Unisaw Mobile Base

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Forum topic by Joekwon80 posted 03-17-2012 11:23 PM 3845 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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87 posts in 2255 days

03-17-2012 11:23 PM

I’m fresh in the woodworking world and I’m starting to realize how quickly one can just want to want things because they are somehow “justifiable” for one or two reasons. My question is how likely is it that I’ll use a Mobile Base? I plan on having a designated wood shop hopefully in the next few months, and I have a lot of refurbishing to do to the old saw that I picked up on craigslist. Is it worth it to get one just to move it around or should I wait to see how much I move it in the coming weeks? How easy/difficult is it to move a unisaw?



-- Joe Kwon

29 replies so far

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Mainiac Matt

8028 posts in 2321 days

#1 posted 03-17-2012 11:46 PM

Plan your shop well and you won’t move it.

To do that, you need to have a pretty good idea what your going to set up to do.

If you don’t have a clear picture in your mind what that is yet, you may be moving things around quite a bit.

I agree that it’s easy to succumb to ‘tool lust’

Stay focussed on what you want to accomplish, and get the tools you need to do that.

Many will suggest that the TS, jointer and planer are the foundational tools, and I pretty much agree. So plan where you will put these, allowing for in feed and out feed of realistic stock sizes/lengths.

There are some really good shop planning resources out there…. Grizzly and FWW both have a lot on their web sights.

-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

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87 posts in 2255 days

#2 posted 03-18-2012 12:09 AM

I drew up a plan in a small notebook based on the dimensions of my basement and tried to visualize how much space I would need between tools but that’s not so easy when you don’t own the tools yet. I was planning on getting dust collection taken care of then buy a planer and finally a jointer. For now I’m trying to figure out where to put the TS without having to move it around. I’m starting to realize how expensive just the DC will be but I guess starting with good dust collection will make growing the show cleaner!


-- Joe Kwon

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10371 posts in 3641 days

#3 posted 03-18-2012 12:17 AM

I move machines around all the time. The TS is a space hog,
especially if you go for a 52” fence. Many people buy too
much capacity without realizing the space cost, but this
understanding only comes from experience. I doubt you’ll
heed my advice, but I recommend going with a 30” fence
and a mobile base.

A unisaw is light enough to be pushed by putting a shoulder
into it, without wheels.

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3346 days

#4 posted 03-18-2012 12:20 AM

A table saw and a jointer (IMO) are the staples of woodworking, they get the most use along with a planer. For that reason mine don’t move, never have. As was said, good planning in shop layout will help avoid that.

Other big machines, like drum sanders, other big sanders, band saws get less use so I have those on mobile bases only because I’m tight on room. If I wasn’t the band saw probably wouldn’t be.

Putting a Unisaw on a mobile base was always a concern of mine especially if it has a 52” fence and extension table and the floor it’s on is anything less then level. Like mine. I’d be worried about moving the thing and torquing it and sooner or later the extension table is no longer in line with the saws top. Maybe the fence rail too. Sounds minor but being able to make things easily and square is all about having your machines dialed in.

Take a look at my workshop here, my planer, mortiser, and spindle sander slide back on the bench they’re on then giving that workspace in front of them to the chop saw and RAS. So I can cut 20’ boards if I ever had the need to. Do cut a lot of 10-12 footers though. And the bench then acts as a really long outfeed table for the planer, something that you want, and plenty of support for the mortiser too.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

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87 posts in 2255 days

#5 posted 03-18-2012 12:36 AM

Loren, I am quick to take advice from seasoned veterans. I have no eye on any prize in terms of purchasing. The saw did however, come with a 52” unifence. I wasn’t planning on replacing it unless it really needed to be replaced.

Thanks for the insight! I wouldn’t have even thought to go smaller. You’re very right about not needing 52”s I’m planning on mostly making hobby furniture like custom frames and chopping blocks so a 52” fence is definitely not needed.

