cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Garage productivity hack: Add wheels to everything

Ask anyone waiting at the DMV door on their 16th birthday and they will tell you that wheels bring freedom. The garage is no different. I'm not talking about project cars, though. This is about the wheels on everything else you have in the shop. Your tools and benches don't roll?
https://www.hagerty.com/media/maintenance-and-tech/garage-productivity-hack-add-wheels-to-everything...
38 REPLIES 38
topside
Advanced Driver

Gott in Himmel ! I can comment !
Yup - casters or castors - also handy as furniture dollys for tires & wheels, stacked vertically of course. Have 'em under everything I may want to move or at least keep off the floor.
bblhed
Instructor

Casters are great, but in bigger news COMMENTS ARE BACK!!!
61Rampy
Instructor

Woo-Hoo!! As a YouTube addict, I found reading the articles here is good, but reading comments is what makes them even more entertaining! Thank you Hagerty! Oh, yeah, casters are nice, too. BUT, my toolbox is soooo heavy, even tho it is on heavy duty wheels is just not worth moving around.
Aquay_Mizmo
Intermediate Driver

After 10 years in an Arizona garage the rubber on my Harbor Freight roll away rolled right off. Now I am down to the steel rims.
CP66
Intermediate Driver

You should contact the Guinness people; 10 years on ANYTHING from H.F. is undoubtedly a record!
JSievers
Instructor

LOL! Truth.
RayMan007
New Driver

I agree 100% with putting castors on whatever makes sense. However, I no longer use castors with rubber or polyurethane wheels/material. Maybe it's where I live in Houston but the rubber or polyurethane material breaks down over time. In a couple of years, the castors shown above will have all the red material break off; I have several such cases. I only use metal castors now.
Kyle
Moderator

Interesting. These seem very high quality and I will be curious as to their durability. The surface finish on my concrete just makes it seem as though metal castors wouldn't have the traction needed to stay in place sometimes. We shall see.
OldFordMan
Advanced Driver

Yep, both my shops and the garage have almost everything on wheels/casters. Only way to "roll".
Kyle
Moderator

Not sure how I wrote all of that without coming to use that pun, but I'm disappointed in myself for it.
11Bravo
New Driver

I've been doing it for 50+ years. Only the work bench with my 10" lathe and vise is fixed. Very good article Kyle and I will pass it on.
rxk9394
Intermediate Driver

Another vote for furniture dollys. They are relatively cheap and you can stack multiple heavy duty totes (the ones with the yellow lids) full of bagged and tagged parts and easily move them around without any busted "body parts".

I also mounted casters on a smaller size heavy duty pallet, which is super handy for transmissions or wheel/tire combos etc.

and last add the up/down casters to your blast cabinet so you can roll it to the driveway to use outside when the weather is nice for easier cleanups.
gfviperman
Detailer

100%!!! Did this for my new garage ... really makes a difference!
MOPAR or no car!!!
DrOverboost
Intermediate Driver

I staggered the wheels on my welding cart. Taller on the “controls” side so I can see the knobs without bending over.
I even put casters on my race car frame as I was building it. Cut the welds off when I was done.
Thrillseeker
Intermediate Driver

I need to put wheels on my metal shelves. Most everything else in there has wheels.
Srmert
Intermediate Driver

Please don’t put wheels on anything taller than you are. Those monster soda machines used to fall over on mad users because of the high center of gravity and once they started to go over they crushed more than a few folks. The higher off the ground, the more potential energy that can be released. You don’t want it released on you…..
Kyle
Moderator

@Srmert is right. Shelves are something I would not recommend putting wheels on.
flowney
Intermediate Driver

I agree with having almost everything roll-able but ... There are some things that need to be solidly planted on the concrete floor to be fully useful. Castors absorb and transfer downforce energy in ways that confound the efficacy of some work (hammering for example) and contribute to the failure of the castor. There is a lever effect at work here. Therefore, some things need to be able to roll and then sit direct and flat on the floor. Old technology in the form of antique typewriter tables is one source of inspiration. Another is using a floor jack or three to raise a table far enough to move that way or temporarily place rollers under table legs etc. Think in terms of those various ways to make a vehicle temporarily mobile in the garage -- even sideways.
Tcoradeschi
Intermediate Driver

I agree. A great way to solve that problem is with retractable casters that allow the legs to carry weight while you're using the table (or whatever), yet allow you to move it around readily. Looking to add these to my table saw (cast iron table, it's more than slightly a pain to move around when that needs to happen). 

 

https://www.rockler.com/rockler-workbench-caster-kit-with-quick-release-plates

corv3tte
Intermediate Driver

♫....keep them doggie's roll'n......♫ ....Wheels on your cows....now there's a thought....unless they pasture on a hill ....WAIT! WHAT ?
1fastcat
Intermediate Driver

I did this years ago , and it was worth it , workbench . file cabinets , band saw . Make it much eaiser to clean up , which I rarely do ,LOL
ed
Advanced Driver

"good castors aren’t cheap and cheap castors aren’t good". Indeed. I bought some castors from a big box home improvement center, and the brake was marked backwards. When you pressed 'unlock', it actually locked. My wife damaged our new kitchen floors, and the big box store ending up paying for the floor to be ripped up and redone.

