I recently Purchased the Heavy Duty Roller Stands from Rockler (the ones with the 3 rows of roller balls).
I thought they were an absolute solid product and probably some of the best roller stands available but the tops were SO heavy, it was impossible to adjust their height in fine amounts. Since all of my equipment at the moment is at different heights, this was a problem.
I wanted to add a type of crank mechanism that would allow the stands to function similarly to a screw jack.
So I went on McMaster Carr (God I love that place) and ordered some ACME rod and nuts and some Handwheels.
I still wasn’t for sure how I was going to get everything to work but I was sure I’d figure it out on the way.
My initial concept was to take a piece of wood and insert the ACME nut into it. This would then be screwed into the tube of the stand base. I would then have the ACME rod rest on the top of the roller stand. However, upon closer inspection, I didn’t have that much room to work with.
So enough talking, and on with the pictures.
Here are the basic components I ordered form McMaster Carr.
First step was to deburr the inside of the Roller Stand base so I could mount the ACME nut.
The next few pics show how I mounted the ACME nut to the stand. There was JUST enough room for 4 10-32 machine screws to use as fasteners to mount the nut. The nut was then drilled and tapped for these screws and subsequently mounted to the stand.
The next step was to fabricate some guide blocks for the ACME Rod. Steel rubbing on Wood is Bad, and Steel rubbing on Steel is even worse as it makes filings that can gum up the works. So to prevent that, I used Sintered Bronze/Graphite Bushings to act as where surfaces for the top and side constraints of ACME rod.
A pair was made for the top and bottom of the stand.
Finally, the threaded rod and nut are assembled to the stand top and the handwheel is installed.
The next couple of Pics show to completed stand and it’s height range (just a little less than the stand’s range originally. Also, you can see one of the original stands in the background)
“wash, rinse, repeat” all over again and now I have two!
Overall, I’m very happy with the mod. This makes it MUCH easier to adjust the height of the stands. I still intend to use the clamping knob on the stand once the height is set.
I’ve found out it all works better when I hold the stand base and stand top steady when I rotate the handwheel, otherwise the adjustable part wants to slop around in the base tube (second pic)
-- You're not a real wood worker until you've been to the Emergency Room...Twice...in one year...wait a minute, this isn't right.