January 27, 2016 by Scott - Saws on Skates
Why has it taken me so long to write this post?! I mean the whole reason I named this blog “Saws on Skates” was because my saws are on skates. Well, not literally, but they are all on wheels to maximize space in my small workshop. Today we’ll look at some workshop tips to make your tools mobile and maximize workshop space. By the way the working title for this post was “Put your Saws on Skates by Saws on Skates” 🙂
For your convenience this post contains affiliate links to products or tools I used to complete this project. Click here to visit my site policies.
Making your tools mobile in a small workshop is not just a good idea, but it’s a necessity to maximize your workshop space. For some projects I pull out all of my tools… pull out the table saw and push it back, move the router table to the left, shift the workbench to the right, etc. Sometimes I feel like I’m playing a life-size game of Tetris in my shop! Today I’ll share seven ideas to make your tools mobile and two ideas to lock them in place.
The first and easiest way you can make your tools and shop furniture mobile is with casters. There are many caster options. Casters specifically designed for workbenches are great for wood workbenches where you have a place to easily attach the caster using screws. Generic casters are also work great, but be sure the casters have locks, otherwise you’ll be chasing your tools around your shop. Casters also have weight limits, so be sure to choose a caster that is compatible with the weight of your tools.
DIY Mobile Bases
The second way to make your tools portable is by DIYing your own mobile base. I haven’t made my own bases yet, but these three look like great options…
Store-Bought Mobile Bases
The third way to make you tools mobile is with a store-bought base. Amazon has some great options, and since you don’t have to leave your house to go shopping for one, it leaves you more time for working in your shop! The HTC bases get great reviews and they are available for several tool weights. The HTC-2000 Adjustable Mobile Base works for tools weighing up to 500 pounds and the HTC-3000 Heavy Duty Adjustable Mobile Base works for tools weighing up to 700 pounds.
The Shop Fox Adjustable Mobile Base is nearly identical to one of the bases I use in my shop. It works well and has a 700 pound weight capacity.
I also have the Central Machinery base from Harbor Freight and in retrospect I think I should have made my own base or purchased a different one. The wood needed to complete the base isn’t a standard size and needs to be ripped to width, which is an extra step. It does roll back and forth well, but changing direction is a challenge. So yes, it does the job of making your tools mobile, but I think there are better options available.
Put on the Brakes
Once you get your tools mobile, you may find you need more than the lock on the caster to keep them in position. Here are two ideas to keep you from chasing your tools around your shop…
More Mobile Inspiration
Need some more mobile workshop inspiration? Then check out my round up of 5 Workbench Ideas for a Small Shop, 6 Space-Saving Miter Saw Stand Plans for a Small Workshop and the plans for my multitasking Flip Top Workbench Cart. And be sure to follow my Mobile Base Pinterest board.
Did you make or do you use any of these mobile bases? Do you have an idea to make your tools mobile not shown here? Share your ideas in the comments section!