We’ve all had that problem – how do you support the end of a long piece of timber whilst you’re doing work on one end of it? I’ve done it and I know alot of others have too – using a makeshift ladder on one end. Problem is, it doesn’t allow the timber to slide smoothly and you risk having it jack knife up, thus ruining your work. The solution : roller stands or better still, the ball bearing stands.

Now this is a fancy piece of work – the advantage the ball bearing stand has over the standard roller stand is that it allows travel in whatever direction you choose making it perfect as an out-feed support. Positioning it so that it’s exactly 90 degrees to the fence would ensure that you won’t get that dreaded ‘stock off course’ scenario. This is particularly important if your timber is long and heavy as it’s near nigh impossible to force the stock up against the fence when you reach the end of the cut. The only thing you have to watch out for is if you’re working with narrow pieces of stock or when you have to work with the narrow edge of timber. You’ll encounter this difficulty because no matter how hard you try to position the narrow piece of timber in the center of the ball bearing, if the stock is narrower than the distance between the centers of 2 ball bearings, murphy’s law says that it will fall off and ruin your cut.

What about roller stands? If you just require support to cut trim to length on your miter saw, or putting holes in long pieces of timber with your drill press, then the roller stand is the thing for you. A roller support with integrated bench clamp is a great tool that can be hooked up to your workbench or alternatively onto your sawhorse.

How about having the best of both worlds with Rockler’s Heavy Duty Flip Top Roller Stand which converts in seconds from your run of the mill roller stand to one with 8 ball bearings. With a load rating of an impressive 440lbs, this is no flimsy lightweight stand, it will stay rigid and upright for you – no worries. With easy height and levelling adjustments, it ensures that you’re not fiddling forever to get the fitting right before you get to work.

Click here for all roller stands

When was the last time you were in the middle of a project only to find that you are one clamp short? Clamps you never have enough of and F-style camps are one of the most often used clamps in the shop. The adaptable quick-adjusting F-style is superb for holding parts in place when you need to screw or nail them together, when you’re in the middle of a complex glue job, or when you need to quickly clamp down featherboards and other jigs.

Yup, F-style clamps are your generic woodshop standard so you might think that one clamp’s just as good as the other. Dig a little deeper though and you will find subtle differences in quality that can make one F-clamp a pleasure to use and another, which has had less thought in the manufacturing process one you’d relegate to the ‘only use if absolutely necessary’ section of your tools. Jet Tools however, goes the extra mile with it’s version of the F-clamp with added padding on clamping surfaces with their trademarked “Sumogrip” ergonomic handle. These Jet F-style clamps are tough enough to give you some actual clamping pressure, with the added ability to adjust quickly and reliably, and have the all essential detents on the bar that ensures the rear jaw won’t slip when you crank the handle. Use it once and you’ll never look back.

Clamps

Dreading the horrible splintering that results from plywood table saw cuts? Well it doesn’t have to be that way. The first thing you should check (if you haven’t already) is your saw blade. Do you require a new table saw blade? Or is the existing one just not appropriate? If you experiencing the wood actually splintering on top as the saw blade comes up, then check these things :
1. if the splintering is only happening on one side of the kerf, check if the blade is parallel to the fence. It has to be 90 degrees to the front edge of the table.
2. is your motor actually mounted square to the table?
3. if splintering is happening on both sides of the kerf, then the most likely problem is a wobbly saw blade. Check that your arbors aren’t bent, and also be on the lookout for burrs and grime build up on the blade.

Then when you cut, make sure you make 2 passes. First scoring the top layer of veneer and then second with the full thickness cut. Alternatively you may want to check out the special plywood/veneer cutting saw blades on the market (Freud’s Ultimate Plywood and Melamine Blade) – especially useful if you are going to cut a lot of plywood.

Recommended Reading :
1. Table Saw Book
2. The Accurate Table Saw

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