• We want to encourage those of you who ENJOY our site and find it USEFUL to DONATE and UPGRADE your membership from active member to donating or premium membership. If you want to know the differences in membership benefits, please visit THIS PAGE:

    https://www.hobby-machinist.com/premium/

    Donating memberships start at just $10 per year. These memberships are in fact donations that help pay our costs, and keep our site running!
    Thank you for your donation, God Bless You

  • As some of you know, I have wanted to stop managing H-M for some time. It's a tremendous strain on my personal life. I want to set up my own shop. In September, September 15, to be exact, it will be 8 years that Hobby-Machinist has been in existence.

    I have been training VTCNC to run things here. Dabbler is going to learn too. I feel that they are ready to start taking over the operation. I will be here to help in case they need, but I don't think they will. Tony Wells is and will be here also to consult with. I will be doing backups, upgrades, and installing addons. Other than that, I will not be around. I am leaving this place in good operating condition, and financial condition.
    --Nelson
[4]

Casters on a lathe

[3]
[10] Like what you see?
Click here to donate to this forum and upgrade your account!

abunai

Registered
Registered
Joined
Sep 16, 2017
Messages
110
Likes
35
#1
Because I don't have much space, I have my lathe on 4 casters. Metal wheels.
I want to replace them with larger wheeled ones.
It has 3" wheels now, I was hoping to get some 4" or larger.
I was thinking of adding 2 more casters in the middle hoping to make it easier to roll around.
Any thoughts on this???????
I also have an old Sheldon that I saved from junk.
I took it all apart for transport.
I was thinking of doing the same on it also. When I get around to it.
 

bhigdog

Registered
Registered
Joined
Apr 29, 2018
Messages
34
Likes
82
#2
A lathe is one of the few machines that should be leveled with a precision level. From a practical standpoint, for less than very precise work, it likely won't matter. I'm just sayin..............Bob
 

Aukai

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Oct 4, 2016
Messages
415
Likes
352
#3
I have mine on a metal frame with leveling castors. For me it will be movable if necessary, but will be leveled, shimmed as needed in place until I have to move it. Kinda semi permanent.
 

Eddyde

Moderator
Staff member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
1,325
Likes
1,046
#4
Yes a lathe needs to be precision leveled and "dialed in" for ultimate accuracy but for most non critical use, moving the lathe around on casters would probably not cause drastic issues.
 

benmychree

John York
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
2,126
Likes
1,564
#5
Some small lathes have a three point bearing on their bases so that leveling would not be an issue, but having said that, leveling is VERY important for most lathes if accurate work is to be accomplished; if not accurately leveled, a lathe will not cut straight and will face convex or concave.
 

MrWhoopee

H-M Supporter - Silver Member
H-M Supporter - Silver Member ($10)
Joined
Jan 20, 2018
Messages
285
Likes
185
#6
Bed length and rigidity of the base are very important. Not having access to a precision level, I just did a rough level on my Heavy 10 with a carpenter's level. It's a 4 ft. bed on a cabinet base and cuts .0003 taper over 14 in. Close enough for the kind of work I'm doing.

Extra casters in the middle will give you more load capacity, but, unless they are bigger than the ones at the end (not desirable on a lathe), they make it harder to manuever. I have a heavy tooling cabinet with 6 casters, it's a pain to move around.
 

benmychree

John York
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
2,126
Likes
1,564
#7
Bed length and rigidity of the base are very important. Not having access to a precision level, I just did a rough level on my Heavy 10 with a carpenter's level. It's a 4 ft. bed on a cabinet base and cuts .0003 taper over 14 in. Close enough for the kind of work I'm doing.

Extra casters in the middle will give you more load capacity, but, unless they are bigger than the ones at the end (not desirable on a lathe), they make it harder to manuever. I have a heavy tooling cabinet with 6 casters, it's a pain to move around.
I would suspect that the .0003 of taper that you refer to is when the work is supported by the tailstock center; I'm talking about chucking work, which world be unsupported.
 

wrmiller

Chief Tinkerer
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Mar 21, 2013
Messages
3,379
Likes
1,359
#8
The 'leveling' requirement of a lathe is having the bed free of twist. That's it.

There is no requirement for it to be aligned to earth's core. If that were the case, lathes on-board Navy vessels wouldn't work. ;)

When I had my SB lathe and PM25 on 40" toolboxes, I made sure the left and right ends of the lathe bed were in-plane, and that's it. Worked just fine for the barrel work I did for my pistols. Accurate too.
 

abunai

Registered
Registered
Joined
Sep 16, 2017
Messages
110
Likes
35
#9
For the kind of work I do on it, it's not that critical.
Being able to move it around is more important.
Wish I had the space to just leave it in one place.
I've never had something heavy on 6 wheels.
I would think it would be easier to move around.
Is that correct????
 

bhigdog

Registered
Registered
Joined
Apr 29, 2018
Messages
34
Likes
82
#10
The 'leveling' requirement of a lathe is having the bed free of twist. That's it.
That's correct.
The precision level establishes a datum or reference point so the entire bed can be aligned with that point. Within reason the lathe won't mind if it's not perpendicular to the Earth's center as long as the bed is free of twist or bow..............Bob
I
 

wrmiller

Chief Tinkerer
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Mar 21, 2013
Messages
3,379
Likes
1,359
#11
For the kind of work I do on it, it's not that critical.
Being able to move it around is more important.
Wish I had the space to just leave it in one place.
I've never had something heavy on 6 wheels.
I would think it would be easier to move around.
Is that correct????
Yes, it will be easier to move around if on wheels. My PM935 has casters in it's base and can be wheeled around. But care must be taken as moving it's like trying to dance with the Queen Mary. Sometimes she wants to go where she wants, regardless of the direction you are pushing it. :D
 

