Sep 19 2012

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Table Saw Cart: Stationary And Mobile Base

Originally I had just planned to use locking castors on the base of the table saw cart, but after I actually mounted the castors, I immediately ran into two problems. Since this cart is much lighter than my previous cart, it wanted to slide around the floor when I was using it. I also had no easy way to fine tune the height of the table saw to match my outfeed table (otherwise known as my workbench.) What I really needed were adjustable rubber feet, but I didn’t want to give up the cart’s mobility.

I know there are several mobile bases that you can purchase or build that rest on feet and then have castors that can be engaged to move the base around, but I found my solution in the International Association of Penturners Forum. In the forum, a member posted pictures of his mobile base which he based on a project he had seen in Wood Magazine. The base used a cam lever to push down a set of castors mounted on a hinge. When I saw this I thought it would work perfectly for my cart.

I had castors and hardware for levelers, but I didn’t have the right hinges or any rubber feet. So while I was in Home Depot picking up hinges, I spotted the perfect feet: they were cheap and they fit over the head of a 5/16″ carriage bolt. The above assembly consists of a 2-1/2″ long 5/16″ carriage bolt, a t-nut, regular nut, and rubber foot. I mounted the whole assembly in a 2×4 block (for height and bolt travel) which I screwed to the bottom of the cart.

Before I attached the castor assemblies, I set the table saw cart back up with the table saw mounted to the top and butted it up to my work bench. Then I adjusted the feet so that the table saw table was level and about 1/8″ higher than my bench. With the height of the cart established, I mounted the castor assemblies so that the wheels were about  1/2″ lower than the feet when the assemblies were perpendicular to the sides of the cart.

For the cam lever I took some 10″ chunks of 2×4, rounded one edge ,and drilled a whole about 3/4″ off the center point of the arc. I positioned the cam lever so that when it was in the lowest  position the caster assembly would be perpendicular to the ground. Once I had the location for the hole on the cart I built up the side with a chunk of 1×4 and used a carriage bolt as the cam shaft.

I am particularly pleased at how well the new base works. It’s very easy to roll the cart into position and flip the two cam levers with my feet to disengage the castors. Then when I need to move the saw out of the way I just flip the cam levers with my feet again and I’m off and rolling.

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