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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently ordered a Sawstop PCS 1.75HP TS and have a question concerning mobile bases. I'd like 4 swiveling casters to allow for more flexibility moving the TS around if needed (vs the parallel park-style base with 2 fixed & 2 swiveling casters). Two bases I'm considering are the Sawstop Industrial Mobile Base (runs $378) and the Grizzly T31566 Bear Crawl All Swivel ($109). I've noticed reviewers touting that the Sawstop base sits flush on the ground when not used. By comparison, the Grizzly T31566 rests on 4 feet. The main question I have is whether the difference between the two has an effect on stability? Is it really worth the extra $269 to have the TS cabinet rest solidly on the floor vs feet? The hydraulic lift mechanism is surely a bonus and is alluring but, I'm just not sure the extra cost for resting on the cabinet base/floor vs feet is worthwhile? Any thoughts?
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I have a 2 swivel version of a bear crawl mobile base with a 350 pound bandsaw on it. The base is stable with the pads down, however the base has 2 issues. First, sometimes one of the pads will release allowing that corner to set back down on the caster. It’s just a matter of stepping on the lever to re-engage the pad, but it’s frustrating. Second, once assembled, the 4 corners of the base may not be in the same plane. It may be a design or manufacturing issue as if I recall correctly the instructions noted to shim the equipment if it rocked when placed on the mobile base. My bandsaw sat flat on several locations on my concrete floor but rocked when placed on the mobile base. I had to shim it (not happy). Several times I loosened / re-tightened the bolts on the base trying to get it into alignment with the weight of the saw on it, no dice. I have other equipment sitting on Shop Fox mobile bases and HF mobile bases with no problems. The Bear Crawl base is the only one requiring the equipment to be shimmed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a 2 swivel version of a bear crawl mobile base with a 350 pound bandsaw on it. The base is stable with the pads down, however the base has 2 issues. First, sometimes one of the pads will release allowing that corner to set back down on the caster. It’s just a matter of stepping on the lever to re-engage the pad, but it’s frustrating. Second, once assembled, the 4 corners of the base may not be in the same plane. It may be a design or manufacturing issue as if I recall correctly the instructions noted to shim the equipment if it rocked when placed on the mobile base. My bandsaw sat flat on several locations on my concrete floor but rocked when placed on the mobile base. I had to shim it (not happy). Several times I loosened / re-tightened the bolts on the base trying to get it into alignment with the weight of the saw on it, no dice. I have other equipment sitting on Shop Fox mobile bases and HF mobile bases with no problems. The Bear Crawl base is the only one requiring the equipment to be shimmed.
Thanks, great to know the pads are behaving as I might suspect. The Sawstop weighs in at around 310lbs and the last thing I want is a shifting foot or the need to shim.
 

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I have a Grizzly T31566 Bear Crawl All Swivel and have used it on my bandsaw. I never had the problem of the pads releasing but on my bandsaw I eventually opted to build my own stand to make it a bit wider so the tool would be more stable. I ended up using some poplar I had lying around the shop and a set of Feyue 4" PVC Heavy Duty 1600lbs Swivel Caster Wheels:

Feyue 4" PVC Heavy Duty 1600lbs Swivel Caster Wheels with Safety Dual Locking Casters Set of 4 with Brake: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific

These are very inexpensive at only $25 for all 4 and I've never had a problem of the wheels accidentally unlocking. I eventually built my own mobile stands for my planer, jointer and table saw using these wheels. I've been using this setup for almost a year now on all 4 pieces of equipment and they've been incredibly stable. The only disadvantage of this setup is it will raise the height of your equipment a bit but I prefer that personally and run all my tools at about a 38" height. With a creative stand design you can get away with only raising your equipment up 2" to 3". If you just place the wheels under the boards for your stand you'll raise the equipment up 5" inches or more depending on the thickness of the wood you use.

