Build your own simple mobile machine base (with Photos)

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ndbrown

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I promised in my very recent Sedgwick rebuild that I would post details of how to build a mobile base for your machinery using a fairly basic tool kit. This is a much easier project than building Furniture so give it a go!

Why build:
Your stand will be more rigid than a store bought adjustable one, giving your machinery more stability. The stand design can be tailored to your exact needs. You can re-use the same basic design and lift bar system to mobilise all your machines. There is little real difference in cost apart from your own time. You do not need an ability to Weld or welding equipment - you are doing the time consuming and expensive part of the build, welding it up is comparatively cheap (though still skilled). If you are in a small workshop, having the ability to move machines around is a real benefit.

You will basically need;
For holding the metal parts: My advice would be a Workmate placed outside (but dry weather might not be so easy to organise!)
Cutting the parts: I prefer a 4 1/2 inch angle grinder as it will do most of the work, but others might prefer a Reciprocating saw or even a heavy duty jigsaw wit a good quality metal cutting bade. I find the angle grinder with metal cutting discs and grinding disk keeps the neighbours entertained better! Make sure you use the discs marked for cutting only for cutting! I actually find the Zirconium flap disks better to work with for grinding off edges but everyone has their own preference.
Drilling holes: A heavy duty drill as you will be drilling holes up to 10mm in metal. A side handle will help on the drill as well.
Holding small parts /assemblies: One or more "Mole" type grips and or some small G Clamps.

you will obviously need all the usual smaller things like drill bits, tape measure, square etc

Health & Safety - Ignore at your peril when working with steel!
Heavy duty gloves for handling the hot/sharp metal during cutting and preparation, I like the rigger type gloves
Goggles - Eye protection is a must (you only have one set of eyes) apart from my wife who seems to have another in the back of her head that are sensitive to new tool purchases.
Ear protection - I have tinnitus, so some ear protection is always a good idea.
Disposable dust mask(s)

Materials: - Base
Some Mild Steel Angle section: (I used 50 x 50mm wide, 5mm thick), I originally looked at buying the steel on e-bay for this but when I approached my Local Blacksmith/fabricator to ask about a quote for welding one of these I found that he was MUCH cheaper for the material. All in cost for enough steel for this base is around £20. this is fine for most normal machines but if you are mobilising a Wadkin, you might need to up-scale the material thickness a little more.
Some Mild Steel plate: - between 3 and 4mm thick, You could make it thicker, but 4mm is already fairly strong in this application.
Wheels: 100mm diameter Poly tyre wheels are best as the standard ones take 200Kg+ each. Dont be tempted with rubber ones as they will develop a flat spot in the tyre with the weight and irregular movement. These should be about £9 a pair
Adjustable feet: I used M12 x 120mm long feet threaded feet, costing £15 along with with two unplated M12 nuts. Un-plated because they are going to be welded. The blacksmith/fabricator will probably have the nuts as well.
About 20 off M6 Hex head machine screws (fully threaded), plus washers and nuts to hold the parts together during welding, these are all removed once complete and can be reused on your next stand.
Paint to finish it, of course, you could always make it in stainless!!!!

I recommend working outside if at all possible, apart from the noise in the confined space, it's less dirty and saves your workshop going up in flames with all those sparks (you did remember to clean up those wood shavings, didn't you).

You can complete the whole job, less welding and painting in a day. I built the Sedgwick stand in February 2012, it was cold but dry (unusual for Scotland - the dry bit that is).

This next section of the post has been edited following some of the feedback from the original one
--------------------------------------
OK some (revised) photographs to let you see the idea, these were are all for some fairly heavy machines:

(1). Some standard base options
The photo on the left is the type of stand I made for my morticer. These types of stand are fine for machines that are naturally very stable. When making your own stands, you can adjust all the dimensions / geometry to suit your needs and space. Although the base legs stick out from the base of the machine, the upper parts of the machine often overhang the base so the "outriggers" are not a trip hazard in reality.
97 Bases SI.jpg


(2). Some more specialised stands
This one is a base for my Sedgwick PT255, legs have been extended to improve stability for this particular machine.
06 Sedgwick Mobile Base.JPG


(3). And finished with the MiniMax S45 bandsaw bolted to it (The lift bar is in prototype stage in this photo)
99 Finished with Lift SI.jpg


(4). Axminster AW19FM morticer on a another stand
AW Morticer base SF.jpg


(5). Sedgwick PT255 fitted to the stand (Front)
PT255 Front View.jpg


(6). Sedgwick PT255 fitted to the stand (rear)
02c Rear SF.jpg



The concept is to measure your machine and work out the size of the central area to suit the base. The stand shown is for the bandsaw. The key difference for my bandsaw was one leg longer than the other to offset the odd centre of gravity and the left hand side having a cut out to allow the bottom door of the bandsaw to open. The Morticer has shorter outriggers as it's fairly stable and the sedgwick much longer to give stability with long heavy timber.

Building the stand
The Next photograph shows stand marked "4" bolted together before welding. The basic design of the stands are the same for all my machines, the build photos are for stand "4" but the construction methods are the same for all with some minor detail differences I will point out along the way.

Here are two views of the top of the Bandsaw stand. These initial photos show how the stand will look when you deliver it to the blacksmith/fabricator for welding. The bolts mean that everything is held square and all they have to do is to weld it. The blacksmith was really happy not to have to do any prep work! The bolts are all removed after welding and most of the holes are hidden when in use.

