Enclosure, Should I put wheels on it?

Looking for a little advice from the community. My Shapeoko XXL arrives on Monday and I’m starting the base/table for it this weekend. I will eventually build an enclosure for it because I want to keep the noise down and HATE dust in my shop, but the base comes first. I have a small shop and I want to have the option of moving it but I know from experience that as the spindle moves, if its on wheels, it may make the entire unit move. I want to keep vibration and movement (sway) to an absolute minimum for accuracy sake.
Should I put wheels on my table base?
Can I get away with locking heavy duty castors and locking only two of them? (its going to be in the corner)
Does a heavy duty tool base that has wheels but pivots down onto feet make sense?
Or should I just suck it up and put heavy duty felt pads on the base and slide it?

Couple of other things that might help…the floor is vinyl and pretty smooth. The CNC is going in the corner so access will be blocked on two side…not the way I want to do it but it’s the only way it’ll fit with everything else I have.
My table saw and outfeed table are on felt pads and together weigh 350-375 but I can slide it; not quickly but I can move it from one side of the shop to the other when needed. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


Ed M.

Yes, if you want to move it, put it on wheels — just use wheels and structure the base so that you can completely lift up the wheels and have the enclosure solidly on the floor (ideally adding in anti-vibration pads).

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From similar circumstances, would suggest lift type casters, either the “workbench” type that flip down for moving and up for solid base (example: https://www.amazon.com/POWERTEC-17000-Workbench-Caster-Pack/dp/B00SX3T2LO/ref=sr_1_4?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1537638155&sr=1-4&keywords=casters ) , or, more expensively, leveling casters (example: https://www.mcmaster.com/5475t12 ). Leveling type take a lot less space, and, in my experience, are a lot more rugged than the drop type, but, aside from the higher price, usually require getting down on hands and knees to set/retract the pads.

I tend not to like the felt pads on goof floors, as they hold grit and then act like sandpaper. With wheels, if the floor is clean, they don’t tend to do damage (says I, with all of the scratches in my 5-year old, 19mm hardwood T&G floor in my office that took my entire vacation, and way too much money, that year to hand lay and finish. No significant squeaks, though)

Regular locking swivel casters tend to allow for way too much vibration for my taste (my small drill press is on a 250Kg cabinet, and even with the wheels locked, I have it tied to building structure), and the non-swivel type tend to be more convenient on the side that gets buried, for the same reason that warehouse fork truck rear-wheel steer.

If two of four legs are solid (off the wheels), you are probably fine against any movement. Vibration will depend on how stiff the structure is. Even if the base as a whole can’t move, the legs on wheels can still vibrate. Diagonal bracing and stretchers to near the leg bottoms are your friend in controlling this.


Thanks! I like the “lift type” for most of my tools but I did want to level the unit so might go the route of the leveling casters. That’s another vote for designing the base w/ wheels in the plans!

Ed M.

Ed, FWIW my S3 XL is on 5” locking, poly, casters. The casters are mounted to a 3/4” mdf cabinet. On top of the cabinet is a 6” mdf torsion box. The XL is shimmed and bolted directly to the torsion box.

After aligning and tramming the machine I’ve not observed any accuracy, performance issues that are traceable to having the tool on wheels. Operator error, poor setup…that’s another matter.


Thanks Griff, I’ll check out the torsion box designs on the forum…I know there are a coupke out there.

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