I need some mobile bases

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Forum topic by Steve posted 04-11-2018 06:01 PM 2054 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1702 posts in 1190 days

04-11-2018 06:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: mobile base

I’ve looked back through a bunch of posts on mobile bases and found some good info, but I’m wanting to get some fresh perspectives on them.

I need a couple mobile bases and I’m wondering if it’s worth building some or just get a commercial one?

Obviously, it’s not the hardest to cut a piece of plywood and put 4 castors on it and be done with it. But I’m looking for the best option for the tools to give me the most stability and usability.

I need one for my new Rikon 10-326 and also for my full sized Delta DP. For the dill press, I’m worried with a mobile base it’ll be too top heavy. It’s extremely heavy as it is.

I’ve looked at the Portamate PM 1100s and they seem like they could work.

31 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2134 posts in 770 days

#1 posted 04-11-2018 06:22 PM

as for your DP, you are very correct…... it will be very easy to tip over with a small base.
the general conscientious is to build the base larger with 2×4 or 2×6 supports and 3/4” ply
paying particular attention to the center of balance of everything involved.
- or – cut the pipe off a foot or two to reduce the height. (mine is over 6ft tall).


-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View Rich's profile


5145 posts in 1197 days

#2 posted 04-11-2018 06:43 PM

Ones like pictured below have a couple of advantages. One is that the wheels are outside the perimeter of the base, adding stability, and also the plates that the tool sits on are welded to the bottom of the frame which lowers the CG and also contributes to stability. I have my jointer on one, and it’s very stable. The downside is that those flanges over the wheels are at ankle height and hurt if you catch one just right.

They are available in several sizes and offered under the Shop Fox brand.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Steve's profile


1702 posts in 1190 days

#3 posted 04-11-2018 06:43 PM

Yes, I experienced this first hand when I was trying to move it to a small moving dolly and it got away from me and went crashing down. Luckily the table took the brunt of the fall, but considering the DP is almost 20 yrs old I’m extremely worried about it falling over and having something break on it.

Mine does allow me to lower the head down on the shaft, so that could be an option.

I do like the plans for the Woodsmith 3 in 1 drill press upgrade. I’m just wondering if that setup would cause any issues.

View Bill_Steele's profile


636 posts in 2339 days

#4 posted 04-11-2018 07:00 PM

I have both my bandsaw and my floor standing drill press on mobile bases. I think this is the mobile base I have for my drill press. It is slightly “tippy” but not that bad (I have a 14” DP). I’ve never come close to it falling over.

I made the mobile base for my band saw. I made it for several reasons (1) I wanted the table height to be higher than the standard height (2) I wanted some storage space for blades, the fence, push sticks, etc. (3) I felt that the stock mobile base was not a very good solution and that for the cost I could do better. I experimented and added weight (concrete pavers) to the base so that it would be less likely to be “tippy” and perhaps the weight would help absorb some vibration. I’m happy with the way the base turned out and I would suggest that you explore building your own base rather than buying one.

View Sparks500's profile


255 posts in 938 days

#5 posted 04-12-2018 11:30 AM

View SweetTea's profile


468 posts in 1267 days

#6 posted 04-12-2018 01:05 PM

I have been pondering the idea of adding mobile bases to my machines in my shop. I obviously can’t afford to go out and buy 30+ mobile bases all at once, especially considering the good ones can cost north of $80-$100. With that in mind I have been thinking about building some. Just not sure that I can source short casters that will support a 300lb+ machine for a reasonable price. Harbor Freight has a decent one for $38 and with a 20% off coupon the price comes down a bit.

I would prefer to build my own because I don’t like the design of pretty much any commercial offerings. I want to make mine have the casters directly under the platform, in each corner, using 4 identical locking casters. I don’t like the designs where you have two swivel wheels on one end and two straight wheels on the other. Nor do I like the ones with the foot pedal that you have to push. I simply just want mine to have a full 360 degree travel ability without having to do anything except unlock the casters. What I need are low profile locking casters (so as to not raise the machines too high) that can support 300lbs or more.

Can any of you guys suggest any makes and models of a short low profile locking caster by this description that will hold 300lbs or more? Preferably ones that cost less than $12 each?

View darthford's profile


612 posts in 2532 days

#7 posted 04-12-2018 01:53 PM

Grizzly finally engineered a good base and it only cost $56 you can’t beat that.

- 1,200 lb capacity
- rubber over steel wheels, price some steel/cast iron hub casters they are expensive
- foot operated floor locks. Note if you try to put foot operated locking casters on the shop fox or this one where the lock pedal extends they won’t spin 360. Also I hated having to bend over and screw the shop fox floor locks up/down really annoying if you move machines from their parked positions out into the center of a small shop as you need them then put them away again after use.

View d38's profile


138 posts in 870 days

#8 posted 04-12-2018 02:46 PM

I have a couple from Harbor Freight.
You cut/drill the wood sticks, but directions are good for calculating the length.
I don’t move them very often so hand turn floor lock isn’t an issue for me. If you move it a lot, I can see an advantage to the ones above.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6038 posts in 3421 days

#9 posted 04-12-2018 02:56 PM

I don’t like the idea of a mobile base on a drill press. I situated mine where it can stay put, but I understand sometimes you can’t do that. I would get one with four threaded posts, not just two. Otherwise it will rock back and forth during use.