(7). Top view - From front to Back of stand
Top View2.jpg


(8). Top view - From Back to front of stand
base fab.jpg


Starting with the part that is supporting you machine. Work out what shape the middle of the stand needs to be. Using angle steel allows you to keep the base tight to the base of the machine. If you have a machine base like the Sedgwick where the mounting holes are outside the base, you might need to make the mobile base a little larger in this area, see the photos at the beginning to see what I mean. Once you have decided the size you need you can then work out how large to make the rear outriggers where the wheels and axles are mounted. Making your own base gives you complete control over how to configure this. A typical machine is raised by about 25mm when on the base, if the machines is already fairly stable, you can keep the wheels tucked into the side (like the morticer photo). Where you want to improve its stability, you can make these longer to suit. Tall machines like bandsaws can benefit from a slight increase in base size. Of course it all depends on how much space you have. In the photo where I have the Morticer next to the Planer / thicknesser, i normally store my shop vac in this space so it's not necessarily all wasted space. Once you have visualised how it's going to look, draw it out with some sizes. You can now start to work out how much steel you will need. If you know you are going to make more than one base, buy a little more than required.


Making the stand - Continued on Page 2.

Nigel
(updated with pictures restored from old Photobucket account)
 

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gwr

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Now i do like these and have a great engineers/steel fabricators near me for the steel.cheers ndbrown
 

Graham Orm

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Great job, nice professional finish. MIG welding is very easy once you get the hang and the gear isn't that expensive.
 

Tierney

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Excellent thread, I've got a bloody big bandsaw that needs a base like this!

Keep 'em coming.

DT
 

GCR

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Excellent idea, must nip round to the local steel fabricator to get an idea of his prices. Looking forward to the next instalment!

Bob
 

Racers

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Hi, Jacob

Linky no worky

Linky now worky

Pete
 

Spindle

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Hi

Are you sure you have calculated / estimated the C of G of the bandsaw correctly? I would think it would be towards the right as the base is shown in the photo.

Regards Mick
 

Racers

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Works for me now.

Jacod

How would you get one under a machine? I have used one for moving a fire safe around, but that had a removable panel so you get a pallet truck under.
Most machines don't have that facility.

Pete
 

marcros

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unless you put the machine on a pallet of course, and then just move it on that.
 

Jacob

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Racers":247hf6a1 said:
Works for me now.

Jacod

How would you get one under a machine? I have used one for moving a fire safe around, but that had a removable panel so you get a pallet truck under.
Most machines don't have that facility.

Pete
Nearly all machines have something in the way of feet and you get a pallet truck between them. If no feet you could put wood blocks at the corners, fixed or loose.
 

Racers

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Hi, Jacob

Got any pictures of machines with enough clearance, I can't think of any.
Wooden blocks don't sound to safe.
My Startrite 352 had a handle and small wheels so you can move it, don't you have one?

Pete
 

Jacob

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Racers":1rocokvd said:
Hi, Jacob

Got any pictures of machines with enough clearance, I can't think of any.
Wooden blocks don't sound to safe.
I've moved lots of machines with pallet trucks. Wooden blocks can be as safe as you want them to be.
My Startrite 352 had a handle and small wheels so you can move it, don't you have one?

Pete
Mine's the same. But it's a lot easier with a sack trolley, especially if the floor is covered in shavings, uneven, or stepped
 

ndbrown

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Thanks for all the comments people have posted and alternative suggestions. The idea of a sack barrow seems very good, but as far as a pallet truck is concerned in my particular situation I don't have the space to store a pallet truck or manoeuvre the forks under a pallet as I only have a single garage with machines and workbench up both sides. However, if you've got the space, some of these alternatives are all very worthwhile considering.

As far as the C of G is concerned, this particular bandsaw has the spine located on the left hand side and only an alloy bodied motor on the right (see photo below, which probably explains it all). With the cast iron table, support trunnions and cast iron bandwheels all on the far left of the machine it was just not stable without being bolted down. I don't have a manual for it but I would expect that SCM recommended it be bolted down. When I got it, I was really worried that it would fall over on my son as he also stores his bike in the garage. If you held the front of the machine at the top it only needed a movement of a couple of inches to the left to want to topple, you could not easily move it to the right at all. If you did not have to move it, you could bolt it down to something to spread the load. I think this problem is unique to this particular model, however, despite this, its a an excellent heavy duty bandsaw for the £500 I paid for it and I can safely live with this design quirk now that it's on the base.

This machine was the original motivating factor to do something practical to solve the problem and to be honest I didn't really set out to make any more than just a base for this. Having made a base and lift bar (it's hanging on the wall on the left at the rear in the picture). I found it so easy to move it around, I decided to repeat it for some of my other machines. I don't move the Bandsaw that often, but move the morticer out to do longer pieces and have moved the planer thicknesser a lot to work on it, generally just moving it straight out from the wall. I was surprised how easy the bases were to make.

Bandsaw and C of G
Base with S45.jpg
 

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Gary Morris

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looking at the table of the saw, it looks like it extends over the feet, so may give protection against tripping
 

Graham Orm

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Bluekingfisher":uu07bghs said:
Effective no doubt but they have a very large footprint and those legs look like a trip hazard waiting to happen?

Just an observation

I thought that, or maybe 'ankle knockers'. I think some foam insulation taped round them would be a good idea.
 
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