My bandsaw is the lightest piece of equipment I own at 460 pounds. My table saw setup has a slider and several extension tables on it and is well over 1000 pounds. I ended up using just 4 wheels on the bandsaw, jointer & planer but I used 8 total wheels on my table saw since my setup is over 8 feet long and I have a 3' out-feed table on the entire run of the table saw and extension wings. These wheels hold up well and I've never had one pop loose after setting the lock.

It's a bit of work but for $25, some inexpensive wood and a bit of effort I think you can easily build better machine stands than you're going to get from any manufacturer.

If you decide to purchase the Grizzly bear crawl I have a slightly used one with a little bit of green paint overspray on it that I'll give you a great deal on! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have a Grizzly T31566 Bear Crawl All Swivel and have used it on my bandsaw. I never had the problem of the pads releasing but on my bandsaw I eventually opted to build my own stand to make it a bit wider so the tool would be more stable. I ended up using some poplar I had lying around the shop and a set of Feyue 4" PVC Heavy Duty 1600lbs Swivel Caster Wheels:

Feyue 4" PVC Heavy Duty 1600lbs Swivel Caster Wheels with Safety Dual Locking Casters Set of 4 with Brake: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific

These are very inexpensive at only $25 for all 4 and I've never had a problem of the wheels accidentally unlocking. I eventually built my own mobile stands for my planer, jointer and table saw using these wheels. I've been using this setup for almost a year now on all 4 pieces of equipment and they've been incredibly stable. The only disadvantage of this setup is it will raise the height of your equipment a bit but I prefer that personally and run all my tools at about a 38" height. With a creative stand design you can get away with only raising your equipment up 2" to 3". If you just place the wheels under the boards for your stand you'll raise the equipment up 5" inches or more depending on the thickness of the wood you use.

My bandsaw is the lightest piece of equipment I own at 460 pounds. My table saw setup has a slider and several extension tables on it and is well over 1000 pounds. I ended up using just 4 wheels on the bandsaw, jointer & planer but I used 8 total wheels on my table saw since my setup is over 8 feet long and I have a 3' out-feed table on the entire run of the table saw and extension wings. These wheels hold up well and I've never had one pop loose after setting the lock.

It's a bit of work but for $25, some inexpensive wood, and a bit of effort I think you can easily build better machine stands than you're going to get from any manufacturer.

If you decide to purchase the Grizzly bear crawl I have a slightly used one with a little bit of green paint overspray on it that I'll give you a great deal on! :)
The low-cost option you present seems like it would be doable although I'm not so sure I'd trust my "creative" design just yet, hah. Without having the TS in hand, I’d be concerned with going the simplistic route and raising the TS 3-5”. If you weren't satisfied with your bear crawl and looking to offload it, you might have pushed me to invest in the fancy Sawstop option! In all seriousness, someone PM'd me with their experience and I think I’m leaning towards going with the Sawstop Industrial Base. It’s pricey but I like the fact that it raises and lowers the entire rig with on lever.
 

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The low-cost option you present seems like it would be doable although I'm not so sure I'd trust my "creative" design just yet, hah. Without having the TS in hand, I’d be concerned with going the simplistic route and raising the TS 3-5”. If you weren't satisfied with your bear crawl and looking to offload it, you might have pushed me to invest in the fancy Sawstop option! In all seriousness, someone PM'd me with their experience and I think I’m leaning towards going with the Sawstop Industrial Base. It’s pricey but I like the fact that it raises and lowers the entire rig with on lever.
Just to be clear I wasn't dissatisfied with my grizzly bear crawl due to any fault of it's design or construction, it was more of a problem with how narrow the base of my bandsaw was compared to the height of the machine. I mill most of my own lumber and once the log is squared up I tend to leave large pieces (4" to 10" thick) to dry for a few years before resawing them on my bandsaw once I know the dimensions I want for the project I'm building. Because of that when I resaw on my bandsaw I'm often dealing with large pieces of wood that may be a few hundred pounds. For those cuts I wanted a base that I could bolt my bandsaw down to that was wider and longer than the actual base of the bandsaw itself.