Thanks for the input. Taking the mobile base off the list.


-- Joe Kwon

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1490 posts in 3346 days

#6 posted 03-18-2012 12:50 AM

LOL Careful Joe, that is now there’s always the future… :-) I was making something this past week that was 5’ in length and wanted to square it up on my Unisaw with a sled but couldn’t because on the left my machine bench was in the way and on the right the 5” dust collector pipe drop is the limit. Luckily is wasn’t too wide for my RAS otherwise I would have been doing it with a circular saw…

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

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8187 posts in 2570 days

#7 posted 03-18-2012 01:00 AM

Welcome to LumberJocks Joe!

Festool might be an option as it has the DC configured as part of their system. I realize your table saw is purchased and you will have to refurbish it.

Plan for your electrical as well.

Have fun Joe.

View Loren's profile


10371 posts in 3641 days

#8 posted 03-18-2012 01:01 AM

I confess I have a saw with a 52” fence. It is awkward to work
around 92% of the time when the capacity isn’t needed. It’s
heavier than a Unisaw and I swing it around daily on a pallet jack.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3473 days

#9 posted 03-18-2012 01:09 AM

I always try to put the large machinery on mobile bases. I normally wouldnt have to move my TS either, but the mobile base comes in handy if you have an unusually large piece of lumber, or maybe you need to clean around the saw, or epoxy the floor, etc. I am not sure about the weight of a Unisaw vs the Powermatic that I have, but mine weights about 600 lbs so theres no moving it without wheels.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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603 posts in 2655 days

#10 posted 03-18-2012 01:19 AM

My General T/S has a 52” Fence and sits on a Shop Fox base. I don’t move it often but when I do I’m sure glad its on a mobile base. At 539lbs I wouldn’t want to try dragging it.

-- - Martin

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Rick Dennington

5851 posts in 3187 days

#11 posted 03-18-2012 02:49 AM

I have 2 table saws backed up to each other with a 4’x8’ outfeed table between them…..One is an old Craftsman that I refurbished a couple of years back, and the other one is 5 hp. Unisaw w/ a 52 ” biesemyer fence…..I ain’t moving these puppies nowhere. If you have the room, the t.s. should be the “center” of your shop where you need at least 8-10’ all around it to handle stock such as sheets of plywood, long boeards….you get the idea….I would never put one of my saws on a mobil base….I want it stationary and not moving…..just like my work bench..all other machines…no problem….mobil bases are fine or cabinets on casters…....Also, I wanted a t.s. cabinet to put under mine, and a mobil base just would not work….

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

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2701 posts in 3525 days

#12 posted 03-18-2012 03:15 AM

Grizzly shop planner.

My unisaw on a mobile base.

-- My reality check bounced...

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3346 days

#13 posted 03-18-2012 03:27 AM

Hairy I like how you lifted it, and that mobile base looks solid. With that one my fears of moving it would probably disappear.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View jdmaher's profile


427 posts in 2573 days

#14 posted 03-18-2012 01:56 PM

I’ve had my Unisaw wth 52” fence on a mobile base in my basement for about three years now. I DO move the saw once or twice a year. I do so reluctantly, but sometimes I just have to.

I do worry about setup with each move. So I recheck fence extension table level and fence parallel to blade after each move. So far, not a whisper of a hair’s movement. I DO relevel my self-built outfeed table with each move; the basement floor is not level and the saw never winds up in exactly the same spot.

Me, I would never place a machine I can’t move when I need to. This is my home, not a dedicated commercial shop.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View Joekwon80's profile


87 posts in 2255 days

#15 posted 03-18-2012 07:54 PM

Thanks for the insight everyone. I guess if I find I’m moving it more than a couple times a year I’ll buy the base. For now I’ll just save the money for a DC. Does anyone know much about wiring 250v receptacles? The unisaw plug says it is 250 and I don’t have any open spots in my breaker box.

-- Joe Kwon

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