving your workbench across grass or gravel, then it would be a good idea to get a metal plate because the caster’s wheel would otherwise be damaged by the grit.
It is also important that the caster’s base fully supports the weight of your workbench. If not, it may cause the workbench to become wobbly.
If your workbench is on carpet, then the caster’s base should have a diameter that is equal to or greater than the base of the casters wheels.
You should also take into consideration the position in which you would like to place the casters on your workbench. Casters that are located at the back will enable the workbench to move in any direction, but they can make it hard to control where you want to go.
Casters that are located at the front will only allow your workbench to move backward and forward but it makes controlling it much easier. No matter where you place the casters, you should always have at least two of them on opposite sides to ensure better balance and control.
Where to Place Your Casters
Caster Placement Tips
It does not matter if your workbench is against the wall or in the middle of the room, you can put your casters on any side.
However, for better control over where you want to go it is best if you have at least two casters on opposite sides. This way, you can turn left and right.
If you only have one caster on one side, you can still turn left and right but it will be harder to do and if you want to go in a straight line you will need to bunch the workbench together to get enough leverage.
It is also good to place your casters close to the edge of the workbench so that it does not become unbalanced. If your workbench is against a wall, then it is better to place the casters at the back.
This way you can pull it away from the wall without the casters getting in the way.
If your workbench is in the centre of the room, then you have more freedom on where to place the casters. Just remember the two important factors of having at least two opposite sides with casters and placing the casters close to the edge so it does not become unbalanced.
Balancing Your Workbench
The last thing you will have to do is balance your workbench. First of all, make sure that the casters are placed close to the edge and that you have at least two on opposite sides.
If you do not, then your workbench will not be balanced and you will most likely have problems with it.
Next, you will need to add weights to the unbalanced side. You can do this by either putting heavy materials on that side or by adding weights to the bottom of the casters.
I prefer to measure the distance from the floor to the bottom of the casters and then adding equal weights to the opposite side of the unbalanced side. Make sure that these weights are not too heavy because then it will make it hard to move your workbench.
If you accidently add too many weights or add them to the bottom of the casters and you find that your workbench is too hard to move around, you can always take some of the weights off. However, make sure that you don’t remove so much that it becomes unbalanced again.
If you have done everything correctly, your workbench should now balance and be easy to move around at the same time. If you want to move it to the left, then turn the crank on the left side until you reach your destination.
If you want to go right, then turn the crank on the right side. It’s as simple as that!
You can also make your life much easier by building two more workbenches and attaching them to each other with wood screws. Once this is done, you can move the entire rig by turning the two side cranks in the same direction.
This is a great time saver!
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