|Project by tyvekboy||posted 134 days ago||3440 views||56 times favorited||17 comments|
Feb. 5, 2013
With our small shops, mobile bases are a must. You can go out and buy a mobile base but what I found is that most mobile bases have 2 fixed wheels. This requires you to DRIVE your tool to where you want it.
I wanted a mobile base that had 4 swivel/locking casters and raised the tool no more than 1 inch above the floor. I tried to keep the design simple, easy to build and strong enough to hold a tool weighing under 300 pounds. The resulting design was easily modified to fit my 2 new power tools: A Jet Jointer and a Powermatic Bandsaw.
The design uses 3/4 inch plywood, sheet rock screws, glue, angle iron from an old bed frame and Rockler Heavy Duty 3 inch Total Swivel and Lock casters (both stem and plate versions). The angle iron is where the power tool will be resting.
To adapt this design to your shop tool, start by measuring the base and determining the size of the frame. An easy way is to get a piece of paper on the floor and put your tool base/cabinet on the paper and trace around it. Then you can get accurate measurements for the base pieces. Be sure to allow for the angle iron thickness. Cut your base pieces and then screw (I use sheetrock screws) together. Be sure to test fit your base with your power tool. If everything is OK, then remove the screws and apply glue and reinstall screws.
Also allow for any access doors, dust ports and cords around the tools base. The sides of my mobile base shown here were designed to allow access door operation.
Each tool will have different requirements. As you can see in the next photo which was the base for the Jet Jointer, the angle iron was place on the sides. For the Powermatic Bandsaw, the angle iron was placed on the ends. I drilled and tapped the angle iron for three 5/16 bolts that attached the angle irons to the inside of the frame even with the bottom of the base frame.
If possible, provide a way to secure the tool base to the angle iron as shown in the picture below. Here I drilled and tapped holes in the angle iron and made a thick metal clamp that spanned the hole in the cabinet strap through which the bolt ran for this attachment. A different method was used to attach the jointer to the mobile base. Make up your own solution.
You will also need to make the caster mounts as shown below. They measure 6-1/2 inch X 6-1/2 inch (bottom and back outside dimensions) and are 4-1/2 inch wide to accommodate both stem and plate mount casters. This size allows full swivel of the wheels. I also chose 4 swivel wheels as it makes moving heavy tools around a small shop easier. The side supports can just be simple triangles but I chose to add some flare to them. I made a template that I used to flush trim with my router after they were rough cut on the bandsaw.
These caster mounts are glued and screwed together. I first pre-drilled and screwed the mounts together and then took them apart and applied glue and re-screwed them together. Before gluing this assembly together, be sure you pre-drill for the caster mount and the bolt and sheet rock screws that are used to attach it to the frame. No glue is used in attaching the caster mounts to the base frame.
To determine the location of the caster mounts on the base frame, I placed a 3/4 inch spacer under the frame and clamped the caster mounts to the frame with the casters attached. To make sure the caster mounts stayed attached to the frame, I attached them with 4 sheet rock screws from one side …
… and 3 sheet rock screws from the other side along with a bolt, nut and washers.
Once the mobile base is done, you can start building your power tool on the mobile base. Itʻs easier to do it this way since the base has to be lifted about 10 inches above the floor to place it inside the mobile base. Make sure you firmly attach the mobile base to the tool cabinet before proceeding so minor adjustments can be made while the assembly is relatively light.
You can also add other accessories to your mobile base such as cord wraps as shown in the next photo. Also note that the cord exit from the base cabinet of the jet jointer had to be relocated so it would not be coming out from behind the caster mount where there is little room. Since there were no holes in the jointer cabinet, I just attached the cord wrap for the jointer to the caster mounts.
The cord wrap for the bandsaw was mounted using the existing holes in the base cabinet.
Also using existing holes in the bandsaw base cabinet on the other side I made a place to store all the other accessories for the bandsaw.
The nice feature about these homemade mobile bases is that they move in any direction and make it easy to get it to go where you want it and firmly lock in place.
I used Watco Danish Oil on all the wood parts and paste wax on the shiny angle iron.
I hope this will give you ideas that you can use in your shop.
Comments are appreciated. Questions always welcomed.
Thanks for looking.
-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA