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View MrUnix's profile

Homemade welded mobile base - anyone?

by MrUnix
posted 03-20-2015 07:30 AM


25 replies so far

View Quanter50's profile

Quanter50

278 posts in 2862 days


#1 posted 03-20-2015 09:40 AM

Bed frame steel seems like it would be too light. I used square tube steel and welded my own brackets for the wheels. My welding skills are pretty bad, but I managed to make a nice frame. I was pretty proud of myself when I was done. Here it is?

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7741 posts in 2573 days


#2 posted 03-20-2015 12:24 PM

I think that so long as the bed frames are angle iron, they will more than likely work fine. Years ago I built a light duty trailer from old bed frames that I pulled with my pickup. I had cross-braces every 12” along the length and used 2” X 12”s for the decking. I used it to haul riding lawnmowers, lumber and even helped a few friends move with it. I had it almost 5 years till someone offered me more than I thought it was worth, To coin a phrase, “He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse” :-)

I would overlap the corners (rather than just butt-weld them) and make sure to use cross-pieces along the length. On the short ends, I would cut a piece in half longwise, and use the flats as a filler so all four ends/sides were touching the base of the saw.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View isotope's profile

isotope

177 posts in 2190 days


#3 posted 03-20-2015 01:03 PM

When shopping for a SS saw and researching mobile bases, I came across a very well done example by a fellow LJer. I’ve taken the liberty to link to the blog here.

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1584 posts in 3633 days


#4 posted 03-20-2015 01:19 PM

Go to the verysupercool tools guy and he’s a big welder, and has done one and talks about it on youtube. I think that if you have the skill tools and steel laying around it’s great, but for the cost, you just can’t beat the SS heavy duty base. It’s fantastic.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Minorhero's profile

Minorhero

373 posts in 3171 days


#5 posted 03-20-2015 02:06 PM

If you can do it out of existing steel then its definitely worth it to give it a shot. If you have to buy angle iron etc form any place that is not a junk yard, you will likely end up spending more then the cost of a commercial mobile base. I am a huge fan of the shopfox mobile base which is a great size for table saws. http://www.amazon.com/Shop-Fox-D2057A-Adjustable-Mobile/dp/B0000DD6B9

I own 4 of them now, one I swaped out the bars for longer ones and I use on my lathe. Couldn’t be happier with them.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7533 posts in 2765 days


#6 posted 03-20-2015 07:23 PM

Bed frame steel seems like it would be too light. I used square tube steel and welded my own brackets for the wheels. My welding skills are pretty bad, but I managed to make a nice frame. I was pretty proud of myself when I was done. Here it is?

I think the bed frame angle should work… heck, it can take the bouncing around of some pretty large people on king size beds, so I don’t think a 500 pound or so load in a relatively small footprint would be too much :) Plus, I have a bunch of 1/4” plate that I most likely will be using in the corners, and can use for mounting the casters. I have thought about making it with two fixed and two swivels… maybe even making the two fixed wheels out of HDPE from milk jugs, but at this point it’s all up in the air as to what I’ll wind up doing.

I’ve also thought about buying new (less work!), or using square tube… but I have about a dozen bed frames just piling up and would like to do something with them. My welding isn’t exactly the prettiest, but nothing has come apart yet! I have a Millermatic 210, which has easily handled everything I’ve thrown at it so far.

How did you handle locking it in place? Did you use locking casters or some other method?

