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Sawstop PCS width

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Forum topic by kitamiman posted 03-16-2017 02:58 AM 599 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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kitamiman

6 posts in 276 days


03-16-2017 02:58 AM

Topic tags/keywords: sawstop pcs question

Hi,

I am in the process of convincing myself that I really, really need a 3HP Sawstop PCS :)

I intend to order it with the more maneuverable ICS base as my space is limited. I have Googled every term I can think of, but nowhere can I find the width of the saw once it’s on this base. Could some kind forum member who has this setup tell me the overall width? Basically, my concern is the minimum width of doorway that I can get the saw through once it is mounted on this base. I don’t think it makes a difference regarding width, but FYI I am looking at the 52-inch model.

All info gratefully received.


19 replies so far

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clin

751 posts in 835 days


#1 posted 03-16-2017 04:10 AM

You say width, but then talk about the ICS base. Since the wings extend well out to either side of the base, I assume you really mean to ask the front to back depth of the saw. As if you were to turn it the most narrow way to fit through a doorway.

If so, that dimension is 38” +/- 1/2”

I have a 3HP PCS with ICS base. I set a level vertically against the front rail and marked the floor. The ICS base extends out past the back of the saw, so this is the extreme on the rear.

Something to keep in mind is the ground clearance is 1/4” to maybe 3/8”. While the base lifts the saw an inch or more, the saw sets in a cradle suspended from a heavy duty frame. This frame is supported by the casters and does not move. It’s this frame that sits 1/4” to 3/8” from the floor.

You WILL NOT be able to roll it over any sort of threshold. I have a 1” max lip at my garage door. I built a special ramp that is over 3 ft long to try to clear this. It doesn’t clear it well. In part due to variations in the concrete.

A 1/4” or so of ground clearance is not a lot to work with. It is on my to-do list to put shims on the casters to raise the frame. I’ll also need to attach something to the bottom of the cradle so it will still rest on the ground when the saw is lowered. All easy to do, except the inconvenience of getting enough hands over to lift the saw on and off the base.

The ICS base is great with the exception of this ground clearance. I see no reason they couldn’t have kept the frame higher off the ground. Though of course it is fine for rolling around a shop floor. And it rolls really easily. The slope of the garage floor is enough it will roll downhill on it’s own.

And yes you do really need a SS PCS 3 HP. Honest, you do.

It is a really nice saw. I started out looking to put an upgrade fence on a 60 year old Craftsman, and ended up getting the PCS with all the goodies like overarm dust extraction. Always hurts to spend the money. But once you’ve done that. You won’t look back.

I have triggered the brake once when I moved an after market miter gauge from the left to right hand slot and forgot to reconfigure the miter gauge. Literally tried to cut through the aluminum miter gauge. It happened so fast it took me 5 or 10 seconds for my brain to even figure out what the heck happened.

Mostly just going, “where did the blade go, where did the blade go”. No loud bang, not dramatic at all. Just a blade that seemed to vanish. Of course blade was toast and I needed to replace the cartridge. I already had a spare on hand, so no real downtime.

-- Clin

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Redoak49

2904 posts in 1827 days


#2 posted 03-16-2017 10:55 AM

+1 to everything clin said. I have the same saw and base. I also triggered it with my miter gauge. That blade and cartridge is mounted right next to my saw as a reminder.

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Dustin

408 posts in 579 days


#3 posted 03-16-2017 12:02 PM

I’m looking at the PCS 3hp in the near future, too (after showing the wife the testimonials of injured woodworkers, and the fact that our oldest kid will likely want to help me in a few years, she immediately got on board and said we need to figure out a way to work it in the budget!). I’m curious after both Clin and Redoak’s comments—not to mention many others I’ve seen—how often miter gauge contact is the cause of accidental triggers. In any case, I’m glad I learned that lesson on my current saw: slid my Incra right into the blade while wondering “What’s that funny noise?”

Out of curiosity, are you planning to assemble then move it through a doorway once, or are you planning to have to do this often?

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

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Carloz

981 posts in 430 days


#4 posted 03-16-2017 12:09 PM

I have a Grizzly mobile base under my PCS. It sits high enough and I have no ussues with it whatsoever. It has a downside that only two wheels rotate around vertical axis so it is not as maneuverable as bases with all 4 rotatable wheel. However that did not justify spending 5 times more on ICS base as I do not move the saw too mjch.

