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top prev next bottom Roller Stand -- 4¼ hours -- Can$ 90.00 -- Beginner

My workshop is too small to have large in/out-feed tables around the major tools, so I make do with roller stands. Most commercial roller stands have a roll. American Design Furniture Co shows a nice cheap design your can build from 3/4" plywood, 2" x 4" lumber and a cheap rolling pin from Wal-Mart. The problem with these roller stands is that when the roll is not exactly perpendicular to the travel path of your material the wood gets pulled to the left or the right, with the known disastrous results. Lee Valley offers roller stands using roller balls; a much better solution. Again the top bar is only 16" wide and the maximum height only 46".

Therefore I decided to build a few roller stands myself, so that I can have them in the size and height I want, i.e. a wide top bar about 32", minimum height less then 31" for the planer, and maximum height at least 50" for the drill press.

top prev next bottom Pictures

Click on a picture to get a larger picture and then used the back button of the browser to return.

roller stand -- stock cut to length
Stock cut to length
roller stand -- outer stand
Outer stand; slot not yet routed
roller stand -- inner stand
Inner stand (top bar is really straight!)
roller stand -- router setup
Router setup for making slot in outer stand
roller stand -- top bar detail
Top bar detail
roller stand -- front view finished product
Front view finished product
roller stand -- back view lowest setting
Back view lowest setting: 30¼"
roller stand -- back view highest setting
Back view highest setting: 51"
roller stand -- leveller foot
Detail of leveller foot

top prev next bottom Plans, Drawings, Sketches (inches)


top prev next bottom Materials List (inches)

All that is needed is a 1/4 sheet of 3/4" plywood (24" wide x 48" long) plus a small extra piece, and a bit of hardware.

no. description length width thickness suggested basic material, comments
1 outer stand, center 27-3/4 4-7/8  3/4 3/4" plywood; 24" by 48"
2 outer stand, side 27-3/4 4-1/8  3/4 see above
1 inner stand, center 28-1/4 3-5/16  3/4 see above
2 inner stand, side 28-1/4 3-3/8  3/4 see above
4 leg 19 4-1/2  3/4 see above
1 top bar support 19 4-1/2  3/4 3/4" plywood
1 top bar 32 4-1/4  3/4 separate piece 3/4" plywood
4 foot  2  3/4  1/2 1/2" plywood
15 1" roller ball & 3/8" screws       Lee Valley, 99K52.20
1 wing knob 2     Lee Valley, 00M55.11
1 1/4" washer        
2 4-prong 1/4-20 T-nut       Lee Valley, 00N22.04
24 flooring screw 1-1/2     optionally use 1-1/4" screws for the legs
2 panel bracket 1-3/4 1-1/2   Lee Valley, 01S04.05 (set of 4)
2 cabinet leveller feet 3 1-1/2   Lee Valley, 01S06.03

top prev next bottom Required Tools

top prev next bottom Construction

All measurements are in inches (1 inches = 2.54 cm) because all wood measurements in the shop are in inches. I recommend to cut, shape and sand all pieces and dry fit them together with clamps.

All screw holes must be pre-drilled and countersunk.

Cut and shape the stock

Cross-cut a piece of 19" of the 48" long board. Cut 5 strips of 4-1/2" wide for the legs and top bar support. Taper the leg pieces and the top bar support piece to make it look a bit more elegant.

From the remaining 29" long piece cut the outer and inner pieces. Trim to length. Trim 1/8" from each outer side piece over a length of 6" at the top, creating a notch (see enlarged outer stand picture). Trim 1/8" from each inner side piece over a length of 6" at the bottom, creating a notch (see enlarged inner stand picture).

Cut the top bar from a small separate piece of 3/4" plywood.


Glue the outer side pieces against the outer center piece, with the center piece flush with the backs of the side pieces, and securing each side with 3 screws. The notches should be at the top front. Make sure that the bottom is flat and perpendicular to the sides; trim with the mitre-saw if needed. Ease over all edges with sandpaper. Using a plunge router with 5/16" straight bit route a slot in the center of the back, starting at 3-3/4" from the top (center of bit) all the way to 15" from the top (center of bit).

Stand the outer stand on end on a flat surface, and look at the enlarged picture of the outer stand for the order of attaching the legs using glue and 2 screws per side. Once the glue has dried, glue a 1/2" plywood foot under the tip of each leg using a 1" nail to secure. The 1-1/2" screws for the legs might show through on the inside of the outer stand. Simply file the tips off on the inside, or use 1-1/4" screws instead.

Glue the inner side pieces against the inner center piece, with the center piece flush with the backs of the side pieces, and securing each side with 3 screws. The notches should be at the bottom front. Make sure that the top is flat and perpendicular to the sides; trim with the mitre-saw if needed. Ease over all edges with sandpaper. Drill two 19/64" holes in the center of the back; one at 3-3/4" from the bottom and one at 13-3/4" from the bottom. From the inside hammer a 4-prong T-nut in each hole.

Using 2 screws, glue and screw the top bar support piece under the top bar, ensure that it is in the center and flush with one edge of the topbar. Ease over all edges with sandpaper. Next center the top bar assembly on top of the inner stand (notches at the bottom) and glue it in place, while securing it with 2 screws through the top bar and 2 screws through the support piece.

Slide the inner stand inside the outer stand and secure with the washer and wing knop. Next screw the roller balls onto the top bar in a row of 11 and a row of 4, and with the rows as far to the back of the top bar as possible (see top bar detail picture). This allows for a piece of angled sheet metal being attached to the front to guide stock onto the roller balls, if so desired. The extra row of 4 roller balls halves the spacing between the roller balls in that area and might be useful when working with narrow stock.

With the wing knop in the top T-nut the height is adjustable from 30-1/4" to 41". With the wing knop in the bottom T-nut the height is adjustable from 39-3/4" to 51".


Typically floors are not perfectly level. So, instead of putting a 1/2" plywood foot under the leg sticking out at the back, attach a leveling screw or mechanism.

top prev next bottom References


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