Wed 19 Mar 2008
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.
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