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View REO's profile

REO

929 posts in 2640 days


#7 posted 03-21-2015 12:32 PM

I have a 22’x24’ shop. I have one fixed bench of 36” x 8’ with the compressor underneath. There is a drawer 12” x 36” x 6’ that rolls on the floor that houses most all the power hand tools. I have a shelf around two sides that leaves just enough space between the ceiling and shelf for plastic totes. I have a Bridgeport mill, a chucker lathe and a sag 14 lathe for metal work that dont move along with a 12×42 wood lathe and a 24×84 wood lathe. the rest of the tools in the shop, are in work cells that move on wheels. cell one is the welder cart: Mig, Tig, Plasma cutter, and Oxyacetylene. which gets stored in the garage proper for the most part but gets used in the shop space during a build. Cell two is the drill press and band saw back to back and a shaper on the out-feed side of the band saw. Cell three is the table saw, router table, flip up planer and an “appliance lift” for the sander. with the planer inverted and the outfeed section it also provides a large work surface. I have a wing assembly table that is 48” x 16 feet that is KD so I can store the parts hanging on the wall. The “anchor” end of the wing table is a 48”x 32 bench with a 36” roll, shear, brake. and the tower attachments for rigging the biplane wings. With the cells against the wall I can still walk around the table and work on a set of wings. the bed frames will master the weight if done well the welds can become the weak point because the bed frames I believe have a higher carbon content and will em-brittle in the HAZ. (they are more like spring steel than plain hot or cold rolled steel) I would sling it low and use dog style clamps for the feet instead of lift out of the way casters or locking casters.

View lndfilwiz's profile

lndfilwiz

114 posts in 2166 days


#8 posted 03-21-2015 12:51 PM

How big is your welder? Build a mobile base for my mig welder with an old shopping cart!

-- Smile, it makes people wander what you are up to.

View fuigb's profile

fuigb

565 posts in 3523 days


#9 posted 03-21-2015 01:17 PM

Google “New Chinky Workshop.” Sounds horrible, I know, but the site author is having fun with his background and is engaging in word play with a nod to Norm Abrahms. Anyway, the guy is a renaissance man who combines metal-working skills with carpentry. Good advice already posted above, but the other site is a good resource.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View AlanBienlein's profile

AlanBienlein

159 posts in 3240 days


#10 posted 03-21-2015 07:27 PM

I made one for my jointer.

View weldoman's profile

weldoman

114 posts in 2623 days


#11 posted 03-22-2015 12:10 AM

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/47942 Here’s an old post of mine and a mobile base I made for a jointer.

-- missouri, dave

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7533 posts in 2765 days


#12 posted 04-14-2015 06:10 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. This is what I got so far:

It’s 1-1/2” frame stock and since it was a bed frame, it’s a pretty strong high carbon steel… but it welded up really nice and wasn’t too hard to cut/drill. The base area is just a bit less than 21” square (to fit under a Unisaw which is roughly 20-3/4” X 20-3/4”). A piece of 3/4” plywood inside gives a nice solid area for the machine to sit on, as well as raise it up enough for the dust collection port on the bottom base to clear the side rails. Once the base frame was welded up, I added two fixed wheel mounts on one side to accept some 2” diameter wheels secured with 3/8” bolts:

I made the wheels out of HDPE, which I recycled from milk jugs, and then turned them on the lathe to the proper size. I didn’t want the base to sit too high, and this setup keeps it just about 3/4” off the floor.

The last thing I need to work out is how to do the caster(s) on the opposite side (and then paint of course!). Since I have fixed wheels on one side, the other side really needs to be swivels, and I also need to lock the base in place when not being moved. I’ve considered something like those foot operated lifting casters, but haven’t made any final decisions as of yet.

Cheers,
Brad

PS: @lndfilwiz – I like the shopping cart idea for a welder cart… but I’ve got a MM210 which has it’s own wheels so that wouldn’t really work for it :)

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

3387 posts in 3651 days


#13 posted 04-14-2015 07:25 PM

Table saw? #2: Almost finished cabinet saw.
The above title links to a blog on my cabinet saw. A welder is still on the list of tools to buy, so when I
needed a base for this saw, I went to a local steel supplier that has a large assortment of scrap and cut
steel available and bought a piece of 1/4” steel big enough that I could bolt some timber outriggers on
the sides and let me set the saw between them. I bolted some pieces of 1/4” plate on top of those
timber outriggers and bolted the heavy 5” casters to the plate. I sized the outriggers to make the
saw top a comfortable height for me. The steel base extended far enough to the side to put on
to special pads to lift and lock the base to immobilize it. I covered all the visible steel with wood. It
was done with the tools I had and was fun for me. One of my tools is a special metal cutting skil saw
that can cut up to 3/8” thick steel, without it this would not have been possible.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7533 posts in 2765 days