"keep the thing from not moving". Sort of an odd-ball double negative. What you really meant was "keep the thing from moving" or "ensure the thing does not move".

Swimdom
Pit Crew

My wife bought me two rolling storage racks fro my birthday. Which I thanked her for and thought to myself “What do I need these for and what am I going to do with them”. Well, now I can store more and move it out of the way for what ever my next project may be. On top of that I addded casters to a few other tool storage and work bench racks I had for years. Another lesson learned even at me age.
JSievers
Instructor

Damn! One of the best garage hack articles I have read in a long time. I'm headed to Home Depot tomorrow. Thank you very much.
audiobycarmine
Technician

Kyle,

A Castor is:
1- a Star in Gemini
2- a Bean
3- the scientific Family Name for Beavers

Not any kind of wheel.
Those are CASTERS.
A great article otherwise.

- A persnickety ex-Proofreader.
Albion
New Driver

Dear Audiobycarmine, speaking as a Brit, I am used to "castor" denoting a small wheel used in the application described . . . but, as the English language is defined as that which belongs to the largest group speaking it, I humbly accept. I liked America so much I became one. But still, "infanticipating"? "Normalcy"? "Winningest"?
elliotgofast
New Driver

On the TV shows some of the shops use trailer tongue jacks on their big roll around benches. That allows for leveling the bench at each location and transmitting hammer blows around the wheel bearings. Probably overkill on a small bench but maybe something can be done with some sliding tubes and snap pins.
SWK
Pit Crew

As a resident of San Francisco this article made me sad…. Not because I disagree with the author, but because almost nothing in SF is flat—including my garage floor. With a few degree grade inside the garage, the first thing I usually have to do is remove the wheels from any new piece of kit.
DougMeyer
Pit Crew

A VERY STRONG second to this one. Except for one stainless bench (from the surplus restaurant supply house,- check those out), and a tall cabinet full of spray cans, etc., everything in my garage is "on wheels". I recently did a "10 year" overhaul and re-paint repaint of the floor and a cooperative neighbor allowed me to simply roll all the racks "across the way" into his garage for a week. The "out and back in" took a total of about 2 hours. I mostly use those chromed "wire racks" with the adjustable shelves. The supplied casters on those have been fine. Put this on the top of your garage upgrade "to do" list.
daytongarmin
Pit Crew

Great article. Thank you.
FYI
I would not use anything less than 6" casters because of rolling issues.
Depending on the space you have using four swivel casters can give you a lot of flexibility in a small area but use two swivels and two fixed if you need to move the whatever more than a few feet.
Make a tool for unlocking the bigger casters locks - they are hard on the tops of your feet. I use a "C" shaped piece of metal, one end a handle the other to grab the lock to pull it up.
Kyle
Moderator

Interesting point regarding the tool to unlock them. I was noticing that already with these new ones, and will likely end up building something quick that can just hang on the side of the benches.
daytongarmin
Pit Crew

I used 1" square steel tubing, 2 pieces about 5" and one piece about 12".  I welded them into a "C" shape and wrapped duct tape around one 5" piece for the handle. 

daytongarmin
Pit Crew

Another FYI
ER Wagner are good casters. Their tech support is very helpful when needed.
daytongarmin
Pit Crew

Another handy device for carts/tables on wheels especially if you don't have locks on the casters is a floor lock for carts.  A google search will give you some pics. 

red-on-red
Intermediate Driver

Most of my shop gear has been on wheels for a long time.
I recommend steel wheeled casters. Over time any rubber or plastic wheel will split or get flat-spots. The heavier the gear, the sooner they will age-out. ... Gary
52WASP
New Driver

Here's a different "spin" on casters. Yes, I agree everything in the shop needs to be mobile. BUT... most things in the shop need to be firmly planted (think of the workbench with your vise mounted on it). So, I set up everything that could possibly be moved so a Pallet Jack could move it.
The PRO's:
1. Everything is rock-solid, and only "on wheels" when actually being moved.
2. A decent, used pallet jack will probably cost less than the big box of good casters you'll need.
3. A pallet jack will lift a LOT of weight.
The CONs:
1. You will need to find a spot for the Pallet Jack when not in use.
2. Something as small as a 1/4-20 hex nut on the floor will stop the pallet jack.
WimbletonMACH
New Driver

One important point when putting your workbench on wheels...
Having a way to anchor it to the wall when needed. When you really need a secure vise, or use leverage that drags the locked caster, mounting points attached to the wall make all the difference.
Ben_Moore
New Driver

Having the ability to move your tools around is a lifesaver.