Eddyde

Moderator
Staff member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
1,325
Likes
1,046
#12
For the kind of work I do on it, it's not that critical.
Being able to move it around is more important.
Wish I had the space to just leave it in one place.
I've never had something heavy on 6 wheels.
I would think it would be easier to move around.
Is that correct????
Are you talking about a set up having 2 non swiveling wheels mounted in the middle, slightly lower then the wheels on the ends (like the lumber carts at the home centers)?
 

wildcatfan

Swarf
Registered
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
14
Likes
2
#13
I would caution against adding wheels unless your lathe is a small table top or mini lathe. Lathes are very top heavy, especially the older ones. Takes very little to get them out of balance and the results can be diastrous both for the lathe and anyone between them and where they are going.
I understand the need to move items to have work space, if wheels are absolutely necessary you may want to fab up a base that is wider and longer than the footprint of your lathe. Or if you only infrequently need to move it, small 3/4 or 1in pipe works wonders and keeps the center of gravity that much lower. Just my 2cents.
 
Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
3,389
Likes
1,626
#14
You can always add adj length feet to level the machines. When I build them I either weld outriggers to level and add stability . It may look funny but machines on wheels can be leveled up pretty quickly , my mill drill seemed to me it would or could be tippy with a bit of weight on the table so off the four corners I added the outriggers 12" wider from the base. I over build everything nothing will crinkle or bend on my builds.
 

abunai

Registered
Registered
Joined
Sep 16, 2017
Messages
110
Likes
35
#15
Looking at all 6 wheels swiveling.
Lathe is a Craftsman 12x36 101.07403.
I've been moving it around since I got it years ago.
I want to change to bigger wheels so, hopefully, it will be easier to move.
I'm thinking of adding 2 more swivel casters to spread the load out, hoping it will help.
The Sheldon is a long term project. Once finished, I'm planing to sell it.
I think it's a 10x36. LWQU 6827.
Saved it from being thrown away.
 

cjtoombs

Active User
Registered
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
549
Likes
163
#16
I've found that larger wheels and steel wheels tend to roll better under very heavy loads on concrete. I put some 5" urethane wheels on a shaper and when I was done, I couldn't move it. Had to replace them with 6" steel wheels, it was movable after that. I use either leveling casters or put outriggers with leveling pads and screws to level machines that I put on casters. It does aid in leveling, but also makes sure the machines don't move (which is certainly a concern with shapers). Good luck.
 

Downwindtracker2

Active User
Registered
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
243
Likes
95
#17
I made a frame to set my 12x24 lathe on. It was big enough to hold two of the low roll around tool boxes. I mounted cast iron casters underslung with large angle iron. And had redi-rod going into hockey pucks for rough leveling. I'm 6' 1" and I find it a bit tall.
 

benmychree

John York
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
2,126
Likes
1,564
#18
John York wrote:

> Smaller South Bend lathes are the ones that I have seen that had 3

> point bearing on their bench legs; with them, leveling is not an

> issue, and it is correct that leveling with respect to the Earth’s

> core is unimportant, only alignment is important. If one has a lathe

> long enough to have and need center legs, LEVEL is important if the

> bed is to be made to be into correct alignment in terms of humped up

> or sway backed; this can be done in other ways than with s sensitive

> level, such as laser alignment or other methods, but the level is

> within the amateur’s grasp, financially, at least. Such a level should be calibtated to .0005” at least.

>A good example of (relative) leveling is the level used and presumably made by the Warner & Swasey turret lathe folks; it was widely adjustable on one end of the level vial, so that it was adjusted to whatever existed on one end of the bed, and the other end of the bed was adjusted to match, no attempt being made to level to earth's core.
 

mikey

Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
4,002
Likes
4,302
#19
Abunai, your lathe isn't very large - maybe 400# soaking wet? I would just use four leveling casters. Carrymaster AC-300's would handle that lathe easily; they have a load capacity of over 300# each, for a total of over 1200# for the set of four. I have an 800# RF-31 mill/stand on these casters and I roll that thing around with one finger, then quickly level it when I site it.

You do not need 6 casters, just 4 good ones. Carrymaster casters are sold as Carrymaster, Sunnex or Zambus - same thing. They come in a plate style with 4 holes or stem style with a single central bolt hole; the former is more stable. These are high-quality casters and, in my opinion, are superior to the Footmaster brand.

https://www.amazon.com/Sunnex-SLC-3...id=1525197377&sr=8-11&keywords=sunnex+casters

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sunnex-Nyl...146195&hash=item1ecb3e4e02:g:aFIAAOSwWdZZZlbD
 

abunai

Registered
Registered
Joined
Sep 16, 2017
Messages
110
Likes
35
#20
Those are really nice casters. Didn't even know they made something like that.
I'll study it more.
Thanks.
 

Aukai

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Oct 4, 2016
Messages
415
Likes
352
#21
My mill is on Footmaster, the lathe is on Carrymaster. There is a difference.
 

derf

Registered
Registered
Joined
Oct 3, 2015
Messages
546
Likes
591
#22
What a qwinky-dink...I just finished my casters up tonight.
DSC02522.JPG
DSC02523.JPG
 

abunai

Registered
Registered
Joined
Sep 16, 2017
Messages
110
Likes
35
#23
That's a great idea, but probably not for me.
I must have a powerful magnet in my toes.
They seem to be attracted to anything metal sticking out at toe level.
 
[6]
[5] [7]
Top