I need several mobile bases for my tools. Need one for my jointer, RAS,
drill press. Looked at the Delta universal on Amazon for $50, but think
I can do better than that. Any suggestions? Would it be cheaper to
make my own?
Depends on what you mean by "I can do better than that". Do you mean
you could build it yourself cheaper, or do you think you can build a
better quality version yourself?
I too am looking at making a large RAS and a large band saw mobile and
I was going to buy the Delta universal for 50.00. I don't have any
spare hardwood lying around so by the time I buy some and mill it, I
will have spent the same as buying one of Delta's pre made versions,
which run about 100.00 each. I could also just build something from
scratch but by the time I buy materials and quality locking castors I
will have spent 100.00 again.
What I'm going to do is buy one of Delta's pre-made units that's close
to the size I need and then build a cabinet below the saw that will
accommodate the Delta base. Delta has so many sizes available it would
be difficult to find one that didn't work well, and in that case I
would get their universal model and build it to fit.
Otherwise, I think HTC is the only other company making mobile bases.
You won't notice the splinters in the ladder of success, unless you are sliding
My local Borg has Portamate bases that are adjustable and come in various
sizes. These are a frame and wheels that go under the base, not a
mobile base that replaces the existing base.
I got one on sale for C$52 (US$35-40 or so). DAGS on portamate to see it
one would suffice.
I own a couple of Delta's mobile bases, and they're wonderful; the best
available from what I've seen.
I've not seen the universal mobile base that requires the user to supply their
own hardwood rails, but I've often wondered if you couldn't use 1-1/2" steel
tubing instead of hardwood, perhaps welding it to the corner sections and
painting it black to match the rest. For those out there who own one, does
this seem feasible?
The Delta Universal is the way to go. I have several and love them.
I have a Jet mobile base (actually HTC) for my Jet 18" bandsaw and it sucks.
It is only on three wheels so it wobbles even when locked down.
Get the Delta. Several magazine reviews I've read agree.
I'm real happy with the HTC base I have for my Delta TS. It sits on 3
wheels instead of 4 so it can't wobble, even on mu somewhat-uneven
basement floor. Locking it down is a matter of tightening two knobs
by a couple of turns and it's rock-solid-immobile once you do.
Unscrew the knobs and it rolls easily. It cost about the same as the
Delta but the guy at the local tool emporium recommended it as
superior and I'm glad he did.
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FWIW ... I've got three different kinds of mobile bases in my shop and the
ONLY one worth having is the top dollar Delta mobile base that comes with
the Unisaw and Delta bandsaws. The one on my Powermatic jointer is a POS in
comparison to the Delta models.
As far at the Delta universal you make up yourself, you can buy EXACTLY the
same pieces of metal and bolts, from the same chiwanese factory, at HF for
1/2 the price or less. I've got a planer on one, but I don't think I would
put anything too much heavier on it and expect to move it across a crack, or
sawdust strewn shop floor.
Hmm. I just searched Harbor Freight for "mobile base", and I only got one hit;
their "Universal Mobile Base", which is NOT the same thing that Delta offers,
and as near as I can see is a POS that's not even in the same class.
Presuming you have one that is in fact identical to the Delta, is this because
you're afraid of the hardwood rails giving way, or is there something else
about it that makes it less beefy than the standard Delta mobile bases?
The HF "universal mobile base" which you use 2x2 wood to make up the
framework is about $30, but I picked up a couple for $15 each on sale.
The delta version I bought for my delta TS was $50.00. Far as I can see,
the price is the only difference.
I have the Rockler's base #92051 under my jointer and it works just fine
even tho I used Fir (gasp!) instead of hardwood for the rails. It's
on sale for $40.
Horrible Freight has a similar one for even less $, but I haven't touched
one and can't say if it's similar quality.
I've got the Deltas under my jointer and planer. I can't imagine anything
better. And as far as the hardwood rails are concerned, unless you are
greatly exceeding the weight limit you can save money and get by simply by
ripping down toobafors. They're already the right dimension in thickness -
1 1/2" - so all you have to do is rip 1 1/2" strips and cut them to length.
My jointer with stand is *well* over the weight limit, so I used 2" thick
maple for that. I hated cutting up such beautiful wood for a machine base,
but the jointer is a family heirloom bought new in '57, so it was worth it
to me. And the base moves that machine around like it weighs 10 lbs.
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