#14 posted 04-14-2015 09:45 PM

Table saw? #2: Almost finished cabinet saw.
The above title links to a blog on my cabinet saw. A welder is still on the list of tools to buy, so when I needed a base for this saw, I went to a local steel supplier that has a large assortment of scrap and cut steel available and bought a piece of 1/4” steel big enough that I could bolt some timber outriggers on the sides and let me set the saw between them [...]

I thought about doing something with wood or wood/metal, but since I have so many bed frames just sitting around doing nothing, I really needed to figure out something to do with them :) (plus, I have the welder and don’t use it near as much as I should). I like your bolt/ratchet lifting idea and may do something similar as well. Would be pretty easy to weld on a couple of tabs for them off the side of the frame. What did you use for the pads/feet on the bottom of them?

Cheers,
Brad

PS: Nice saw… love the cast iron base!

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

3387 posts in 3651 days


#15 posted 04-14-2015 10:03 PM

The company I retired from sold the special padded feet to one customer, so I bought a couple for my
own use. They were not expensive at the time, but the customer quit using them, so I will have to
figure out a way to make my own now.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View SWIDon's profile

SWIDon

12 posts in 2561 days


#16 posted 04-15-2015 04:44 AM

Here’s the one I built for my Uni.

Overall view

Pic of casters to roll around or over cords.

The base is made from 2×2x1/4” angle with 10 ga material for the caster boxes.

Don

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7533 posts in 2765 days


#17 posted 04-15-2015 05:53 AM

Hey Don… I was originally thinking about making mine longer like yours so it would accept an extension table, but decided that instead, I’d weld on some brackets that I could attach an outrigger to later on if needed. I do have a commercial Biesemeyer fence and rails that I’ll probably wind up putting on, however for now I’m just going to use the stock fence, so the extension isn’t needed. But I do want to ask – looks like all your casters are locking types, so do you have any problems with movement when it’s locked in position? I’ve found that on other bases, even with the casters locked, they still move a bit when pushed hard enough.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View SWIDon's profile

SWIDon

12 posts in 2561 days


#18 posted 04-15-2015 02:13 PM

Brad,

The casters are double locking such that the swivel and the tire both lock in position. There is no wiggle with this style. Most of the time I only have to lock one to keep it in place. I have never had to lock more than 2 even when wrestling sheet goods across the saw. I use an Incra fence with the 50” cut capability so that is the reason for the long extension on the RH side.

I believe these are the casters I used. I think I ended up ordering them at the time through one of the woodworking vendors Rockler, WoodCraft or the like.

http://www.amazon.com/Steelex-D2612-5-Inch-300-Pound-Polyurethane/dp/B0000DD1EI/ref=sr_1_17?ie=UTF8&qid=1429107049&sr=8-17&keywords=locking+casters

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7533 posts in 2765 days


#19 posted 04-15-2015 02:32 PM

The casters are double locking such that the swivel and the tire both lock in position. There is no wiggle with this style. Most of the time I only have to lock one to keep it in place. I have never had to lock more than 2 even when wrestling sheet goods across the saw.

Good to know, thanks! I was over at my local Tractor Supply the other day and saw some double locking casters that looked almost identical to the ones you linked to… and about the same price IIRC. Guess I’ll go have another look :)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Gentile's profile

Gentile

357 posts in 2384 days


#20 posted 04-16-2015 01:18 PM

Home made for my bandsaw…

-- "I cut it twice and it's still too short"

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7533 posts in 2765 days


#21 posted 04-18-2015 09:31 PM

I like your bolt/ratchet lifting idea and may do something similar as well. Would be pretty easy to weld on a couple of tabs for them off the side of the frame. What did you use for the pads/feet on the bottom of them?
The company I retired from sold the special padded feet to one customer, so I bought a couple for my own use. They were not expensive at the time, but the customer quit using them, so I will have to figure out a way to make my own now.

