Portamate PM1000 Universal Mobile Base Review

Portamate PM1000 Mobile Base

Mobile bases are essential for small shops with limited floor space for shop machinery. Unless you’re fortunate enough to have a huge wood shop you’ll likely need to make most of your shop machinery mobile enough to move into open space when working with large work pieces. My new woodshop is no exception.

Recently the folks from Portamate sent me their PM1000 Universal Mobile Base to evaluate in the shop. Because my shop has limited floor space I plan on pushing un-used equipment and machinery up against walls. I want to be able to move them away from the walls and into the center of the shop when I’m working on large pieces. In order to do that I need mobile bases for several tools including the drill press, bandsaw, jointer and planer.

To test the PM1000 I decided to set it up to support my Delta 18-900L 18″ Drill Press. It’s a beast of a drill press and super awkward to move around the shop. Drill presses in general are not very stable because they are very top heavy. So setting it up on the Portamate PM1000 is a great test.

Features and Specifications

  • Maximum Square: 31″ x 31″
  • Maximum Rectangle: 19″ x 43″
  • Adjusts in 1″ Increments
  • All Parts Included
  • Foot Level Raise and
    Lower Tool
  • Rubber Leveling Feet
    Park Machine

How I Feel About The Portamate PM1000

The Poratmate PM1000 is built to support heavy tools up to 400 lbs and accommodate all kinds of base shapes from a 31″ x 31″ square up to a 19″ x 43″ rectangle. The kit includes everything you might need except for a support platform (like I used, 3/4″ plywood). The beauty of the rails that make up the frame is how they are designed with holes on a 1″ spacing grid so you can create lots of different custom sizes to fit most any machine.

I actually opted to build it with a wood base so that I could spread out the wheels to improve the stability of my drill press. Drill presses are famous for being extremely top heavy (huge motors up top). So I opted to spread out the wheel base several inches on each side. To do this I attached a piece of 3/4″ plywood to the frame.

The following are some of my thoughts:

  • Directions / Assembly – Assembling the PM1000 wasn’t very hard once I figured out where all the pieces fit together. The directions however, had a little to be desired as they were cryptic at best.
  • Quality Materials – The materials are all good quality materials. The frame is made of steel with a nice powder coat finish.
  • Smooth Movement – The PM1000 works great. Once the wheels are engaged I can easily move my heavy Delta Drill Press around the parking lot with ease.

Overall Impression

Overall I’m very impressed with the Portamate PM1000. It’s rugged, easy to use and gives me far more options in my wood shop. I would certainly recommend this mobile base unit for anything with a wood shop. It’s a great value around $60 and you can buy it here:

HTC PortaMate PM1000 Universal Mobile Base

About the author

Todd Fratzel

Todd Fratzel is the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.He is also the editor of several other sites including: Home Construction & Improvement and Today's Green Construction

@tfratzelTodd Fratzel

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