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Thread: mobile base for cabinet saw

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    San Diego, California

    mobile base for cabinet saw

    Any recommendations about mobile bases?
    I am shopping for a cabinet saw and will need a mobile base to go with it. The selection of a base will influence my selection of a saw.

    Recent Unisaws are packaged with a Delta base. The X series Unisaw comes with a coupon that could be used to order a base after the saw is delivered.

    The Jet base is not widely available. Amazon sells HTC adjustable bases for Jet saws but the adjustable HTC bases have been criticized in Amazon's comment section. One person put a Jetsaw on a Delta base with minor modifications.

    Bridgewood sells HTC bases. They say that the bases work well. I did not ask if they use the adjustable bases. I have been happy with the HTC bases on my bandsaw and jointer.

    Someone on a chat group here suggested that I make a base. I hesitate to make a mobile base: it will be seven feet long, hold 400 pounds, and it must be stable when down but move easily when up. I couldn't find plans, but I can design something with casters and adjustable height leveling machine mounts. I don't weld but I could bolt up angle iron or aluminum angle. I don't know how much steel costs in small quantities but I know that casters are expensive.

    Have you been happy or dissatisfied with your mobile bases?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Austin, TX

    I have a Shop Fox mobile base under my Grizzly cabinet saw. The saw weighs about 400 pounds. I don't even lock the feet down. It seems that the weight of the saw is enough to keep it in one place while cutting. I'm going to buy a Shop Fox base for my jointer next.

    Mark D.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    I put wheels on my Unisaw 25 years ago, and I think it has worked very well. I mounted wheels directly to the base, on the side away from the rip-fence rail extensions. The wheels are bolted to the base, and set up so that they do not touch the ground while the saw is being used. To move the saw, I pick up on the ends of the rip-fence rails. The saw rocks enough that the wheels touch the ground. Then I just wheel the thing around like a wheelbarrow. I'd attach a picture of this scheme if this board's attachment software worked correctly. If you'd like a picture, email me directly and I'll send you one.

    The wheels are fixed casters that cost perhaps $10 each. I mounted them directly to the saw base, without any brackets or anything. That is, the mounting plate is vertical, instead of horizontal as it normally is.

    My saw has rip-fence rails on both the front and the rear, so my wheelbarrow handles came for free. If you do not have a rear rail, you'd have to add it. Of course, the rail also can support a table extension, and it can be a router table, so there's lots to be gained by doing this.
    Last edited by Jamie Buxton; 08-23-2003 at 7:05 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Tidewater, VA

    Have a PM base

    Eric -

    I have the PM base under my PM66 (w/ 50" long extension table). I chose that over the others because there are two stretchers that run out to the extension legs instead of just one. I have a shallow tray one under the table that is spare storage. I will build an actual cabinet/shelf unit when I get a "roundtoit". The double stretch will provide additional support and balance (front to rear) for the cabinet.


  5. #5

    A picture is worth 1000 words

    Okay, I've maybe found my workaround for the site's problems with logging in old members: I've invented a new user name with a new email address. It seems to behave as it should. Here's the picture of wheels attached to left side of the saw's base.

    [For the curious, there's lots else that has happened to the saw. There's a kick-to-turn-off bar along the front of the base, so I can shut the saw down without ever taking my attention off the blade or taking my hands off the workpiece. There's a holster for the miter gauge. There are magnetic fingerboards stored on the left side of the base. There is a router in the table extension to the right. There is an aftermarket rip fence -- a Paralock 2 -- which is no longer in production. And there is an HTC out-feed table on the back.]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by James Buxton; 08-23-2003 at 7:51 PM.

  6. #6
    I have a Jet cabinet saw with a Delta mobile base. I had the HTC, but didn't like the fact that the saw still had some wiggle room even with the wheels locked in place. With the Delta, all but two of wheels set down and the rest on rubber pads...makes for a very solid base.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    I have my Jet LT cabinet saw on the Jet/HTC welded base...bought the latter from Amazon/Toolcrib. I have not had any problem with it whatsoever with rocking or anything else, although I rarely move my saw. For someone who does need to move it a lot, the HTC wheel lock knobs would be less desireable than other solutions. The Delta UniSaw base might be the best bet in that case. Only a minor modification to where the extension table legs attach is needed for that base, to the best of my knowledge.

