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Thread: Leveling two table saws side/side

  1. #1
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    Leveling two table saws side/side

    So time to setup the centerpiece of the shop- the table saw station. I have a PM 66 with a 72Ē fence thatíll be the numero uno saw, and I recently picked up an old Delta Unisaw that I plan to bolt next to it, so that they will share a common fence. I will then build out a nice out feed table station with multiple drawers/cabinets... router table, and possibly a third TS later for ripping only. But for now I just need to get the two TSís connected and level.

    I have a large table saw mobile base that I plan to put them both on. Will weld up a steel plate on top that they both sit on top of. My current question is what have yíall done to level them in a way that will be a semi permanent level, and wonít vibrate out. Since thereís no bottom per se to either saw, just the steel cabinet frames. Iím at a loss. Could really use some experienced input here. Thanks so much as always.

    Once I get it up and going Iíll post some pics.
    TIA
    Dave

  2. #2
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    Iím planning to do the same thing soon. Will likely just use shims honestly. Could consider some adjustable feet as there are usually a holes at each corner.
    Last edited by Matt Day; 01-05-2020 at 10:28 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    Iím planning to do the same thing soon. Will likely just use shims honestly. Could consider some adjustable feet as there are usually a holes at each corner.
    Yeah my prelim plans were to shim and then bolt the wings together. But donít like shins for a long term plan. Surely theyíll vibrate out? Neither of my saws currently has holes in the corners, but thatís probably the best plan I guess- turn it over and install heavy duty levelers before starting this.

  4. #4
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    Two pieces of heavy c channel side to side. Cabinets bolted to channel in all four corners. Weld a few cross pieces between the channel so it is all one piece.
    That is the basic design of the mobile base I made for my rockwell tablesaw. The extra length to the right of the cabinet is too support the table top extension and some storage cabinets. I removed the plinth on the cabinet to keep height reasonable due to wheel diameter. I used 3.5x2" C channel about 1/8" thick.
    You could use taper wedges with U cutouts for the bolts.
    Bill D
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 01-05-2020 at 11:16 PM.

  5. #5
    Here's how I assembled my Unisaw and Delta contractors saw on a mobile base.


    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  6. #6
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    Stainless steel motor shims have been leveling my two table saws for years. As long as I don't move them, they stay leveled in place. My shaper is leveled and shimmed to the same height, but is it not butted up against them.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  7. #7
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    The challenge in using a mobile base to support something that big and heavy is going to be stiffness. Unless your floor is very flat it's going to make the top flex. A few options;

    1. Build it very ridged with a lot of steel so that when you move it, it stays flat on top even if one wheel is off the floor. Once in place slip a wedge under one wheel.

    2. Use only 3 wheels so it does not wobble. When in place provide support under a couple of other corners. Adjustable feet would be good.

    3. If you always place it in the same spot when you want it really flat you can just shim it in that spot and accept a little unflatness in other locations.

  8. #8
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    I have 2 table saws on a raised wooden base of about 4 1/2 inches. I like the saws to be a little taller is one main reason, but another benefit is that my dust collection is simple: a pipe into the side of the base pulls dust from the bottom of both the saw cabs. I use a common fence, and one challenge is to get the saws exactly lined up to the same fence. At the front they are both bolted to the common rail, of course, with about 1" between them (that's how the holes lined up). At the back I lined up two facing holes in the top edges -- I had to drill a new one in one saw -- and have a 5/16 bolt with 3 nuts & washers. The head + 1 nut fasten it to one saw; the other pair traps the second saw, and are adjusted in-out as a pair so as to get the two miter slots exactly parallel. I adjusted the fence to the Unisaw slots using the usual fence adjusters, then slid it to the Atlas side and moved the saw adjuster. Butting the two table tops together did not give perfectly parallel miter slots.
    Terry T.

  9. #9
    I just used shims.

    I did away with mobile base.

    I have a similar set up, the two tables were "temporarily" clamped together with C clamps when I levelled them out. Was planning to drill and bolt but this presented some problems even with a right angle drill. Clamps still there and holding well.

    Had to do over (and I plan to change it one day) I would not have mounted them side by side, but rather across and opposite each other. Reason being, there are times when leaving a fence set hinders cutting width of other ts.

    I have since done away with the overhead DC drop and buried it under the floor.

    IMG_0735.jpg

  10. #10
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    Love the ideal but being on mobile base I would think that it may be level in one area but as you move it then may not be level.I sure like Roberts setup once itís level donít have to do it agsin

  11. #11
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    Shimming is the de facto method for leveling. But the challenge here is the mobile base...cast iron and steel bends. Yes, they really do. And as you move things around the mobile base will flex with variations in the floor which can easily take your perfectly coplaner double saw surfaces and make them no longer coplaner. For this kind of setup, the ideal situation would be truly stationary, on the floor and shimmed coplaner "permanently" like Robert shows in his photo above.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #12
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    OK, thanks so much all. What a wealth on info shared on this forum!! That is great info and what I needed to hear. So shims it'll be.

    Mike Cutler mentioned above using stainless steel motor shims. Sounds like good plan for sure, but it appears in the picture Robert attached, using wood? Is the wood, or even plastic shims from Homers sufficient, or should I pony up the $ and order some stainless ones, thoughts?

  13. #13
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    Grainger sells those shim kits we use them at work for reasons Mike gave but hold on to your wallet

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Burson View Post
    OK, thanks so much all. What a wealth on info shared on this forum!! That is great info and what I needed to hear. So shims it'll be.

    Mike Cutler mentioned above using stainless steel motor shims. Sounds like good plan for sure, but it appears in the picture Robert attached, using wood? Is the wood, or even plastic shims from Homers sufficient, or should I pony up the $ and order some stainless ones, thoughts?
    I think it would depend on weight?
    I found a motor shim kit at a flea market some twenty plus years ago. I think it was twenty bucks for what would have cost a couple hundred new. Gotta be a couple hundred shims in that kit. I use what I have, no reason at all that plastic and wood shouldn't work just as well.
    All of my machines are on mobile bases. I have a very rough concrete garage floor that is not level. There is a sheet of 3/8" ply wood on top of the floor, jusyt so I can actually roll the machines easily. All of my bases are Jet Heavy duty bases, that lock in place. I have the shims placed under the wheels and leveling pads of the machines.
    Jim Becker is absolutely correct as to what happens of you move one machine. You have to re-level everything again. It can take me a couple of hours just to get them back to level.
    My shaper is a little bit different. Same mobile base, but the frame of the base is sits on 3/4" stall mat, on top of 4/4 boards. The base is completely up off the ground.
    This machine is no longer level with the two table saws. Trying to keep three machines level with each other was extremely difficult, and not worth the effort.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

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