- Bluepine38

Think I got a solution for them… I did a test with a regular bolt and it came out great. Made the ‘pad’ out of HDPE, and embeded the bolt head into it while it was still melted, then melted some more on top to capture the head in the middle. Rigged up a little piece of wood so the bolt would stay straight up and down while cooking:

To allow the head to spin freely and pivot a little (in case the ground is a bit uneven), I rotated and pivoted the bolt while the plastic was cooling. That gave it the bit of room it needed and kept the HDPE from adhering to it. Once hardened, it turns fairly freely and has about a 5 degree range of motion from side to side. Here is my test bolt in it’s raw form, still needing to be sanded to a prettier shape :)

The green line on the bolt shaft was a mark I made at 1 inch so I could determine how much HDPE was under the head. It wound up with about 3/8” under the head which should be plenty (HDPE is pretty tough stuff!). I’m going to get some 3/8 or 1/2 inch carriage bolts and make up a couple to mount on the corner of the base. Will probably drill a hole at the top of the carriage bolt and put a metal rod to make it easier to turn if needed.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

3387 posts in 3651 days


#22 posted 04-19-2015 06:19 PM

Looks like a good idea, may have to try that.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7533 posts in 2765 days


#23 posted 05-06-2015 04:18 AM

Well, I’ve proved to myself that a suitable mobile base can be made for under $10 and not look like it only cost $10 :)

I really liked the design of those bases with the two fixed wheels and single lifting caster on the other end, so that was a large influence on my design goal. The leveling feet/pads proved to be pretty easy… a couple of carriage bolts, two threaded rod connectors and a couple of wing nuts were used, and the pads were made out of HDPE as I used in my previous test:

The pads turn freely, and pivot slightly, just like the fancy store bought ones. They got welded onto the corners of the base opposite the wheels, with a little extra angle iron behind them to help reinforce the corners.

For the lifting bracket, all I could find at a reasonable price was the lifting caster set at Rockler. Unfortunately, those can only handle up to 100 pounds each, which would not be sufficient. So instead, I decided to make my own lifting caster bracket. I had a few of those mobile home stabilizer plates that are something like 9ga steel, and cut the pieces needed out of those. Having been in the ground at one point in time, they were a bit rusty, but cleaned up pretty well. Heck, they were free so I didn’t mind a little extra work cleaning them up a bit. For the caster, I got a 3” swivel caster at HF for $4 that was rated at 275 pounds. The caster was welded to the pivot plate I made so I didn’t have to deal with securing it using nuts and bolts:

The design gives the foot lever a little more than a 6 to 1 lifting ratio, so it only takes about 60 pounds or less of force to lift a 400 pound machine. I also made the contact point between the lifting lever and caster mount a roller, so it eliminates the metal on metal friction like in the Rockler design, making it even easier. Extending the foot lever a little more would give even more lifting capacity, but the current length seems perfectly sufficient.

Once all painted, it almost looks like something store bought :)

It can easily handle 400 pounds, but anything more and the bed frame angle starts to flex a bit. The whole process was a real learning experience, particularly making the lifting caster bracket. However, making this one has given me some ideas for an even better design… and I predict a ‘new and improved’ one sometime in the not so distant future!

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

3387 posts in 3651 days


#24 posted 05-06-2015 03:58 PM

Great looking base, and it will make moving the saw easy.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Jesden's profile

Jesden

20 posts in 1034 days


#25 posted 03-03-2017 02:42 AM

A lot of these are awesome looking bases. I think I might want one of these versus a store bought one, even if it cost more. They just look stronger.

-- What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

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