I've bought a lot of my equipment used and most of them have come with mobile bases. So now I own 4 mobile bases from different manufactures that I no longer use. Of the 4 mobile bases that I own the Grizzly bear crawl is definitely the best of the bunch. For the time that I had my tablesaw and plainer on it I had no stability issues, moving the equipment was very easy and I never had the feet slip. I mainly chose to build my own stands for greater stability on the bandsaw (due to how high and narrow it was) and to normalize the height of my equipment.

Because of the height of the table on the bandsaw it was the only stand that I had to lower the base compared to the wheels. I misspoke earlier when I said I used poplar for this stand, I actually built it out of a some old 2"x12" douglas fir boards that came from some rough shelves I tore out of my garage. The simple design you see below supports the 460 pound bandsaw as well as any of the heavy lumber I run through it.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just to be clear I wasn't dissatisfied with my grizzly bear crawl due to any fault of it's design or construction, it was more of a problem with how narrow the base of my bandsaw was compared to the height of the machine. I mill most of my own lumber and once the log is squared up I tend to leave large pieces (4" to 10" thick) to dry for a few years before resawing them on my bandsaw once I know the dimensions I want for the project I'm building. Because of that when I resaw on my bandsaw I'm often dealing with large pieces of wood that may be a few hundred pounds. For those cuts I wanted a base that I could bolt my bandsaw down to that was wider and longer than the actual base of the bandsaw itself.

I've bought a lot of my equipment used and most of them have come with mobile bases. So now I own 4 mobile bases from different manufactures that I no longer use. Of the 4 mobile bases that I own the Grizzly bear crawl is definitely the best of the bunch. For the time that I had my tablesaw and plainer on it I had no stability issues, moving the equipment was very easy and I never had the feet slip. I mainly chose to build my own stands for greater stability on the bandsaw (due to how high and narrow it was) and to normalize the height of my equipment.

Because of the height of the table on the bandsaw it was the only stand that I had to lower the base compared to the wheels. I misspoke earlier when I said I used poplar for this stand, I actually built it out of a some old 2"x12" douglas fir boards that came from some rough shelves I tore out of my garage. The simple design you see below supports the 460 pound bandsaw as well as any of the heavy lumber I run through it.

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No problem, I was mostly joking about you getting rid of it. Frankly, I really think the Sawstop is a little overpriced but it definitely seems to be a simpler process to move it around. Thanks for the pics. I see how it wouldn't be all that difficult to build and I was curious what type of wood you used. Looking at your pics, specifically the one with the band saw and table saw in the shot, doesn't the base get in the way?
 

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Looking at your pics, specifically the one with the band saw and table saw in the shot, doesn't the base get in the way?
My shop has gone through a few layout changes over the last year as I have been trying to get to my final configuration. At the time that picture you referenced was taken, I had planned on having the bandsaw mobile while being able to "dock" on the opposite side of the table saw slider so the slider could also be used with the bandsaw. I had ideas of extending the reach of that slider but the design of the bearing sled of the table slider didn't allow for the extended movement I was hoping for. Right now the bandsaw is set in it's own area and the base I built doesn't get in the way at all.

I think my final shop configuration will look something like the rough SketchUp image below. I'll have my table saw, miter saw, router tables and eventual CNC setup in fixed positions on the floor and built into the cabinets that will run on the east side of my shop. The remaining equipment will be spaced out along the south and west walls and will all be on mobile casters so they can be easily pulled out from the wall if needed when longer boards are being worked.

I'll end up building mobile stands with Feyue 4" or 5" wheels for all of the equipment that will be set against the walls. Those wheels have very smooth bearings which allow these big machines to move easily. Right now as I'm building out the cabinets my shop is pretty compressed and cluttered. My planer is in a tight spot in the shop that makes me move it often when I work with larger boards. With those smooth wheels I can grab that 600 pound planer and move it effortlessly with just two fingers.

Screen Shot 2021-04-17 at 7.47.26 AM.png
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow, impressive shop layout you have there. I’m in a very small garage setup and as of now have a small DC, planer, router tableand soon to have TS. I think once I have a larger shop, I’d definitely pursue your option
 
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