LumberJocks

Good Foot Controls and Rolling Action

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Review by pintodeluxe posted 07-07-2017 05:10 PM 2015 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Good Foot Controls and Rolling Action Good Foot Controls and Rolling Action Good Foot Controls and Rolling Action Click the pictures to enlarge them

I have had many different brands and types of mobile bases, everything from a Sawstop ICS base (the best one made) to Delta / Rockler corner kits, to the HTC-2000, and Portamate.

The Portamate-2500 construction impressed me with its reasonably sturdy steel frame and corner brackets. The steel is a heavy gauge, and does not feel flimsy. The foot levers are steel and plenty heavy to do the job. I think I can lift my bandsaw with one toe. I would describe the lifting and rolling actions as effortless. I am really impressed with that part of the system.

I think on a heavy tool like a tablesaw, or jointer this would be a 5 star item. I use it on my bandsaw which is generally a top-heavy tool. A bandsaw is fairly lightweight compared to some other tools. I would put it in the same category as a drill press or floor mortiser. For this type of tool the PM-2500 seems to wobble a little bit. I don’t know why, but I suspect it’s because you have two wheels on the ground at all times. Maybe it would be better if there were 4 threaded rubber feet instead of just 2?

I adjusted and leveled things to no avail. It is still just a little too wobbly for my liking. This base replaced a shop made base that was also wobbly, and the PM-2500 is only marginally better. I’m going to get some rubber door stops and wedge them under the base. Hopefully that will solve the rocking issue. I like the base enough to keep playing with it. It feels like a quality unit.

Another positive feature is the size range of this mobile base. It will handle 12” x 12” square, up through 36” x 36”. It also goes up to 20” x 52” in 1” increments as well. It fit my bandsaw very nicely. I was going to get one for my mortiser, but I think I’ll skip it because I’ll have the same rocking issue. I’ll mobilize my router table instead with Rockler’s workbench casters.

I can recommend this mobile base for large heavy tools, but I think it would be better with four leveling feet.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush




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pintodeluxe

5353 posts in 2568 days



5 comments so far

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2309 posts in 1403 days


#1 posted 07-07-2017 07:35 PM

Very useful review Willie, thanks for taking the time and sharing.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://www.geraldlhunsucker.com/

View jonah's profile

jonah

1141 posts in 3054 days


#2 posted 07-08-2017 02:05 AM

I wish more mobile bases lifted all the wheels up when you put them in stationary mode. The Delta mobile base under my table saw has the same problem. If I really push on the saw, it’ll rock a bit or move because there are two wheels on the ground at all times.

View Tooch's profile

Tooch

1601 posts in 1631 days


#3 posted 07-08-2017 07:04 PM

Thanks for the review Willie. With most shops, the ability to move tools is paramount due to space restrictions. surely lots of people will benefit from this.

I agree, the Sawstop mobile base has been the best one I’ve ever used.

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View kajunkraft's profile

kajunkraft

143 posts in 1965 days


#4 posted 07-14-2017 12:45 AM

I opted for the mobile base with my Sawstop but have never used it. Gonna have to now just to see how great it is!

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1725 posts in 2699 days


#5 posted 07-23-2017 01:59 AM

I need to move tools because I’m like my wife’s sister – always re-arranging [man] furniture. Sometimes its because I’ve added a new toy, other times it’s because I’ve upgraded (e.g., just swapped out the 1-1/2 hp Jet canister for a 3 hp Jet double canister) and, occasionally because I acquired a new toy. In the end, portable is not great, it’s critical.

Carts for things like the lunch box planer, poor man’s table saw slider and so on aside, my first mobile base was my PM bandsaw and it spoiled me. Moving that top heavy, 300 lb beast would have been a challenge, but the base made moving it a non-issue. As such, I am always looking at bases and learning about them from another’s experience is appreciated. Thanks.

Because I did swap the little Jet for another big Jet, I’m shuffling furniture again. Currently, the only tool needing a cart is the edge sander. It’s narrow “wheel base” and resulting instability makes it a non-candidate for raising it on casters, so this offers hope.

I added a base to the 6×48 PM drum sander a while back and it works well, but the gap between the base and the frame of the base annoys me. This looks like it may have enough adjustability to avoid that problem.

So, again, thanks.

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