Deadman Roller Stand Christmas Gift

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Project by grumpybear7357 posted 12-26-2016 02:00 PM 2796 views 8 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Some 60+ years ago, my father built a roller topped deadman stand to use as an extra hand working long stock on his ShopSmith and generally working projects around his shop. I have no idea if he built it to plans, or designed it himself. I still use the little roller top at some point of most every project. It is strong and light, easily moved around the shop, and easily transported if working off-site. It measures 20 inches wide, and 32 inches tall (collapsed), extending up to about 43 inches fully extended. The roller is 18 inches wide.

My son, Grumpycub, has seen the little stand in action for years, and has often said that one day he was going to build a similar stand to use in his shop. He stays pretty busy on many other projects and has never had the time to build the stand. Back in September, I decided to replicate my father’s build as a Christmas gift for him.

The original stand is made of Red Oak, with a Pine roller. I had enough quarter sawn White Oak on hand to build the stand, and turned the roller from Southern Yellow Pine. I finished it in BLO/SatinPoly/Mineral Spirits in a 1:1:1 mixture. Over the 60+ years the finish and wood of the original have darkened to a deep, deep brown. The replica is pretty light in comparison, but the white oak is beautiful under the clear finish so I did not stain it.

I hope my son gets many, many years of use from the little stand. Merry Christmas, Grumpycub!

-- Never Underestimate an Old Man with a Tractor...

7 comments so far

View becikeja's profile


1168 posts in 3829 days

#1 posted 12-26-2016 02:36 PM

Great story, great build. Passing down skills and tools, what could be a better way to enjoy the hobby.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View GrumpyCub's profile


64 posts in 1805 days

#2 posted 12-26-2016 03:55 PM

Needless to say I was taken back when I saw this gift. I have memories of the original in my grandfather’s workshop and as already stated, Dad has had it for years. The fact that it was built by my grandfather gave it an edge over other roller stands. Having one built by my Dad is truly special and every time I use it I know I’ll be grinning. Thanks for such a special Christmas present and rest assured it will see lots of use!

View Andre's profile


4309 posts in 2821 days

#3 posted 12-26-2016 05:41 PM

Great job and story, going to fav’s and will be on my to build list in the New Year.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View jm8's profile


69 posts in 3327 days

#4 posted 12-26-2016 07:32 PM

That’s pretty cool. Thanks for sharing.

-- Joe from Western Ma.... Peace to all

View Ick's profile


36 posts in 4556 days

#5 posted 12-27-2016 02:10 PM

I built one when I got my ShopSmith in 1978. I replaced the roller with roller bearings. These days it mainly gets used at the miter saw.

-- Craig, Oklahoma

View grumpybear7357's profile


45 posts in 1661 days

#6 posted 12-27-2016 10:49 PM

Thanks for all comments and views. I was particularily blown away by the number of views.

becikeja – should you build the stand and want more detailed dimensions, just let me know.

Idk – my stand also gets a lot of time holding lumber to feed into my miter saw. But I tend to use it whenever I am working lengthy stock such as positioned as an in-feed at the table saw, and even an out-feed on the jointer (not easy to set up, but doable).

Thanks again for the comments,
Ed – Kathleen, Ga.

-- Never Underestimate an Old Man with a Tractor...

View grumpybear7357's profile


45 posts in 1661 days

#7 posted 12-28-2016 12:02 AM

Andre – should you build the stand and want more detailed dimensions, just let me know.

Thanks for viewing and for your comments,
Ed – Kathleen, Ga

-- Never Underestimate an Old Man with a Tractor...

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