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CameronKeel

9 posts in 290 days


#5 posted 03-16-2017 01:17 PM

I agree with Clin as well. I debated with myself for months on if I needed the 3hp. ended up getting the whole enchilada for myself (from my wife) for Christmas. That included the ICS base, cross cut sled, overarm dust collection and the 52” T-Glide rail. LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT. I thought my favorite tool was my 14SUV Laguna, but this is a beautiful beast.

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Markmh1

62 posts in 282 days


#6 posted 03-16-2017 01:17 PM

If you call Saw Stop customer service, they should be able to tell you what you want to know. Whenever I called, they were very helpful.

My suggestion would be to assemble the saw where it’s home will be. I had trouble when I installed the $200 mobile base, then tried to move it.

I think the decision to use the ICS base is a good one. (Make sure you order the adapter to install this on the PCS.) If I had this to do over, I’d have bought the ICS base.

This is a very nice saw.

Mark

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Redoak49

2904 posts in 1827 days


#7 posted 03-16-2017 01:22 PM

Hitting the blade on the miter gauge is just dumb on my part. I had been using it to cut a 45 angle and when I switched it back did not re-adjust the face on the miter gauge.

I made a wood face for my Incra miter gauge and am much more careful.

It was not the fault of the saw or miter gauge….it was an operator error!!!

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kitamiman

6 posts in 276 days


#8 posted 03-16-2017 01:57 PM

Clin – thank you so much for taking the trouble to measure this out, but I wish I liked your answer better! I had been hoping it was a bit skinnier and for a bit more clearance, but it is what it is. As I will be assembling the saw from new, maybe I can look at shimming the casters to raise the base before assembly.

Thank you also to all responders above. My ‘workshop’ is basically a double garage with a 34” doorway into an adjoining room. While the saw can live in the garage for much of the year, there will be times when I need to get two cars in, which will mean moving the saw out. Sawstop suggested that I skip the conversion kit and simply put a piece of 3/4-inch ply in the ICS base. They said that this would allow me to sit the saw further back in the base and that this might just allow me to squeak through the doorway. Even if this is so, there is a 1/2-inch difference in floor levels so it sounds like I would still have a problem. Anyone tried hanging one from a chain hoist OVER the car ;)

Going slightly off topic, I am tall so I was thinking that if I am putting one piece of 3/4-inch ply in the base, why not add two or three pieces and bring it up a bit? Are there consequences I should consider?

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kitamiman

6 posts in 276 days


#9 posted 03-16-2017 02:04 PM

Afterthought…. Anyone using a third-party base that allows more mobility?

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kitamiman

6 posts in 276 days


#10 posted 03-16-2017 02:10 PM

Ugh – I wish I had paused a bit longer and put it all in one post… I am looking at a picture of the base online. How are the casters attached? Would it be possible to swap them out for some with a larger diameter, thereby giving more clearance? I have to make this work!

View clin's profile

clin

751 posts in 835 days


#11 posted 03-16-2017 04:54 PM

The casters just bolt on. So they look easy enough to remove. But I see no reason to get larger ones. You could add a 1/2” shim between the caster on the base. Of course you would need to get new, longer bolts.

Now, if you did this, the saw will NOT rest on the ground when lowered. There are two straps running from one side to the other. The base lifts these straps. But I know I tested this somehow, and determined the straps go just low enough for them to rest on the ground. And therefore the saw’s weight goes on the ground with straps caught between the ground and base.

So if you shimmed the casters 1/2”, you’ll need to add an equivalent shim under the straps that form the cradle holding the saw. I plan to do this, someday. My thought was to bolt the appropriate size board to the underside of the straps. Making sure the bolts don’t interfere with how the saw rests on the straps.

Concerning the SawStop idea of placing a board in an unmodified base. I like that idea. There are two straps. each runs side to side, one under the front of the saw base, and one under the back. The ICS saw base is deeper front to back. The mod kit, for using a PCS, moves the back strap forward so it will rest under a PCS saw. This is why the ICS base sticks out so far from the back rail of the saw.

So if you don’t use the mod kit, but then place plywood across the straps, you can move the saw further back on the base. I.E., straps support plywood, plywood supports saw. You’ll want thick, high quality ply to support the saw.

The front of the base is perhaps 12” forward of the front rail. So if you moved the saw as far back on the base as possible, the front is still going to be well under the front of the saw. But it still might get in the way of your feet when you use the saw.

I think you could gain at least 4” inches. You could move the saw even further back on the base. But you’d gain nothing as the back rail would then stick out.

