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I have this 900-lb air compressor on a wooden base I built. At the time I built it, I was able to move it around using a pallet jack. But now it's in a room that's too small to accommodate the pallet jack, and I'm looking for another way to maneuver it into position.

enter image description here

An ideal solution would be a heavy-duty adjustable caster I could side-mount to the platform. I imagine something with a long, threaded stem and a hex head, and a beefy bracket that can accommodate lag screws into the side of this base. Then I could just use a wrench to lower them (thereby raising the platform), push it into position, then raise them back up to lower the compressor. But after an hour of googling, I haven't found anything sufficiently sturdy to do the job.

In the photo you can just make out these three-wheeled dollies. I was going to try to jack it up onto those. They're only rated for 200 lb each, but I'm hoping they'll last long enough to let me put it in position.

Beyond that, what suggestions do you fine folks have?

(P.S.—I had a really hard time finding a tag for this post.)

Update:

I found something called a jacking caster. These are awfully expensive, but it's more-or-less what I was imagining.

Update 2:

Ah! Yes, searching for "jacking swivel caster" is yielding results: http://revvocaster.com/index.php/whats-your-application/40-jacking

  • Many shops, on and off-line, sell heavy duty casters in a multitude of formats. – Solar Mike Jul 10 at 10:45
  • I have literally looked at dozens of products. None meets my needs so far. – Rick Jul 10 at 10:46
  • Then you may have to purchase one type and modify to match your individual situation. – Solar Mike Jul 10 at 10:47
  • I can fairly easily make a sufficiently strong bracket. Harder for me will be to get the threaded stem I envision. I had hoped someone here might have come across a product I haven't found yet. Or maybe offer another solution. – Rick Jul 10 at 10:49
  • Have a look at the wheels & supports used for the movable scaffolding - they have a large (2" dia) coarse thread... – Solar Mike Jul 10 at 10:59
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Better answer from fred_dot_u, but if you wanted to blow the budget, you can get side mount trailer jacks with wheels. The downside is that they mount high, so you'd have to add (probably) a couple of 4x4s underneath or fab some fancy brackets.

Alternate, also budget unfriendly: Jessem alts caster set. ***Edit, just got info from Jessem, they said they don't know a max load rating, but have only tested to 75#/wheel, so this seems unsuitable...

Alternate-alternate, budget friendly but hard work: get ~10" of air under the pallet (a bit of height at a time... stack wood underneath... go to the other side... stack... repeat) and attach regular casters.

  • The JessEm ALTS caster set would be ideal, but unfortunately those look like they aren't sturdy enough, and they don't specify a load limit. I've seen a similar retracting caster at Woodcraft, but it was definitely too small. – Rick Jul 10 at 13:21
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What about thinking above instead of to the side? Attach the large casters to a hefty beam that extends wider than the base. The casters would have to be taller than the current top of the base, or spacers added to the beam to make it thus.

The beam then hovers above the base, one beam per side, with long bolts, perhaps lag bolts extending through the beam. As you tighten the bolts into the base, it is lifted from the floor.

This is a suggestion for a temporary transport, although it could be modified or left as-is for permanent movement options.

EDIT: The reference to ten inches of air brought to my alleged mind a product known as an airbag lift: Amazon link to airbag lift

The text references five hundred pound capacity (per bag) and a 3/32" thickness. You'd have to use a bar to get that space in there, but it's less than an eighth of an inch and certainly doable. Three inch lift capacity means you might have to step-lift your pallet, but you'd eventually get sufficient height to attach ordinary casters within your existing footprint. US$28 isn't particularly expensive.

airbag lift

  • Yeah, that could work, although I feel like that would require a larger footprint than what I had in mind. I just found something called a "jacking caster," but it's expensive. Will update the question. – Rick Jul 10 at 13:17
  • You can reduce the footprint by using a steel beam or steel angle in place of a wood beam. I was unable to find prices for jacking casters, but I didn't search too thoroughly. They simply look expensive, but a slick answer. – fred_dot_u Jul 10 at 15:21
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The wooden base is awesome. But you're making this harder than it is.

Get a piece of steel or aluminum L-girder, say 4" on a side. You want it big enough for the casters to swivel, and bolt the casters to them.

Then, you either use lag screws, bolt-and-nut, or lag studs into the wood. One high one, and 2-3 lower ones. The lower holes should be slotted a bit.

Then you install at an angle and tighten up the bolts/screws. Voilà.

enter image description here

I would have suggested jacking up the unit an inch or two to install the casters, but I presume you have already excluded that.

  • That might work! – Rick Jul 11 at 7:05
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These Workbench casters from Rockler are what you need.

enter image description here

They allow you to have the unit on the ground until you need to move it, and then use your foot to push down on the caster to lower the wheel/raise the unit so it can be moved.

  • Yeah, those are one of the first things I looked. Nowhere near the necessary load capability. – Rick Jul 11 at 7:04

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