First DIY mobile base (band saw) - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 Old 11-01-2010, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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First DIY mobile base (band saw)

Mobility is key for our shop, and I didn't want to fork over for a mobile base for my Grizzly G0555 when I figured I could do it myself. There were plenty of suggestions online, so I took a few and came up with one. And it *almost* works!

First DIY mobile base (band saw)-mobilebase-001.jpg

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The general idea is that it sits on the base feet (not on the mobile base) when not in use, and then when you lower the arms, it raises the bottom of the saw up off the floor as the casters turn down. There's 2 fixed casters and 2 swivel casters.

Now for the problem. It actually works great going in ONE direction. When you first lock the swivel wheels down, they look like this.

First DIY mobile base (band saw)-mobilebase-003.jpg

and it rolls great. But when you want to go the opposite direction, the wheels swivel, and apparently that's enough force to cause the flex up enough that the frame drags on the floor. You can see the difference in deflection by the bend in the wooden dowel once the wheels have turned.

First DIY mobile base (band saw)-mobilebase-004.jpg

It's a minor change in base height, but enough to make moving the saw pretty much impossible.

So I'm thinking that the problem is that when the wheel swivels, it's just got too much leverage on the whole assembly. So I think what I'm going to do is instead of having the upper board (with the casters) be attached at the edge with the hinge, I'll attach that board in the middle. That way, the middle of the swivel casters is in the same line as the hinge joint itself. That should even out the affect of which side the wheel is on.

I'll probably also replace the wooden dowel with a small metal rod, so it won't deflect as easily and cause the casters board to come up.

All in all I like the idea, but for a first try. It needs some tweaking.
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post #2 of 20 Old 11-02-2010, 12:49 AM
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can you get larger wheels, and or get a more rigid dowel such as aluminum, something that won't flex unless under extreme pressure, i think that may fix your problem!
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post #3 of 20 Old 11-02-2010, 06:27 AM
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This might give you some ideas

http://www.toolcrib.com/blog/2008/10...ols-on-wheels/
There a few guys on here that have made their bases, I think Daryl made one similar to yours...can't seem to find it yet.
Here it is: I finally created a system to raise and lower the casters on my workbench
bill

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Last edited by woodnthings; 12-13-2010 at 01:46 PM.
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post #4 of 20 Old 11-02-2010, 09:31 AM
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Why not just put a block under the dowel to force the frame to stay level?

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post #5 of 20 Old 11-02-2010, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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All good suggestions. I spent quite a lot of time on that toolcrib link before doing this, it's a great resource! None of those bases fit exactly what I needed, but they all helped form my current plan.

I *knew* I should have gotten the larger size of casters. Sometimes I'm just so cheap it's unfortunate...probably only saved like $10 total. However, I do know the casters I have WILL work, because in one direction they do. I'd rather work on reducing the stresses in the frame then just overcoming them with larger wheels. At this point it's a design flaw, not a caster issue, I think. I don't think I can go a size up on wheels without having to change something because I think they'd then rub against the frame when they turn perpendicular to it...it's a relatively tight fit now (so that I didn't trip on the wheels when using the saw).

I did see that table mobile base, and it certainly played a part in what I designed (unconsciously or not). One big difference in his design is that the cog that presses down the board with the wheels on it is in the MIDDLE. My lever is on the side. The difference that is that when the wheels turn and the dowel is bending like that so that the frame is scraping, it's even worse on the other side because that entire length of board is undergoing the same stress and it is twisting, which lets that side of the frame drag even lower.

I agree that a strong tube is needed. I was just trying to avoid having to buy anything and the dowel was nearby. But it does bend quite a bit, which lets the frame drag.

So I may try using a metal tube for the levers and moving the hinge point to the center of the casters board and see how that goes.
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post #6 of 20 Old 11-02-2010, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kudzu View Post
Why not just put a block under the dowel to force the frame to stay level?
You mean a little piece of wood between the edge of the board and the pipe bracket so that the dowel has to travel further before I can latch it down? You know, I thought I had one there, come to think of it, because I noticed that the caster board wasn't coming completely down and flat. I thought I had glued a little piece of wood there to give me some added travel distance, but it's not there in the pics. I'll have to go experiment with that.

I'm still kind of concerned about the stresses involved in this design. It is kind of shaping up into a catapult design when the casters swivel. I know there are stresses in a mobile base, but I don't like the idea of the dowel getting ready to fling across the room if something gives. So I need to still address reducing those particular stresses somehow.
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post #7 of 20 Old 11-02-2010, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kudzu View Post
Why not just put a block under the dowel to force the frame to stay level?

Quick simple fix.

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OH, wait a minute ............Yep!.............That's what he said!
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post #8 of 20 Old 11-02-2010, 08:44 PM
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You're not gonna like this...

It's too simple. Just put 2 of these on the column side of the saw and attach them so they just barely touch when the machine sits flat. Then when you tip it backwards like a hand truck you can roll it to where ever you want. I know it's not made out of wood... bill

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Last edited by woodnthings; 11-03-2010 at 08:54 AM.
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post #9 of 20 Old 11-02-2010, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Not a bad suggestion (though no wood is involved...thats of course a minus ).

