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Thread: Mobile base for TS - Design question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Wenatchee, WA
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    348

    Mobile base for TS - Design question

    I'm looking at putting my TS (Ridgid 4512) on a shop-built mobile cabinet base. I've been looking at various different designs, and I'm pretty sure I'm well on my way down the path to 'paralysis by analysis', but that's half the fun right?

    Originally I was thinking in terms of making a 'pure' torsion box base (think like WoodWhisperer / David Marks torsion box assembly table, but for the base platform). Casters on the bottom, short box on top to mount the saw 'cabinet' / body to, and then storage cabinets / drawers on either side. Maybe some support on the right side for the ends of the TS rails.

    Then I started thinking about whether it'd be too tall. I've dealt enough with too small casters on shop bases in the past; probably going with at least 4", probably more like 5 or 6" casters. Then again, *any* storage under the TS wings is more than I have now, so it's a net win either way.

    I noticed a lot of designs seem to have open corners, and the casters attached to the 'ears' of the upper surface/skin of the torsion box. Some have the grid dividers extend all the way to the end, others do not. Similarly, it seems like a fair number of them only have a top skin, no bottom at all on the grid.

    In the past I've been concerned - possibly unwarranted - about whether or not that would compromise the strength and rigidity of the torsion box, and if so by how much. Enough to be a legit concern, or not?

    Given the number of designs out there that are like that, I'm guessing the answers are 'not much' and 'no'.

    In a perfect world, I'd weld up some angle iron and build my cabinet base on top of *that*, but I don't have a lot in the way of metal working tools beyond an angle grinder, and it's been a *very* long time since I did any kind of welding... and I'm not sure I can justify (to myself) getting a welder for a one-off project like this

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    Whatever the design, I wouldn't raise it any more than absolutely necessary. Beyond that, easy to move, which means good sized wheels with good bearings, and easy to lock in place securely.

    Having built two mobile bases in the past week or so, I'm wishing now I'd never bought a commercial one.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
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    10,860
    I like the semi-live skid design with a tow bar, it raises it only a few mm above the floor and with 2 wheels and 2 feet is self locking and doesn’t move around.

    Regards, Rod

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    I don't think there is a substitute for angle iron to keep legs close to the floor. It's sold in short lengths in box stores, Tractor Supply, and Ace hardware. You can cut it with a hacksaw, and drill holes with twist drill bits and any drill to mount pieces to a wooden structure for legs to sit on.

    I used the 24" bandsaw yesterday on the mobile base I just built for it. It's now the easiest rolling machine I have because it has the largest caster wheels.
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  5. #5
    The perfect height of a table saw is the height that works best for you.

    As to DIY a mobile base out of wood, over the years I've done that on several tools and found most to be too bulky, too limiting and unable to meet my needs in the long run. All mt large tools are now on Bora mobile bases and the days of having to go back to tweak my DIY bases are a distant memory. And considering the cost of wood today, it's probably not much of a cost difference to buy vs. build
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Wenatchee, WA
    Posts
    348
    Rod,

    I'd forgotten about that style. I think I know what you're referring to... but do you have any pics by chance?

    Julie,

    I took a closer look at the Bora series. Didn't realize they had expansion kits. I'll give them a try and see if that meets my needs. It'd definitely be easier than re-inventing the wheel (or base).
    Last edited by Monte Milanuk; 05-18-2022 at 4:08 PM.

  7. #7
    I used their 3550 with the extension for my table saw. With all wheels swiveling it can do a 360 in the space of the length of the equipment. For my small shop, something like that was a must. For the bandsaw and JP, I used their 3500. It's one of those, "Why didn't I do this from the start?" kind of things.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

  8. #8
    I have the bora on my unisaw (and a smaller one on my 14bx - I don't care for how this one sets the tool back to stationary).

    The bora on the unisaw works well enough. I initially bought the extension piece to support the legs on the right side of the 52" fence - don't do that, total waste. The other criticism is that the base takes the saw out of level (either front or back sits high, don't remember which). But other than that, it's sturdy and moves my saw around easily enough (which is near impossible otherwise).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Wenatchee, WA
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    348
    Quote Originally Posted by John Kananis View Post
    The bora on the unisaw works well enough. I initially bought the extension piece to support the legs on the right side of the 52" fence - don't do that, total waste.
    I wasn't looking so much at the extension to support the right side legs... I have an Incra TS-LS 32 fence so it's not super long, though it could benefit from a little help on that end when I'm moving it around. I'm looking more at the expansion bars, that let you increase the overall foot print - supposedly out to as much as 78" long. What I have in mind is using the mobile base as the foundation for a cabinet style bottom for the TS (Ridgid 4512) and router table (in the left wing).

    Found the PM-3500 (heavy duty base) and expansion kit (PM-3050) online, got an order placed. We'll see how it works out.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Monte Milanuk View Post
    Found the PM-3500 (heavy duty base) and expansion kit (PM-3050) online, got an order placed. We'll see how it works out.
    That's what I've got. My only problem is once the whole setup gets going, it can be a bit unwieldy, but that's because it's on a pitched floor (garage) and it tends to want to move toward the drain. I had Bora's PM-1000 under the bandsaw and I hated it. Now, with the 3500, it's so much easier to raise, lower and move around.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

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