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Thread: Mobile base for tall/narrow tools

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003

    Mobile base for tall/narrow tools

    Hi all, I'm looking for recommendations for a mobile base for three different tools in my shop. All of them tall and narrow and somewhat top-heavy. I have a Delta Platinum edition 14" band saw with riser, and it's currently on a Delta base that's made to fit the saw cabinet. I don't like it. It's wobbly and the three-wheel design is awkward. I've tried adjusting it various ways and it's not working out for me. I also have a second Delta band saw, this one a 1940 version with the four-legged open steel stand and splayed feet. No mobile base on it. Third is a 1930's Walker-Turner floor-standing drill press with the large round base. That's a top-heavy and tipsy device even without a mobile base. Right now to move it, I tip it slightly and sort of roll it around on the edge of the base. Don't really enjoy doing that, I'd like to have a solid locking base for each machine.

    Trying to find someone with real-world experience with bases that are stable in use and also reasonably stable when being moved. Price not really a concern. I could also have something custom made out of steel tube and heavy-duty casters if I can't find a good option. Any of you out there have some good recommendations?
    Jon Endres
    Killing Trees Since 1983

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Jon I have a old Delta bandsaw with the open stand-splayed feet. I put a Bora base on it this summer. Rolls well on the cement but is still a little tippy. I wish Htc still made there custom base's, i thought those worked really well. Mike O'Keefe

  3. #3
    Are you saying that the tools are not stable in the move, in use or both? About the only thing you can do to increase stability is to broaden the base, but then you have clearance issues with that base as well as potential tripping issues. Even with the broader base you have the tipping issues when on the move. You might make your own base with telescoping outriggers that bolt to the cabinets of the bs. To the drill press you could use “riser clamps”, basically compression pipe clamps that would attach to the bottom of the column and fabricate some legs with casters. I understand your frustration with the bases. My Sawstop PCS and 8” jointer are stable and can turn on a dime. My Laguna BS is on a good after market base, but just yesterday when I was moving it I was thinking of ponying up for Laguna’s overpriced base for the saw.

  4. #4
    The Bora a.k.a. Portamate 2500 base is really good for this, _provided_ that you securely bolt the machine to the base. (Also be aware that you’ll have to shim it to get the table level, because in secure mode the base is slightly tilted.)

    The outboard wheels act like outriggers, making the machine more stable than if it wasn’t on the base.

    I _really_ like this base, I have my Voyager DP and my mortiser on it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Modesto, CA, USA
    I have seen round base dp's with factory two wheels on the base. Tip the whole dp so it sits only on those wheels and move it like a handtruck. Stand it up and the wheels do not touch the ground.
    Bill D.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Okotoks AB
    My 14" Rikon band saw and 17" General DP are both sitting on HTC bases. I both cases I made the mobile bases wider than the base of the tool. put a plywood panel in the bottom & then bolted the machine to the plywood. They're both easy to move & are quite stable. The drill press is the most top heavy & I wouldn't want to go running across the shop with it, but it is not easy to tip if reasonable care is taken.

    Just a note of caution with the band saw table. The trunions on the saw are not terribly robust so the saw shouldn't be moved by pulling on the table. I stuck a big reminder label on the table & screwed a large handle to the frame of the saw to give a place to hold it when moving.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    The best solution for tools of this nature is one where the tool is effectively "on the floor" when not being moved with the next best solution being one that has a structure that's barely off the floor, very stiff and that you can bolt the tool securely to. A bandsaw will be a little easier to deal with than a DP because the base will be more spread out. You might simulate that with the DP by making a sturdy platform that can sit in a wider mobile base with the tool bolted dead center. I have had a mobile base on my DP since the early 2000's when I bought it but fortunately have only had to move it a handful of times over the years. I just don't like wheeling it around.

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Orwell, NY
    Could you buy or make a larger base and put two of the tools on it together? If you put the back of the drill press next to the pillar of one of the bandsaws they wouldn't interfere with each other.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Northern Illinois
    I believe you can use any base that is made to assemble for different size tools. The solution for me with the bandsaw, and would be with my drill press if I put it on wheels, was to mount the tool base to a piece of plywood larger than the tool base and assemble the mobile base to fit the plywood.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Lebanon, TN
    I built this cabinet and base for my old Delta Drill press, mist give you some ideas.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Tucson, Arizona
    I like the Grizzly mobile bases. I attach two layers of 3/4" plywood to the mobile base, then bolt the base of the tool (drill press, band saw, etc) to the plywood. These mobile bases have adjustable leveling feet which are great for locking the base/tool in place while in use. I have these for 4 band saws, 2 drill presses, small surface grinder, shaper, and several other machines.




  12. #12
    I have a Saw Stop Industrial Table Saw with the Hydraulic Mobile Lift base . I liked the design so well that I purchased one for my Model 29 Powermatic Shaper . After modifying the width and installing it under the shaper it proved not to be heavy enough of a base for the shaper . I then built a base with 4" casters and a heavy enough frame to carry the weight of the shaper . I then used that Saw Stop Hydraulic mobile base purchased for the shaper to easily roll around my Powermatic 719T Mortiser . The one thing I really like with the Saw Stop designed Hydraulic Mobile bases is when you release the valve , the machine sits down on the floor , not on the wheels . I have also bolted the mortiser to the mobile base giving me a larger footprint for better balance . The Saw Stop Hydraulic Mobile Bases are not cheap by any means , however to me I find them worth while .

  13. #13
    I have 2 bandsaws and a jointer on JET mobile bases and Im very satisfied with them. LINK

    I do not have a mobile base on my drill press. I put a couple 24" long 2x4's under it to make it a lot less tipsy. But I seldom move it at all, so that is sufficient for me.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  14. #14
    I might add that the Saw Stop Hydraulic Mobile Bases are designed to lift a table saw with the 52" table so they lift at a slight angle . When I built the home made Heavy Duty Lift for the old but new to me and in like new condition Powermatic Model 29 Shaper I made all the lifting arms the same length so it lifts straight up .

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Richmond, VA
    Initial Drill Press Mobile Base.jpgDrill Press w Cabinet.jpgBand Saw Mobile Base.jpg

    I've made my own mobile bases for my drill press and band saw. I've attached pictures. I don't know why two of them are 90 degrees off. Sorry about that.

    On the drill press, I initially built a simple base with Home Depot 3" casters (which are great). The base is a couple of inches wider than the base of the drill press which makes the press must more stable while moving. It moves very smoothly without feeling top heavy.

    The second picture of the drill press is my replacement for the initial mobile base. It's a full fledged cabinet. The drill press moves very easily with this cabinet as well.

    The third picture is of the mobile base I built for my 14" band saw (which is notoriously wobbly because of its lack of weight). On my garage floor, the band saw moves easily with this mobile base, and it doesn't feel top heavy. When I move the band saw from my garage to my drive way, the transition can get a bit awkward. I've made this type of mobile base for several tools, and it works very well.

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