Having said all that, I think you’d still be cutting it close on a 34” door. I just measured the saw from the back to front rail, and it is right at 33”. And I’m not 100% the dust port doesn’t stick out past the back rail. I’d bet you’d still have to remove the door. So I’m, not sure the base is your only problem. But if it is a seasonal move, then popping some hinge pins and removing a door is no big deal.

If it was more often, I’d bite the bullet and put in a bigger door. Of course, it all depends on the situation and just how hard that is. Point being, sometimes you get yourself wrapped around the axle trying to avoid something, and end up creating more work for yourself than needed.

-- Clin

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pintodeluxe

5466 posts in 2652 days


#12 posted 03-16-2017 05:33 PM

I have the same saw in question with the ICS base. It is an impressive piece of equipment.
I actually wish I had more occasions to use the mobile base, because it lifts and moves so easily.
Since I have the saw hard piped to a cyclone I don’t move it anymore. However, I’m sure a day will come when the saw does need to be moved or reconfigured in the shop, so it’s nice to have.

I got lazy one time, and didn’t want to remove my outfeed table before moving the saw. I tried lifting the whole thing with the ICS base, and I’ll be darned if didn’t pick up the saw, 52” side table, and 30” x 34” outfeed table all at once. It moved around with fingertip pressure. So nice.

No false triggers yet, but I use a wooden sacrificial fence on my miter gauge.

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

View kitamiman's profile

kitamiman

6 posts in 276 days


#13 posted 03-16-2017 06:01 PM

Thanks for all the info Clin. I appreciate you taking the time.

I may be missing something here, as I have only seen pictures of the base, but if I shim the wheels up half an inch and put half an inch under the straps, doesn’t the clearance end up the same? Or is the clearance issue not the clearance between the floor and the bottom of the straps? Maybe I could shim the casters and slide a half inch board underneath before dropping it…

What would be your thoughts on not getting any base and simply placing the saw on a thick plywood base – say 11/2 or 2 inches with four locking casters? While far less sexy, this would seem to provide great maneuverability. There is a concrete yard outside the garage that extends around the side of the house and it would be nice to be able to trundle the saw around there sometimes to set up in the shade, as the garage faces south and gets really hot. However, aside from one post showing the saw on a raised ply base that the owner uses a pallet jack to move around I have found no pictures of homemade ply bases.

I may be being completely unrealistic! This is my first heavy cast iron item…

I took a look at your gate – really nice work. I have a long way to go! Also, I like the idea of the bag connected up to the 735; I have one on the way and now plan to buy a bag.

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Kazooman

870 posts in 1791 days


#14 posted 03-16-2017 10:02 PM

I have the 3 hp PCS with the PCS base that came included as a package. In the four years that I have owned the saw I have moved it exactly twice to allow me to rip a sheet of plywood along the 8’ dimension. Yes, the base does have two non-swivel wheels, but that really is less of an issue than many would make of it.

The base does not stick out beyond the boundaries of the saw itself. Rail to rail on my saw is about 33” with extra for the piping of the overhead dust collection. That could be removed with two allen screws for your occasional trip out of the garage. I have not adjusted the casters from the original settings. The base of the saw is 1/2” off the floor when lifted. A quick look at the casters suggests that I could get another 1/4’ or more out of them without any shims. The base lifts the saw and side table clear of the floor. The legs of the out feed table do touch the floor because it is not designed to be as rigid and sags when lifted. You would have to remove any out feed table to move your saw anyway. I have the 36” not the 52”. I do not know whether or not the base would lift the latter equally well. However, the fixed casters are on the left side of the base with the swivel casters on the right. Like driving a forklift, the saw maneuvers best with the fixed wheels out in front. That would be with you at the end of the table. You can easily help lift the side table clear of any obstacles if necessary.

The lowly (often maligned) PCS mobile base might be exactly what you need.

Note added: Zero activations for me. Four years on the original cartridge (and the 8” dado cartridge I swap in).

Second note added: The swivel casters are outside of the saw’s base and they could be adjusted to get another 1/4” of lift on that end. The non-swivel casters are mounted inside the base. I pulled out the installation instructions and can see that these casters would not be adjustable without some modification. I would need to tip the saw over to see just how much you could tweak this with some larger diameter wheels or some other mods. That ain’t gonna happen.

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AngryAviator

1 post in 275 days


#15 posted 03-16-2017 10:15 PM

You won’t regret the purchase. I also have a 3hp PCS. I also love it.

I also accidentally activated it with my Incra miter gauge, so, watch out for that.

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