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Thread: How snug should a mobile base fit?

  1. #1

    How snug should a mobile base fit?

    I have an old 400lb cast iron 14" powermatic 143 bandsaw that I am in the process of rehabbing (carter bearings, new tires, mobile base, etc). I want to put it on a mobile base to wheel around my relatively level shop. I have been looking at the grizzly bear crawl with 4 locking swivel castors. The problem is, it will Adjust from 19" x 21" to 29-1/2" x 29-1/2", but my saw base is 24" X 16.5" is that too much space wiggle room in the mobile base? The saw base does have some eyelets for 7/16" bolts so I will probably put it on a piece of ply whichever base I get and bolt her to it.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    They should fit closely, but sometimes that is not attainable. Through bolting is a good idea, but be prepared to shim to fit the base.
    I have no experience with that Grizzly base, but have tried similar designs with that box cross section tube construction and have not really liked it very much. I do have fairly roogh and uneven garage/shop floor though.
    For the $$$$ I have always found these Jet bases to be worth using. I think they are a more robust design. They can be drilled to fit, but I have not found it worthwhile as of yet.

    https://www.jettools.com/us/en/p/universal-mobile-base-jmb-umb-hd/708119
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  3. #3
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    Having the base larger is not an issue and can be more stable for what is effectively a very top heavy tool. Put in a layer or two of plywood to provide a sturdy platform for the tool to be centers in the mobile base and bolt the machine to that platform.
    --

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

  4. #4
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    Bolt it down or risk tip over with a long board. A sheet of plywood under the base may help with sealing the base for dust collection?
    My unisaw would tip down to the right with heavy boards until I bolted it down.
    Bil lD

  5. #5
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    jim beat me to it (again ). Put ply in the bottom fitting snug and bolted the bandsaw to it by bolting through the ply and into the base.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 04-10-2020 at 10:26 PM.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
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  6. #6
    On the bear crawl you can cut down one pair of tubes so it will close up to the smaller dimension. There is sill enough space for the corner brackets with out them hitting. I think you can go down to about 14” by trimming the tubes. I would cut them down. I normally go with no more than 1/2 total clearance. 1/4 all the way around
    gary

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Markham View Post
    On the bear crawl you can cut down one pair of tubes so it will close up to the smaller dimension. There is sill enough space for the corner brackets with out them hitting. I think you can go down to about 14” by trimming the tubes. I would cut them down. I normally go with no more than 1/2 total clearance. 1/4 all the way around
    gary
    Both of the Bear Crawl mobile bases I have I cut down the tubes on a metal cutoff saw. One of them I cut all 4 tubes. I have my bases snugged right up to the machine bases. No additional clearance. I also drilled and bolted the machine bases to the Bear Crawls.

  8. Quote Originally Posted by Evan marples View Post
    I have an old 400lb cast iron 14" powermatic 143 bandsaw that I am in the process of rehabbing (carter bearings, new tires, mobile base, etc). I want to put it on a mobile base to wheel around my relatively level shop. I have been looking at the grizzly bear crawl with 4 locking swivel castors. The problem is, it will Adjust from 19" x 21" to 29-1/2" x 29-1/2", but my saw base is 24" X 16.5" is that too much space wiggle room in the mobile base? The saw base does have some eyelets for 7/16" bolts so I will probably put it on a piece of ply whichever base I get and bolt her to it.

    Thanks in advance.

    I personally have yet to find a mobile base design that I like. I wanted one for my shapers and large jointer but wanted it to have 4 swivel casters that can lock to secure without shifting during use. Couldn’t find an affordable solution so I built a frame out of 2x6’s with 2x12’s for the bottoms with everything glued and screwed. I then added four harbor freight 3” locking casters that can support 175lbs each and recessed them up into the frame. Now for under $40 each I have some sturdy mobile bases that are much easier to move around than the Grizzly or Rockler mobile bases that I tried before.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Does the saw have locations on the bottom where you mount feet?
    If so, can you put swivel casters there, instead?

    I've seen a number of people buying Zambus ($$$) casters for this on their big bandsaws.
    Believe footmaster is another brand that has been mentioned.

    Matt

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Lebanon, TN
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Robbinett View Post
    I personally have yet to find a mobile base design that I like. I wanted one for my shapers and large jointer but wanted it to have 4 swivel casters that can lock to secure without shifting during use.
    Bora Portamate 3500, 4 whhel swivel/locking casters. Go to the 1:36 mark.


    Have nearly all my tools mounted on Bora Portamate mobile bases. They work well.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Having the base larger is not an issue and can be more stable for what is effectively a very top heavy tool. Put in a layer or two of plywood to provide a sturdy platform for the tool to be centers in the mobile base and bolt the machine to that platform.
    I do not have a bandsaw, but I intentionally built my drill press mobile base wider than press’s footprint. Two layers of ply glued together. Bolted the ply to the base, then bolted the drill press to the ply. Much more stable when rolling on my imperfect concrete floor.
    Comments made here are my own and, according to my children, do not reflect the opinions of any other person... anywhere, anytime.

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