|Review by curliejones||posted 04-11-2012 01:04 PM||4192 views||2 times favorited||4 comments|
I commented favorably on the “Rock Solid” review after my 1st assembly using SYP runners for a lightweight (100 lb) planer. I wanted to graduate to my 220 lb tools and felt the other favorable comments for this base warranted a “go”. I priced hardwood, but only furniture quality was available that was dried and cost prohibitive for me. One of our fellow LJs used square steel and welded it up, so I decided to price square galvanized tubing found locally and was amazed at how cheap it was at $.80/ft. This was a 14 gauge steel measuring 1-1/4”. The fit was perfect in the HF corners and I tried first to drill exactly 5/16” holes in the steel. I wasn’t that good, and had to “help” with a good bit of filing to make the tight fit. I put an unnecessay piece of plywood onto the jointer base intending to give use the jointer’s leveling feet atop that platform. I followed the instructions and had a perfect fit. Something to consider as hindsight: The steel base of the jointer is a little out of square and I now wish I had made the plywood platform a little larger so I could bolt the tool’s metal base to the plywood instead of using the leveling feet. I’m sure I can retrofit and make the holes for leveling feet the holes that fasten the plywood to the base. I just hate to do things twice. Once the jointer bed is mounted atop the base, the stand might be squared up and stay in place under the weight of the tool. I put the “business end” of the base away from the infeed since it requires 6” clearance as opposed to the 2” required on the end with fixed casters. I also did this for the drill press, putting the floor jacks and swivel casters in the rear to reduce interference with the operator.
– For the drill press – I learned from my first steel rails and drilled the holes slightly oversized, 3/8”, and had no problems with fit. The bolts went right through and the base turned out solid, as well. The instructions say to drill hardwood to 3/8”, but the criticism on HF instructions…. well, you know…
I knew ahead of time that I wanted to bolt the drill press down so I used a piece of “sturdi-floor”, plywood that measures 1-1/8” thick and bolted that to the HF base, considering where the bolts needed to be to not interfere with the holes built in to the drill press’ floor base. Carefully select your bolts for both so there’s not an excess sticking through. I recessed the holes beneath the plywood 1/4” . This still left me with 7/8” of plywood for solid assembly and a minimum sticking out toward the floor. I effectively raised the drill press about 2-1/4” higher than it sat previously, but increased the foot print by 6” width and depth by 9”. The finished product seems very stable with the increased footprint. The base of the tool is slotted and I am considering whether to bolt some sort of ballast to the base, as one of our other LJs used to offset the innate “top heavy” tool. I chose this method because these bases seem well made and increase the footprint of the tool minimally, as opposed to the “outrigger” style of wooden base using total lock casters. I feel sure the 14 ga steel will be more than adequate and they only added $7 and $5 to the cost over “free” 2X4 shorts laying around. Besides, as my wife pointed out when she first saw them, they LOOK REALLY COOL!
-- Like Guy Clark sez - "Sometimes I use my head, Sometimes I get a bigger hammer"