Mobile Machine Bases,

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Eddie Piotrowski 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #10183
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    Eddie Piotrowski
    Participant

    You guys help me out with the lighting in the workshop. Thanks. Now a new topic. I need to make a Table saw and a Radial arm saw <yeah, I know you guys are jealous I still have one> mobile, any recommendations on the bases? 3 or 4 wheels? the machines do have four legs. And they are not real heavy. I checked online they ain’t cheap?

  • #10185
    Daryl Rosenblatt
    Daryl Rosenblatt
    Participant

    Back when they did that, I had HTC actually custom make me a mobile base for my jointer, which weighs about 1000 pounds (it’s a 12 inch jointer with flip up tables for a thickness planer). I learned, you don’t want to come too close to the limit of the base, and you want 4 wheels if you can, two that move 360 degrees. A small foot brake to just hold it in place is nice also (helpful when you then have to bend down and lock the wheels). So take the weight of the heavier tool, then assume I think a 25% factor of safety and see what the bases are rated. The adjustable ones are pretty heavy duty (always get the heavier duty base). Yes, they are expensive, I don’t think there are many ways around it, it’s a big chunk of either welded or heavy bolted big pieces of steel. I’ve never used those “add your own wood” bases, but maybe someone else knows about them. You want it big and massive, not just to wheel it around, but to stay stable when you turn on the machine and actually use it.

  • #10186
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    Charlie James
    Participant

    I don’t have them anymore but I used mobile bases for years on all my tools since my shop was small. I made them out of several layers of plywood and laid a solid pine 1″X6″ flat around the top to prevent sagging. I’d compare it to a movers dolly. I lag bolted the legs of the machines to the base. I used four lockable 4″ 360 degree wheels, I usually locked 2 when I used the saw. The base had to be larger than the body of the saws so there wasn’t a problem with “tipping over” when a project was placed on the saws. The wheels were placed on the most extreme edges as that’s the point of contact and it made it easier to lock wheels with my foot. The only problem I had was the height of the tools with the base and wheels added to it. If I made them again I’d use smaller industrial wheels made for the weight and I’d figure out some way of putting something like a temporary wood frame all around it when in place so the wheels weren’t the only point of contact with the ground. I have a laguna bandsaw and it came with wheels and a metal base. It has a long metal bar with wheels that fits into a hole in the base and you use leverage to tip the saw and move it. The base takes into account the height of the wheels so the metal base is flat on the ground. The plywood bases were jury rigged contraptions but served me well for years.

  • #10187
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    Charlie James
    Participant

    On another note: I tried selling my radial arm saw for years and eventually gave it to a friend that was setting up a shop for the NYC housing authority. It worked well for years but I found my chop saws worked fine for the work I was doing so I didn’t need it anymore.

  • #10188
    Joe Bottigliere
    Joe Bottigliere
    Participant

    None of the quality bases are cheap. I have a monster for my table saw and extension table as well as an adjustable one for my jointer. Both are worth their salt. But I do use one of the hybrid bases where you supply the wood to join the corners and a wooden base to rest the machine on. It works pretty well. It’s certainly strong enough to hold me hefty bandsaw but it is a three-wheel unit which makes pivoting easy (good for me) but a bit more fussy if you want to move the unit any distance. Based on my experience, I would recommend such a base and follow Charlie’s guidelines. If you have experience welding, I don’t see why you couldn’t make your own frame and add strong wheels. A custom frame would be even stronger since you will not compromise strength for adjustability. You could use smaller steel stock since you won’t need nuts and bolts. Just a thought.

    On another note, I’ll have to break my streak with Charlie. I still have my first power tool – my radial arm saw – and make good use of it. Although I won’t rip with it anymore, it’s great for dados and indexing cuts and such. Plus the cross cut capacity is great. Now onto toothed blades.

  • #10189
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    Charlie James
    Participant

    Joe, thanks for that, I was getting worried! Yep, welding a frame would be best. Outsized frame and beefy wheels would work perfect. I liked the 4 wheels, much easier to move around.

  • #10234
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    Eddie Piotrowski
    Participant

    Joe, nice idea making my own, on the lookout for a bed frame, Mr. Felsen’s idea, some wheels, let you know how I make out.

  • #10239
    Daryl Rosenblatt
    Daryl Rosenblatt
    Participant

    No matter what route you take, you want to make sure two of the wheels or casters (generally the rear two) are mobile. The fronts can be fixed. And don’t forget the brake.

  • #10240
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    Charlie James
    Participant

    I have all 4 wheels rotate so I can turn it on a dime. As Daryl said, make sure they lock. I keep losing the dimes though…

  • #10241
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    Eddie Piotrowski
    Participant

    Charlie, losing the dimes because you can’t see them where they land
    or can’t reach way down there ??

  • #10243
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    Charlie James
    Participant

    Ed, Both!

  • #10245
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    Eddie Piotrowski
    Participant

    I know the feeling well,

  • #10260
    Daryl Rosenblatt
    Daryl Rosenblatt
    Participant

    The solution is easy. If you see a dime, toss down a nickel and another dime. You might not bend for a dime, but you might for a quarter.

  • #10261
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    Eddie Piotrowski
    Participant

    I will try that, another great solution by Daryl ,,

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