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Thread: Need help fitting my Unisaw to my mobile base

  1. #1

    Need help fitting my Unisaw to my mobile base

    I had a mobile base sitting around unused but realize my 70s era Rockwell Unisaw might outweigh the capacity of the mobile base I had. I bought a Delta 50-273.

    My unisaw body is only about 19.5” wide. However the base flares out to be about 21 5/8”. The two are separate and can be taken apart. The mobile base I bought is designed for a more modern Unisaw and is only 20 ¾” wide so it won't fit the Unisaw with base. Besides getting this saw to fit the base I have the need to seal the bottom so dust collection works.

    I have two options and am looking for advice between the two routes.

    Option #1: Add a sheet of plywood to the base to fill the mobile stand’s depth and width. Cut 2x4 to create a flat width layer of wood to be even with the top level of the rolling stand. I would place the entire saw base and all on top of this. The weight of the saw would be shared between the lip of the stand and the built up wood layer.

    Option #2 Add a sheet of plywood to fill the mobile bases depth and width. I will build up a layer of wood on top of the plywood base to create a wider lip in this area. I can remove the base and set the body of the cabinet with-in the lip of the mobile base.

    Looking for feedback on the two options to get my saw on some wheels.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    42,351
    Either method you mention should work if the mobile base is rated for the weight you have. That said, you need to be sure that you are personally comfortable with how much you'll be physically raising the surface of the saw from what it is currently. You're adding 2-3" probably to machine height and that will affect you as you work and also may affect how the saw surface "cooperates" with other shop surfaces that may be nearby. If that's going to be a negative for you, I'll suggest you source a different mobile base system...perhaps one of the heavier duty adjustable ones...that will only cause a minor raise in the machine during use. There are some bases that only raise the machine about 1/4" when they are not mobile because their design doesn't have the wheels on the floor unless you are moving the machine.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,120
    I bought an HTC base for my mid 80's 52" Unisaw when HTC was having a sale on odd sized models, knowing that my saw wouldn't fit on it. I had planned before I bought the base to modify it as necessary because the price was low enough to make this worth trying. When it arrived, I figured out how much larger that it needed to be in each direction and modified it. The frame was made from 1" X 2" square steel tubing, so it was easy to cut the frame and then butt weld in extension pieces. I even had some of this square tubing on hand. Some cutting, grinding, welding and some gray hammertone paint, and the modifications are almost invisible. The whole process took me about an hour. The rattle can spray paint from Lowes was a perfect match to the original HTC paint and the saw has been on this frame for about 12 years now. I don't need to move my Unisaw around much, but it sure is easy, now that it's on a wheeled base.

    Charley

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    You're adding 2-3" probably to machine height and that will affect you as you work and also may affect how the saw surface "cooperates" with other shop surfaces that may be nearby.
    I think by going with the method of building up the base I can gain a few inches of height but remove the base of the case if it proves to onerous. The whole shop is a work in progress so I will alter the other tools, tables to work with the new height.


    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Lent View Post
    I bought an HTC base for my mid 80's 52" Unisaw when HTC was having a sale on odd sized models, knowing that my saw wouldn't fit on it. I had planned before I bought the base to modify it as necessary because the price was low enough to make this worth trying. When it arrived, I figured out how much larger that it needed to be in each direction and modified it. The frame was made from 1" X 2" square steel tubing, so it was easy to cut the frame and then butt weld in extension pieces. I even had some of this square tubing on hand. Some cutting, grinding, welding and some gray hammertone paint, and the modifications are almost invisible. The whole process took me about an hour. Charley
    How long would a project like that take to make if I had to learn to weld first?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    42,351
    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan Epstein View Post
    I think by going with the method of building up the base I can gain a few inches of height but remove the base of the case if it proves to onerous. The whole shop is a work in progress so I will alter the other tools, tables to work with the new height.
    Whether or not "you" are comfortable working with the tool at the increased height is going to be the biggest factor. Mock that up before you start by "raising" the saw top with some wood and cardboard and see if you'll be ok with the increased height. If you're a taller person, it may work out well. If not...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
    What I have done so far is add two layers of 1/2 plywood and then 1 inch of wood to make the mobile base filled to the rim. I will try to get the saw up onto this platform which will raise the surface height by 3 inches. I only have some limited cutting to do in the immediate future to make 2 basic cabinets. I am only 5'10" but have a long torso, which means short legs. Not sure how it will work but my other option is to remove the cabinet base and the top layer of wood. This will drop the cabinet 2" below the factory height.

    This will be my first real saw, I have only used some variation of a contractor saw. While the height might be a non-standard one, I am hoping the heft and precision will make up for the difference.

    The one question is how do I get the table saw up onto the mobile base by myself? I am going to try using my car jack and saw horses to elevate the saw.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
    Posts
    3,763
    Hi Jordan,

    I simply put a piece of 3/4 ply on top of the base, using cleats inside to keep it from moving, and set my Unisaw on top. Used more cleats to keep the saw from shifting. It is about 3" higher now, and just right for me. Been that way for years.

    As I remember, I tilted the saw and put 3/4 shims under it side to side until it was the right height to slide right on to the base, then put the final cleats on.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  8. #8
    Are you going to be moving the saw around? I have a rolling base on my PM66 with the extended rolling deal under the saw extension table. I honestly don't know why I left it on there as my saw is permanently setup and affixed to an outfeed table. The base just adds floor clutter and a spot to catch sawdust.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Parrish View Post
    Are you going to be moving the saw around?
    Don't know, not sure. My prospective setu will give me about 8-9 feet space in front of the blade so I can cut long boards or rip sheet goods. I can't imagine needing more than that often but one day I want to build a cedar strip built kayak and will need a longer range and will want to move the saw then. I could probably easily get by without the mobile base. Will put it up on the base to give it a test drive tomorrow though.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Midland MI
    Posts
    756
    I raised my unisaw about 3 inches, on the base I made for it. I like the height, and have never wanted it lower. I'm 5'10"

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