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I wrote the title generically, but the specific case I have is a bench top porter cable band saw.

I was a bit disappointed with how flimsy and unlevel the base was, but I figure they expect you to secure it to a bench. I don't want to permanently secure it to anything though because I want to be able to move it around as necessary. I don't need it to be very "portable" per say (i.e. I'm not loading it up and taking it to work sites), but I just need to be able to scoot it a bit one way or another as necessary in my garage.

I also realize I could use a rolling cart, as I do for my table saw, but I have a place I want this to be on a table where I also have a miter saw and I just need to be able to move it back and forth a bit.

I tried screwing it down into two pieces of thick plywood, but the plywood just warped so that it rocks back and forth.

My next thought is that I have some tiles that look like stone (not sure what they're called? not important, but they are very flat and will likely crack before they warp). I could bore some holes in them and probably secure it to that. This would be a bit more trouble though as I'd need to do my research to make sure I am using the right kinds of bits and would need to figure out how to ensure I'm not leaving a bolt protruding under the bottom (or put some kind of rubber feet under them if I do). But...

I bet there's a better way to do this? I'm probably being overly verbose, so to simplify the goal is for my band saw not to wobble while remaining reasonably mobile (don't need to lift it much so much as just scoot it back and forth).

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  • 1
    "but the plywood just warped" Well it shouldn't have. Did something not to do with your bandsaw happen there? Loads of people have vices and various smaller power tools bolted to sub-bases of ply without a problem..... it's actually one of the very things I was going to suggest! First thing I recommend you do is investigate the underside of your bandsaw and have a good look at what's going on there. You say it's not level, but I imagine it is supposed to be. So maybe it directly caused the warping of the plywood (i.e. it flexed it as you tightened fasteners). [contd]
    – Graphus
    Jul 7, 2021 at 6:08
  • You might discover that you could glue on some packing pieces to make the bottom flat/in one plane (or at least enough of it so this can work) and then reattach it to a ply or MDF sub-base.
    – Graphus
    Jul 7, 2021 at 6:10
  • 3
    A picture or two, showing the bandsaw base, possibly with a level and/or square to show us how out of true the base is would probably help people brainstorm some ideas on how to resolve the issue. Edit your post and use the "sun & mountain" icon to upload some pics. The site will host them for you and embed them in your post.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 7, 2021 at 11:16
  • 1
    I would be concerned with an unlevel base, because it might suggest problems with the saw that go beyond the base itself. E.g., if another part is bent or sized wrong, causing the base to flex out of alignment, then the wheels of the bandsaw may no longer be aligned correctly, which in turn will make it hard to get the blade to track properly. Just something to consider. Jul 9, 2021 at 16:24
  • 2
    Turn the plywood over so that the warp works to your advantage.
    – gnicko
    Sep 10, 2021 at 15:12

3 Answers 3

3

I have 2 ideas.

  1. I have my compound miter saw semi-permanently attached to a work bench I build on wheels. but I do some times need to take it with me to other locations. So I drilled holes though the top of the bench and tightened it down with wing-nut bolts, fairly easy to take it off and reapply it. and if I'm lazy I just put the bolts through so it won't move but leave the wing nuts off.

  2. attach it to a board just a little larger than the base of the saw. I've done this with my Kreg Jig and then when I need it I use a clamp to secure it to a bench top. Sounds like you might have tried this, and I don't understand why your ply wood would warp, especially if you had 2 layers. unless they were really thin. Or the base of your band saw was so bad that it pulled the boards enough to rock. If this is the case you might want to level the bandsaw on the boards with shims before you bolt them together. in either case using a clamp to secure the board to your bench top should help with the rocking as well, use 2 if the rocking is really bad.

3

I have a small shop, so I cannot afford many dedicated work surfaces for the bench-top equipment I have acquired.

I have a re-purposed Ikea kitchen island that I used for a router table and for a scroll saw. both have feet with similar dimension holes through them. I sat both on this "bench" and marked out the holes in the feet.

Then I drilled out the holes and epoxied threaded inserts into the holes. This allows me to securely bolt the router table or saw down using four bolts. When neither the router or the saw are in use I have a small "wrist-height" bench that has a number of threaded through-holes in the top. I recommend through-holes so dust and chips don't fill up the holes as easily.

My lower profile work bench I built is made so that I can use dogs and hold-fasts to hold bench-top tooling down. So I have a choice of heights for using this stuff. I may install threaded inserts into this bench as well. At least for the scroll saw, which is used more at sitting height anyway.

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  • I like the idea of the threaded inserts. I made a miter saw base that allows me to set the saw on my workbench on a little platform in a recess. I drilled holes in the bottom of the legs and simply drop bolts through the holes in the saw into the holes in the legs. If I need more counter space, I pull the bolts, take the saw off, set it aside and flip the platform over - voila! more counter space! (Note, I don't think I've ever used that platform for more counter space, but I can if I want to!)
    – FreeMan
    Dec 3, 2021 at 14:09
  • Actually, using your idea of epoxied threaded inserts, I could see building a cart that has internal storage for a couple of tools and holes on top that line up with each tool's mounting holes. One cart stores & supports multiple tools. Heaven help you if you manage to need the 3 tools stored in that cart at the same time, though...
    – FreeMan
    Dec 3, 2021 at 14:11
  • @FreeMan if that sort of stuff floats your boat, definitely check out Jeremy Fielding on YouTube. He's a wizard at building multi-use power tools into shared spaces.
    – jdv
    Dec 3, 2021 at 23:14
1

Another option would be to install adjustable leveling feet on your bandsaw.

enter image description here

There are a variety of types available.

This would allow you to set the bandsaw on a variety of surfaces without rocking and not have to bolt it to anything.
When you finish using the bandsaw you could movie it keeping full mobility.

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