Hot New Tools Issue 84: 3 Heads are Better Than 1Comments (1)
This article is from Issue 84 of Woodcraft Magazine.
Bora® PORTAMATE PM-5093 A-Frame Tri-Function Wedge-Lock Pedestal Roller Stand
Most work stands are designed to provide simple but solid infeed or outfeed support, or to help heavy stock slide past a blade or cutter. You can accomplish a lot with most one-trick ponies, but sooner or later, you’ll encounter a job where you wish you had the stability of a fixed top, or rollers to help maneuver long boards or heavy sheet goods. Where some woodworkers might resort to buying or building another support, PM-5093 owners have 3 options, for only about $10 more than single-headed competitors.
Such versatility makes this accessory sound like a product advertised on late-night TV, but this A-frame support delivers. The tool-free pivoting head (lift up the bracket and rotate) enables users to quickly select the support head that best suits the job. The adjustable base extends from 25" to nearly 44" (tall enough to support stock on my bandsaw) and is rated to support 300 lbs. In contrast to slippery extension columns on some supports, the Portamate’s uniquely tapered column wedges itself against the locking screw as weight is applied. Last but not least, the base sports an elliptically-shaped foot pad. Rotating the foot levels the stand on an uneven shop floor faster than using shims.
The stand folds away for easy storage, but odds are good that it’ll find regular use near one machine where it will be ready to lend a helping hand all around your shop.
—Tester, Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk
- Folding, adjustable workshop support, $54.99.
- 3-in-1 rotating head: 111⁄4" ball-bearing roller, 6 roller balls, and stationary support.
- Height adjusts from 25 - 433⁄4".
- Supports up to 300 lbs.
- Adjustable foot provides stability on uneven ground.
Multi-Direction Roller Balls
I purchased a pair of these to handle in-feed and out-feed for my shop's table saw and joiner. They function as advertised and are easily adjustable to meet most shop scenarios. My one complaint is the Multi-Direction Roller Balls are very susceptible to sawdust which restricts their rolling properly and they corrode quickly. Once corroded they cease to function as designed.
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