MOBILE SAW CABINET
Flip-down legs allow mobility or stability when needed.
SHOP OWNER: Ken Gartin
LOCATION: Fort White, FL
I built this tablesaw cabinet for several reasons. (A) Because I wanted a more sturdy base, (B) because I have no money for a cabinet saw, and (C) because I wanted to! I used maple plywood for the carcass and solid maple for the trim. The flip-down legs at the bottom allow the saw to become 100% rock solid stable. Even with fully locking casters I found there’s a little play if pushed hard enough. Not so with the legs flipped down.
Originally I started out with a Craftsman contractor saw that I purchased in 1997 for a project. It was bone stock and the stand was extremely unstable when trying to move it, even with the included casters. Over time, I decided to start upgrading the saw for as little out of pocket as possible. Since it was having trouble passing the nickel test, the legs were the first things I tackled.
You'll notice the saw in the pictures is not a Craftsman but a Delta 36-979. The saw didn't come with a fence but that was fine since a month before purchasing it I bought the Delta Unifence (shown in the pictures) from Lowe's for $65! I obviously didn't use the included stand for the new saw but transferred it directly to the new cabinet.
After a pretty extensive search trying to decide what would work best for my shop, which is a 23'x 23' garage with no cars allowed, I found a plan for a contractor saw cabinet online. I used the basic carcass structure from the plans but I added my own variations to suit my taste (like the flip-down legs and the front door). The first phase of the project didn't include double-locking casters so I had to come up with a system that would make the unit 100% rock solid. That's how the flip-down "leg" system came to be.
The design was driven as much by aesthetics as it was function, possibly more so since there are some challenges involved with engaging the legs. The design is basically composed of two decorative lower trim pieces that have been structurally strengthened to allow for the regular motion of engaging and disengaging the casters. They are attached with a piano hinge spanning the entire width of each end of the cabinet. Lifting up on the ends of the tablesaw allows the legs to swing 180 degrees, fully exposing the casters and vice-versa for disengaging the casters. The process is a little awkward but not a showstopper.
All in all, the system works much better from an aesthetic viewpoint than from design feasibility. I have already been investigating alternate methods of engaging the casters without physically lifting (tilting) the saw. The problem now is finding the motivation to overcome my procrastination!
. . . Ken Gartin