My workshop is not very big and that means that some of my woodworking machinery needs to be moved around from time to time in order to operate it, like my router table, planer, bandsaw and sometimes my drill press and table saw. All of these tools have wheels to make them easier to move around, and they all have "locking" wheels, which means that when you move a lever on the wheel, it locks the wheel from rolling. 

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One of the problems with most locking wheels is that they sit under a support on the machine. This becomes a problem of locking and unlocking the wheels when that locking lever is hidden under the machine. This often means getting down on your hands and knees to lock or unlock a wheel ... 

 The whole purpose of having locking wheels is to have a convenient way of locking and unlocking them, so the design of most of them is very poor. There are some that have overcome this by upgrading their design, and the price is also upgraded as well, and because of that, they are harder to find because they are not carried by many vendors. 

Here is one version with 2-3/8 inch wheels, selling for around $55 for 4 wheels on Amazon

caster wheels

 Here is another version with 2" wheels, without the protruding wheel that is selling for around $18 for 4 on Amazon


Here is another alternative for a couple of dollars and some time, that will work on all wheels and they don't even need to be locking wheels

Table Saw Locking Wheels

And speaking of wheels and moving machinery, I try to keep as much off my workshop floor as possible, but sometimes machine cords have to lay on the floor. The only problem this causes me is that sometimes when I go to move a machine, the cords block the wheels from moving, which on a smaller machine is not a problem, but on my very heavy table saw, it means I have to stop, walk around the front of the saw and pick up the cord and move it, then go back around the back of the machine to move it. All this takes time and takes away from the flow of working. I recently I found a quick solution for this with ... yes .... more magnets, but these are the ones with the hooks, the same ones I use to string my video lights along my suspended ceiling rails. I took three of these hooks that I got from Amazon, mounted them to the side of my table saw and re-strung the power cord and  *presto* a quick easy fix, then a added a couple more of these to other machines and it solved my "cord blocking wheel" problem 

Cable Hooks

Another tool that can interrupt my workflow is working with my hole saw, especially when I a need to drill a few holes. My old hole saw was often very difficult to get the plugs out of, depending on the wood, but I discovered the Freud Quick Release Mandrel and now I can pop those plugs out in seconds, even when I am using my older hole saw cutters. 

Freud Quick Release Mandrel

Here was a tip sent to me from Tim and a great way to give your Tri-square yet another job to do, and this is as a marker. With a simple spring clamp that you can purchase at your local stationary department (if you don't already have a few of them kicking around the house) ... these simple clamps can turn your square into a marking gauge for a pencil, and it does a good job too. I like the fact that you can get very accurate measurements using this method ... thanks, Tim ... great tip

combination square marking square

Copyright Colin Knecht

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