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Harbor Freight Moving Dollies...

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railfancwb

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As others have mentioned, some items Harbor Freight sells are good values while others are less so.

One item I have bought a LOT of is their larger size wooden moving dolly.

http://m.harborfreight.com/30-in-x-19-in-1000-lb-capacity-hardwood-dolly-62398.html

Most of mine are holding machines and other items for the shop I'm building. Some were used as they came from the store. Others were held in place with ratchet straps - also from Harbor Freight.

http://m.harborfreight.com/400-lb-capacity-1-in-x-15-ft-ratcheting-tie-downs-4-pc-61524.html

Some dollies have been bolted to the equipment.

And a few have been cut apart and remodeled to be more suitable for the task at hand. Yesterday for example I cut the long sides of one, drilled the two carpeted ends for carriage bolts, and fastened them to the base of a Craftsman Commercial Metal Lathe (12"x36" 550 pounds). Then I bolted cut to fit lengths of 1"x4" to the cut ends, so now the lathe has its own dolly.

Local Sunday paper usually has a flyer and many magazines include print ads for Harbor Freight. These ads usually include a 20% off coupon and a coupon for a free item with any purchase, as well as coupons or special prices on other things. I wait until the dollies or straps are on sale and buy ahead...


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6mmBR

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I have a couple of those. I'm doing a pressure test on one of them; I have 500# of metal sitting spread equally across the dolly, with some wood to fill in the blank space. The dolly has been holding up for a couple of months now, but it is a little "sway backed".

Not bad for $16 though.

The other one is storing my hardwood pieces until I can move them out of the way. I can roll it around as needed.
 

AR1911

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I have a number of those as well. I actually prefer the plastic and metal onces that seem to be discontinued. I still have a big lathe on a pair of those, though it's looking a bit stressed.
What I buy more of now are those black steel car dollies. When they run them at $39.95/pair, less 20% that's $32 for 8 decent casters with cast iron wheels, or $4 per caster. You can use the dollies as-is under some machines, or use the casters under a playwood or metal plate sized to fit the purpose.
 

joebiplane

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I have bought and used many dollies from HF but in my experience the non-wood ( it is some sort of plastic) is waaaay better than the wood. it is a few buck more but it will easily outlast the wood. The very small wood is just fine...it is stronger because of its non-stressed size
 

AR1911

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I agree. The plastic dollies have steel reinforcement beams on the long sides. But lately the local HF doesn't seem to have them in stock.
 

MikeWi

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Not sure of the size, but I used some of those to move my lathe down into the basement. the casters ripped away from the mounts, even though the weight was easily within the label's rating. The mounting plate was still screwed to the wood, the center post just pulled right out of each one. Maybe only good for level floor use. :)
 

arvidj

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Not sure of the size, but I used some of those to move my lathe down into the basement. the casters ripped away from the mounts, even though the weight was easily within the label's rating. The mounting plate was still screwed to the wood, the center post just pulled right out of each one. Maybe only good for level floor use. :)
I had a similar experience with one of the two black car dollies used to move the surface grinder. The basement floor is flat but has a small crack in it. When the caster encountered the crack the center post pulled out of the plate. Ball bearings all over. Luckily the load did not tip over but it was "exciting" for a few minutes.
 

Tony Wells

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I have a vise stored on one of the small ones, and an indexer with a 10" 3 jaw stored on another. They roll around nicely and I can pick the stuff up with my hoist when I need it on the mill. I need a couple more. I personally don't care for machines on wheels, but I understand the need in some cases. But, I don't have a machine that is light enough to do it reasonably to anyway. Can't imagine my 24" shaper on wheels.
 

AR1911

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Shapers are one of the few tool categories that don't work well on wheels. They move around plenty even without wheels. I had to chain my Atlas to the wall.
 

Tony Wells

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I have mine sitting on 6 x 6" alum. plates. It tends to settle in and the aluminum grabs pretty good. If I run it too fast with a long stroke, it does kind of get exciting though. I weighs about 8k according to the guys that moved it for me. They had to go across the scales on I-20 on the way, so I expect that to be about right. I know moving it around the shop to position it was interesting.
 

JR49

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I personally don't care for machines on wheels, but I understand the need in some cases.
I don't have casters or wheels on my 12" Logan, and didn't feel the need for them on my new (still partially boxed) PM 932, as once set up, I will probably never move them. I did, however, have, what I think is a pretty good idea when making my riser base for said mill. I made the threaded part of the adjustable feet long enough so that, if needed, I can raise it just high enough to slide 2 HF dollies under, and lower it on dollies. If my wife ever lets me out in shop again (had health issues from playing to hard making the stand), I'll take some pics of it. Also plan on doing a post about the new mill. Happy Machining, JR49
 

AR1911

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My mill is on a caster stand, but it's not as stable as I would like. I think I may make a simple riser that will let me run a pallet jack under it. Might be a better solution than dollies, except for having to store the jack when not in use.
 
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