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

View Bill_Steele's profile


636 posts in 2339 days

#10 posted 04-12-2018 08:29 PM

SweatTea—keep in mind that caster ratings are for max weight on a single caster. If you buy a caster rated at 100lbs and use 4 of them—you can support up to 400lbs—assuming the weight is distributed evenly.

I used these for my bandsaw mobile base. They are rated for 300lbs each so 4 of them have got you covered.

I understand that a taller caster wheel will roll more easily over floor imperfections—3” casters are not very tall—but they work well on my concrete floor. I like the double lock—lock on swivel and lock on rolling.

View Steve's profile


1702 posts in 1190 days

#11 posted 04-12-2018 08:49 PM

I may just get another set of these and put them underneath a piece of plywood for my bandsaw. I used them for my table saw mobile station and they work and roll fine.

View darthford's profile


612 posts in 2532 days

#12 posted 04-12-2018 10:13 PM

Castor weight ratings assume the entire load may shift onto only 2 out of the 4 casters.

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


7597 posts in 2806 days

#13 posted 04-12-2018 10:21 PM

I don t like the idea of a mobile base on a drill press.
- pintodeluxe

+1 … it just seems like an accident waiting to happen given the top heavy nature of the beast, plus it’s not a machine that really needs to be moved very often. I keep mine in one location and if I ever need to move it, a hand cart works well enough for those rare occasions. Most of my other machines are on mobile bases however.


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

View bigJohninvegas's profile


724 posts in 2069 days

#14 posted 04-12-2018 11:17 PM

I have only made one mobile base from scratch, and my DP sits on it.
I has proved to be very stable, and not at all top heavy.
Here is a link to the LJ post I did for it.

I am about to replace the mobile base under my band saw. what I have now is described below.
I notice that Rikon has a mobility kit for there band saws. I friend has the same style of base under a Laguna 14” band saw, and it works great. I am looking to make this style work on my Grizzly GO513×2, but Grizzly does not make it for the saw. So its going to be a custom fit sort of thing. Still working out the details on who’s base I will use.
here is a link to a Rikon version. Says it will fit your saw, and its only $80

So I won this rockler mobile base kit in a raffle that you add your own wood to make it whatever size you want.
I had it for awhile and never used it, so when I got my new band saw, I figured to give it a go.
Let me tell you. In my opinion, it is a total POS. So glad I did not spend anything on it.
Here I a link to it.

Good luck, and please post what you wined up doing for your bases.

-- John

View CaptainKlutz's profile (online now)


2253 posts in 2102 days

#15 posted 04-13-2018 01:36 PM

Soap Box mode ON

I hate ALL mobile bases on market.
I have tried many different types. They all have frustrating negatives.

My complaints:

1) Any caster wheel made from a plastic/rubber material will get flat spots on it over time, especially here in AZ were my shop sees 100+ for 4-5 months of year. Least objectionable versions all have minimal amount of hard urethane rubber (< 3/16 inch) and largest possible steel center wheel. Most my base casters carrying significant weight get replaced with Grizzly Heavy Duty or similar HF version. For light weight tools/benches, the 3 inch urethane casters from Woodcraft have been extremely durable, and go on sale for 35-50% off occasionally.

2) Caster size and lift height are too small. Tool casters need to be 3”minimum. No mobile base has enough lift for me. Rockler All Terrain moble base is best at rolling over large cracks in concrete floor. But still lacks enough height to get in/out of garage across the building code mandated 3/4-1 inch high step to stop water intrusion. Another problem is at over $200 for Rockler version, can not afford to use them everywhere.

3) Ease of lifting. I move tools around almost daily. Any base that requires me bend down and turn a couple of screws is tossed in trash. Why I do not enjoying having to engage 2 wheel lefts to get a base rolling, it is better than having rickety single wheel in center. The 3 point mobile bases I have tried do not roll around well enough to be move daily, especially over any rougher surfaces.

4) Why do all bases insist that tool site on at least 2 caster wheels when not moving? Why can’t wheels lift out of way and have tool firmly resting on ground during use? For any heavy tools, this not only creates flat spots on wheels, but you can feel the tool moving slightly when you push heavy stiff across it, or bump the tool during use. The only base I have doesn’t sit on wheels is Hercules lift on Ridged table saw. The saw sits on feet, and wheels all lift the tool up when engaged. Works perfect, wished design would work on other tools.

Soap Box mode OFF

The new Grizzly Bear Claw posted above is least objectionable mobile base I have used. Price is fair, while i have only used one a couple months; it is working very well.

If you want to put something tall and/or top heavy onto a mobile base, best to pick one where the wheels are outside the base to increase stability. (DIY concept shown above by Bill).
My DP uses this style base with (2) 16mm cabinet ply layers laminated together, with an area 2x wider & 1.5x longer than DP Base to improve stability when rolling it around.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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