Shop Skills #8: Improved Support With Roller Stands

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Blog entry by Todd A. Clippinger posted 11-23-2009 10:16 AM 6787 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.


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.


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.


Next I place the table top on the roller stands.


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.



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.



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


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,

12 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3844 days

#1 posted 11-23-2009 12:48 PM

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


1879 posts in 4014 days

#2 posted 11-23-2009 01:55 PM

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


248 posts in 3192 days

#3 posted 11-23-2009 03:06 PM

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


14468 posts in 3613 days

#4 posted 11-23-2009 03:50 PM

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.

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3418 days

#5 posted 11-23-2009 04:02 PM


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,


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View FenceWorkshop's profile


267 posts in 3147 days

#6 posted 11-23-2009 04:23 PM

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4122 days

#7 posted 11-23-2009 05:44 PM

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,

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3897 days

#8 posted 11-23-2009 07:47 PM

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!

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4122 days

#9 posted 11-23-2009 08:18 PM

Blake – How does this intro sound?

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

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3980 days

#10 posted 11-23-2009 08:47 PM

View Grumpy's profile


23997 posts in 3874 days

#11 posted 11-23-2009 11:43 PM

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


10874 posts in 3581 days

#12 posted 11-24-2009 02:31 AM

I like your solution Todd. Very well thought out.

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

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