There's really only one side the wheels could go on (the back), just so you have something to hold while it's tilted back. The downside of that is it affects how close that side can go to the wall. So, the side that would have the wheels would be the side that would normally be close to the wall, so that'd make tilting and maneuvering a little difficult.
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post #10 of 20 Old 11-03-2010, 03:08 AM
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This may be of interest

Not a bad price, but not made of wood either. bill
http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/208...dware-Kit.aspx

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post #11 of 20 Old 11-03-2010, 05:56 AM
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Ok, gonna throw one more suggestion into the pile.

Why not put a hook on the frame that hooks into a loop or bolt on the board with the casters on it to hold it down once you lower the casters? Seems like that would help spread out the load and keep the front of the board with the casters on it down and in place so it wont flex up like that.

Dang it. Looks like the picture I tried to attach here didn't work. I haven't had any problems with that before. Let me work on that and I'll get back to you
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File Type: bmp untitled1.bmp (67.9 KB, 265 views)

How did I mess THAT up?

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post #12 of 20 Old 11-03-2010, 06:07 AM
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Ok, got the picture working (I think). Here is what I was talking about.

Im not sure how heavy that piece of equipment is. You might have to add some reinforcements on the boards depending how much load is going to be put on the hooks. And I would add 4 hooks, one on each side. Seems to me like it would work unles there is some design element that I'm not seeing in the pictures. Only draw back I can see is that it would be a pain in the butt to bend over and hook them each time.
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How did I mess THAT up?
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post #13 of 20 Old 11-03-2010, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, I see the idea. I had thought of something like that...something to latch it when bent down so all the stress wasn't on the dowel. I think going with a metal dowel will remove that as a failure point (I found a nice piece of thin metal tube last night). If I can make the existing design more stable/strong, then I'd prefer that, just because it *is* pretty convenient to use so far...I can do it with my toe.

Preferrably I'd be able to latch it in the middle of the board instead of on either end...that would also eliminated the board twisting. But there's just nothing there to attach to (except the saw itself, which I really don't want to attach stuff to).

The saw is right around 200 lbs.

I did look at those mobile base kits, but I was intrigued by the challenge of making one. And so far, I'm in about $10 in materials, so that's a pretty good savings.

Thanks for all the suggestions, guys! I hope to be able to get downstairs and tweak it tonight.
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post #14 of 20 Old 11-03-2010, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Well....there's such a thing as too much improvement!

I took both end boards off and repositioned them so that the hinge point was in line with the center of the casters. I also moved the holding hook closer so that the wood wouldn't bend as much.

It works great! There's much less stress when the casters turn now because it's right in line with the hinge.

However.....it's actually too good. Now, when the wheels are turned the other way, they're actually holding the hinge closed. In other words, I have to reach down and actually pull on the dowel in order for the base to release and put the saw back down. When the casters are in that position, there's no longer a natural inclination for the base to revert back to the released position.

Oh well. The base works great now, it will move the saw in any direction without flexing and scraping the floor, and so that's a victory. However, when I go to "drop" the saw, I won't be able to just use my toe anymore. *wah*

Thanks for all the suggestions though. First mobile base is a success! Now it's time for my first shop air filtration unit, I think!
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post #15 of 20 Old 09-23-2011, 01:14 PM
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So whatever became of this? does it work better now? I just got a Jet Bandsaw and need to put a base under it.
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post #16 of 20 Old 09-23-2011, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, I still use it, and it's held up well. I sometimes leave it on the wheels for weeks, and it hasn't suffered that I've seen. There is still some room for tweaking as far as the location of the wheels so that it's not so hard to raise and lower them. But for my skill level, it works great.

I probably should have gone with 4 casters, instead of 2 casters and 2 straight wheels. For something so large, that would have made moving easier.

I can provide more pics if it'll help, but you should have the general idea and can go from there.
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post #17 of 20 Old 09-23-2011, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kudzu View Post
Why not just put a block under the dowel to force the frame to stay level?
+1 The casters should run paralell to the ground in their optimal position. Then when shifting directions the stress should be reduced. From the photo the caster base is on about a 15 degree angle.
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post #18 of 20 Old 09-23-2011, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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I took the advice given about putting some blocks under the dowel so it would travel further before getting latched, so the actual angle now is definitely less.

There's I'm sure much better ways to do it...a dowel and pipe clamps is just what I had on hand.

Main problem with the stand is that the casters end up on one side of the other of the hinge point. If they're outside of it, then you have to manually bend down and raise the dowel up to lower the base, because the casters are actually pushing the dowel down. If they're inside of the hinge point, then you have to be careful unhooking the dowel because the stand definitely wants to come down, and if you let go of the dowel, it'll just slip free of the pipe bracket and potentially go flying. Again, there's surely better ways to do it.
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post #19 of 20 Old 09-26-2011, 11:52 AM
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For now I have mine aon a movers dolly, it works great but its a bit higher than id like it. Sooner more than later ill need to lower it but keep it mobile. Fun fun! Thanks for the update.
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post #20 of 20 Old 09-26-2011, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
It's too simple. Just put 2 of these on the column side of the saw and attach them so they just barely touch when the machine sits flat. Then when you tip it backwards like a hand truck you can roll it to where ever you want. I know it's not made out of wood... bill

id get four of these that swivel, them bolt them on bottom of a fallet. done
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