13 April, 2014
My company installs millwork and trim on commercial projects, some so large we might have to walk ¼ to ½ mile inside the building to reach the place where the work is to occur. And the work might be spread out over a large area, as was the case on a recent project where we trimmed a ¼-mile long corridor in a hospital.
At the beginning of the job I realized we’d have to set up our cut station multiple times or spend a lot of time walking back and forth from wherever it was. I didn’t feel like wasting that kind of time so I built a mobile base for our miter saw stand from a sheet of plywood, some casters, and a handful of fasteners. Including design time, the base took just over two hours to build—time well spent given the countless hours we saved by keeping the cut station close to the work.
The base has five 2-inch rubber casters, two at each end and one in the middle. The back edge is stiffened by a 6-inch vertical rip of plywood. The center wheel is at the non-stiffened edge so the base can float (flex) over humps in concrete floors. Because the casters are small, they offer enough resistance that there’s no need to lock them when using the saw; the stand only moves when I want it to.
The base was made to fit FastCap’s BestFence stand—though really, it could have been designed to carry any commercial or home-made saw stand. To keep the stand in position, each of its four feet lands in a 2-inch rubber pipe cap that is screwed to the base. Between the legs we carry a small ultra-quiet compressor, dust extractor, and the safety cones the hospital requires us to use. The dust extractor is held in a cradle to keep it from rolling around and the trash can swings out on a plywood pivot for quick and easy access. With all of this stuff on the base there is still room to store a tool bag, nail guns, and other small items. We hang our hoses and cords from the BestFence handles. When it’s time to move we simply roll the base to wherever the cut station needs to be.
I’ve built this cart more than once, modifying the design to suit the job at hand. Typically, I unload at the loading dock, put everything on the base, and then roll it to the work area. If there are stairs, I won’t load the cart till I get everything to the top-at which point I’m able to roll it around the facility. The base saves us a lot of time by making it easy to keep our cut station and associated tools close to the work area. We use it in much the same way as we use our mobile tool cart.