    I do not recommend you use any form of "universal" expandable/contractable base with a heavy 450 pound cabinet saw. You want something welded regardless of the manufacturer.

    Do buy your base at the same time or before you get the want to build the saw ON the base. Moving it on afterward is "real work". The cabinet is easy to slide off the pallet onto the base by one person with just a little leverage and thought.

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

  8. #8
    I Have the Shopfox on my PM66 with a 52" ext table. Love it. Also have a shopfox on my Jet Jointer.

  9. #9
    I agree with Jim Becker. Welded is better. I have a small shop, 20x20, with 6 mobil units - all on Delta bases. Unlike Jim, I have to move something everytime I change activities. These bases are rock solid and move with great ease. My Unisaw came with the base and I can lift it and turn it around - almost. My poor table saw usually subs for an assembly table and the weight I put on it shouldn't be allowed, yet the base just keeps lifting and rolling no matter what I have thrown at it.

    As far as fit, if the base isn't correct, I've just cut a piece of 3/4" plywood and made an insert for the unit to sit on.
    If sawdust were gold, I'd be rich!

    Byron Trantham
    Fredericksburg, VA
    WUD WKR1

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    I have the Shop Fox base under the Shop Fox saw and like it.

    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    South Jersey

    Unisaw w/ Delta Base


    I got the package deal when I bought my Unisaw (aprox 3 yrs ago) and it cane with the Delta mobile base. I rolls around very easily and when it's down there's no wobble. I have the extended table too.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Duvall, Washington
    I purchased the 'package' as Peter did. Moves easily and is rock solid when parked. A most helpful addition to the saw. Have HTC bases on several other machines but like the Delta base the most.
    Last edited by Dar Lounsbury; 08-25-2003 at 10:08 AM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Eastern Iowa/CR Area

    Jims gotta good point

    .....whatever you do buy for a cabinet or even a contrator the base along with it or before assembly of the saw and build the saw upon it !!!

    You will not be sorry .....believe me....when you attempt to lift 300-400 + pounds up and over the railing to put it inside the will understand very quickly.

    Another point I wanna throw out is that if your a taller fella like me (6'4") you might consider raising the height of the saw to suit your back. The easiest way and best time to do this is by building up the surface on the mobile base. I raised mine a full 7" and am very glad I did it.

    I did 2 layers of treated 4x4's screwed together (which I know is ugly) but then I wrapped it all in walnut to hide it. I went above the saw base a good coupla inches and made it tight to the edge so it wouldn't fall off or over the height extension.

    Something to consider is all....


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Southern MD
    I bought the Unisaw over the Jet specifically because the package included the base. I got a pretty good deal at the show, only about $50 more than the Jet without the mobile base. The Unisaw also came with a surprisingly good blade.
    The Unisaw base is my favorite mobile base (out of about 4 different brands). When I get a new machine, I look to see if delta makes one of their welded bases in a close enough size before looking for anything else.
    I'm not a big fan of the Shop Fox I got for my band saw. It is very stable and easy to use, but the ground clearance is so low it hangs up on any minor sawdust on the floor.
    The Rockler and Delta bases that use wood are OK, but best for lighter machines. The HTC universal machine flexed alot and my contractor saw always rocked.

    Jay St. Peter

  15. #15
    I have the following bases:

    HTC custom/welded:

    PM141 Bandsaw
    DJ-20 Jointer
    PM Edge Sander
    PM 1150a Drill Press

    Delta custom/welded:

    3hp Shaper

    Delta Universal:

    Scroll Saw

    Built in Casters:

    Performax 16/32
    PM 15" planer

    As you might be able to tell, I like the HTC custom bases. They are stong, easy to move and well made. I seldom lock any of the bases and have not had any problems. I do keep the drill press base locked. I've not a fan of the univeral bases from anyone, I just like the right base for the tool. Most standard HTC are $90. so about double a universal, but worth it for me. However, I do love the Perfomax casters. I one have the one Delta custom base, but it works well. Delta or HTC custom would be my choice, with HTC a bit ahead.


    P.S. HTC also works great for uneven floors...

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