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Shop Skills #8: Improved Support With Roller Stands

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Blog entry by Todd A. Clippinger posted 1732 days ago 4170 reads 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Cutting Small Pieces on the Compound Miter Saw Part 8 of Shop Skills series no next part

Like many woodworkers, you will find roller stands in my shop for extra material support. I do not like the single roller stands, I prefer the stands that provide support with 3 or 4 rollers. This type of roller stand provides a larger surface and better support.

The particular set of roller stands that you see here is the Craftsman brand from Sears. They cost about $70 each several years ago.

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But I am still not satisfied with the performance of roller stands on their own. One of the problems is that they will guide your work askew from the intended direction if it is not perfectly aligned to feed straight into the blade. Ball bearing type roller stands will help with this problem but I have a solution with an added benefit.

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My solution was to make a table top surface that could be placed over the roller stands. The surface is made from tempered masonite hardboard and hard maple was used to create a simple frame. The frame captures the roller stand and stays in place.

I could have made a small table surface to cover one set of roller stands, but I needed more table surface than one would provide. I created the table top 6 feet long and wide enough to cover the roller stands. Before I had permanent and solid infeed/outfeed tables for my tablesaw, I used this set up on both ends of the tablesaw. The benefit of this for a small shop that is sharing space with cars or in a basement, is that it is flexible and can be stored when not in use and easily set up when needed.

This system does require the purchase of more roller stands, but it provides a lot of table surface. As I stated before, I had to use this system before I set up permanent tables and I actually used it for several years.

Two roller stands are set up in line with each other and the height is adjusted according to the needs of the specific tool being used.

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Next I place the table top on the roller stands.

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For the outfeed support I prefer the leading edge of the table is lower than the surface of the tool’s table. A straightedge tells the story.

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I only used the full setup for the outfeed on this project, but I have another roller stand and table surface for a full setup on the infeed side if needed as well.

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Full and proper support on the infeed and outfeed of a saw will increase safety and provide better results through better control.

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Not everybody has the luxury and space of a full dedicated shop space so this could be a solution that will work for you, or it may lead you to a solution better suited to your needs.

Share the Love~Share the Knowledge

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com



12 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2447 days


#1 posted 1732 days ago

Thanks for the tip, Todd. Roller stands have a place in most shops and, once their disadvantages are overcome, are pretty useful at supporting long/heavy stock.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Chris 's profile

Chris

1867 posts in 2617 days


#2 posted 1732 days ago

Todd,
Thanks for the tip, I do like the idea. I have one question though; What make/model of roller stand is that?

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View charlie48's profile

charlie48

248 posts in 1795 days


#3 posted 1732 days ago

Todd,
Thanks for sharing the knowledge. I will have the perfect spot for this tip.

-- Charlie............Only time will tell if it was time well spent.

View woodworm's profile

woodworm

14124 posts in 2216 days


#4 posted 1732 days ago

Good tip Todd. I’m impressed with your re-sawing result. Looks straight and square and clean. Great testimonial.
It is really persuading me now to place BS on top of my wishlist!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

#5 posted 1732 days ago

Todd,

I, too have had occasional problems with the rollers skewing the work. While it isn’t always the case, I have the solution for the problem.

Shop made roller stands that employ ball rollers, not cylindrical ones. They roll in any and all directions and won’t “steer” the work.

Another shop built stand I have uses small caster wheels, which also will not steer the work.

Best regards,

d

-- Will trade wife's yarn for tools.

View FenceWorkshop's profile

FenceWorkshop

269 posts in 1750 days


#6 posted 1732 days ago

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8768 posts in 2725 days


#7 posted 1732 days ago

Don – You are correct in that the roller bearing type stands won’t steer the work in the wrong direction. But this has the added benefit of creating much needed table surface and it is easy to store away.

Chris – These roller stands came from Sears and they cost about $70 when purchased several years ago.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Blake's profile

Blake

3437 posts in 2500 days


#8 posted 1732 days ago

Good idea.

Its worth mentioning that you can do the same thing with the single roller stands on a smaller scale. I did something similar with mine when I was ripping lots of strips on the table saw. You just have to make sure your makeshift outfeed table is rigid.

I must say that lumber along with the bulging muscles sure makes you look like a badass.

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8768 posts in 2725 days


#9 posted 1732 days ago

Blake – How does this intro sound?

“Hi – I’m Todd Clippinger and Welcome to the BadAss Craftsman Workshop”

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Brad_Nailor's profile

Brad_Nailor

2531 posts in 2583 days


#10 posted 1732 days ago

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

19378 posts in 2476 days


#11 posted 1732 days ago

I find the rolloer stands very useful as well. Thats is one heavy duty solution Todd.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View cabinetmaster's profile

cabinetmaster

10874 posts in 2184 days


#12 posted 1731 days ago

I like your solution Todd. Very well thought out.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

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