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 In Tool Reviews

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Tool: Bear Crawl “Papa Bear” Mobile Base T28923 Shop Now  

Manufacturer: Grizzly

MSRP: $93.95

Being able to move heavy machinery in my tiny garage shop has been a game-changer for me. Mobile bases are my go-to instruments for transferring equipment and making space as needed, and I want to share my experience with one particular base in this blog.

When I purchased my new Grizzly 8” jointer, I knew I needed a heavy-duty mobile base to support its massive size and enable me to shuffle it around my garage floor easily. I’ve been using the Grizzly T28923 mobile base for almost two years, and it has been an invaluable addition to my shop’s ecosystem.

There are many different types of mobile bases available, with varying features and mechanisms. Some have aluminum cam levers to engage the wheels with the floor for travel, while others use an all-steel cam mechanism. Some bases have cast iron casters, while others use polyurethane tires. In my experience, the most robust bases employ steel bars that slide into sleeves in the corners and lock into place using bolts or set screws.

After reviewing the various mobile bases that Grizzly offers, I selected the Grizzly T28923 due to its all-steel construction and well-built casters with polyurethane tires over cast iron wheels. Assembly was straightforward, following the clear instructions provided. I did encounter a minor issue with the caster bolts interfering with the wheels’ rotation, but reversing the bolts’ position solved the problem.

I measured the base of the jointer and worked with the instructions to determine the length the bars should be cut. I used a hacksaw, cut the bars to length, and installed them into the corner assemblies.

I installed the casters onto the corner assemblies. I followed the instructions and placed the nuts underneath the plate (the bolt head facing up), but that was a mistake as the slightly longer bolts interfered with the casters’ ability to rotate. I disassembled the bolts and reversed their position to bolt head down – which solved the problem.

To ensure a smooth ride for my jointer, I added cushioning material to the base’s corners using neoprene rubber. My first attempt at gluing the rubber to the steel plate failed, but I persevered and used rivets to affix the rubber triangles in place, which worked perfectly.

Since my garage floor still has a rough, choppy concrete surface, I wanted to apply some cushioning material to the base’s corners to dampen any rough riding. I cut four triangles from a strip of ⅜” of neoprene rubber and tried to glue them to the painted steel corners using contact cement. For some reason, the adhesive did not work and peeled right off the rubber. Strangely even though I roughened up with sandpaper and cleaned the rubber corners with alcohol before applying the glue, this did not have any positive effect on the adhesion of the contact cement to the rubber. So I followed the motto that I tell my students, “First-attempt failure is the gateway to second-improvement success,” and tried another way – affixing the rubber triangles with a rivet. 

After drilling a hole in the rubber and in the steel plate, I inserted a rivet, capped it with washers, and compressed it into place. This was a great solution, and what came next was inserting the mobile base under the jointer.

Inserting the mobile base under the jointer was a challenge, especially since I didn’t have anyone to assist me. My trusty hydraulic jack helped me hoist the jointer while I tucked in the base parts one end at a time. The result was worth it – I can’t imagine working without it. It’s been a solid investment that has made my life easier in the shop.


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