Instructables
First a little background:

When I bought my washer and dryer a couple years ago, I couldn't justify the extra $400 for the stands to raise them up to a comfortable height for loading and unloading.  I decided to build my own stand out of wood and was able to put together a real sturdy setup.  The only problem was that my washer and dryer were located in a part of the basement that had a sloping concrete floor.  I shimmed my heart out trying to get the platform level, but it still walks all over the place and I have had the dryer slide off the edge a couple times.

Time for an upgrade.  I decided to build a new stand out of steel. I haven't found any information online on how to build your own out of steel, nor with adjustable feet, so I will be designing and building the project.  Ever since I got my new wire-feed welder I have been looking for projects and this one fits the bill properly.
 
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Step 1: Design

I wanted the new washer dryer stand to be stout, but easily moved so I decided to make 1 stand for each machine so I could adjust them independent of each other and I would be able to get them into the basement easier than one large stand.  The only measurements I really needed were the distances between the feet front to back and side to side.  The stand doesn't need to be any bigger than the footprint of the machines, so I designed mine that the feet set directly on the corners of each stand, above the stand's legs (it will make more sense as the project progresses).  I also designed the top of the stand with an 8" overhang so when the stand is all the way against the wall, there is still room for the dryer hose and water hoses to make their bends without kinking or folding over.
wrsexton7 months ago

A good addition to this would be to add rubber vibration isolating feet like this:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Heavy-Duty-Levelin...

tnlightle (author)  wrsexton7 months ago
Ha, I ended up doing the exact same thing, minus the glue. I don't plan on moving my washer/dryer around like that guy will need to with his table saw. The original pads kept slipping off the bottoms of the bolts, so on my search for something better I found those exact rubber pads and the head of the bolt fit perfectly inside them. Since then, maybe 4 months ago, my washer hasn't moved a millimeter from its original location!
tnlightle (author)  tnlightle7 months ago

Here's a picture of what I was talking about. Thanks for the comment!

photo.JPG
knife1411 year ago
I really like what you've done here. It still amazes me that stores charge $400-$500 for metal boxes to raise these machines to a workable height. Way to go!
tnlightle (author)  knife1411 year ago
That's right. Sticking it to the man, one project at a time!
GarageGuru1 year ago
Big, big fan of the unistrut! From the pictures I saw, were the bolts you used non-graded? If so I think I would swap them out for some grade 8 bolts. Grade 5 bolts might do, but like you mentioned, "when in doubt, I always overkill it a bit." I thought the extensions of the platform to the wall was a brilliant idea. But with unbalanced loads over time I would worry about the metal chiseling into the basement wall. I'd put some rubber pads in between the metal extensions and the wall to eliminate that possibility. Other than that, great post!
tnlightle (author)  GarageGuru1 year ago
Great suggestions all around. Thank you. I did consider grade 5 or grade 8, but went for price over strength in that area. Since I am only dealing with a few hundred pounds distributed over 4 legs, I think the bolts will be fine. To be honest, I think my inconsistent welds will break before the bolts would strip. I will update if any of that happens. I also considered padding the extensions, but now with everything level, nothing moves. The washer vibrates a little because that's what front loaders do when spinning a 3,000 rpm or whatever it is they spin at, but the platform had no movement at all. Regardless, it is still a great suggestion to make sure your walls are protected.
djr15 months ago

Yes, you can definitely weld zinc......problem is, the fumes are poisonous. Grinding the coating off can give you some degree of safety, as long as you're wearing a decent respirator while your grinding. I prefer to weld on an end cap then drill/tap threads into it. Just my 2 cents.

when you level your washer make sure to have a load in and running at high speed, for the best results each foot must have 25% of the weight distributed or the unit will not balance and it will want to walk.
Do not use any galvanized material when welding whatsoever! The Cadmium plating creates a poisonous gas when it burns during the welding process. it is extremely toxic!
tnlightle (author)  Artorius36911 year ago
Thanks for the warning. Just to be clear: this is zinc plating and not galvanized. Not sure about the cadmium you mention, but welding through zinc plating in a well ventilated area has little to no effect whatsoever - especiall if you use MIG or wire-feed. It does release zinc oxide fumes which can make you sick in large quantities. Here is what I referenced when preparing for this project: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/weldinggalvanized.pdf
"The first line of defense in dealing with zinc oxide fumes is welder training. Welders should be taught -- even when welding uncoated materials -- to keep their heads out of the fume plume and to position themselves relative to the air flow around themselves so fumes and dust do not collect inside their welding shields. If a welder finds white dust inside his welding shield when welding galvanized products, he is not positioning himself properly. When welding galvanized products that have thin, uniform coatings and the process is gas-shielded MIG or flux core, the fumes generated are sparse and the shielding gas blows them away from the welder; this is frequently sufficient to avoid metal fume fever without further action."

Regardless, this project is so small that the exposure is minimal even if no safety was taken into consideration.
HollyMann1 year ago
Great job!
billbillt1 year ago
great idea
caarntedd1 year ago
Nice work, very professional. (but I secretly like the old shims).
This is really good, thanks for writing it up