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Rockler Material Mate Panel Cart and Shop Stand

Sheet goods are essential in a woodworking shop!

The odds are pretty good you have used some sort of sheet good in the recent past in your woodworking shop. From MDF to high-quality cabinet grade plywood, sheet good material is essential to any size woodworking shop. Even if you use mostly hardwoods, you will need the ability to bring in sheet goods for jigs and other shop needs. Not to mention all that solid wood needs to be transported from your vehicle or trailer into the shop and around the shop. There are many options on the market that are extremely expensive and others that are very affordable but are junk! Rockler Woodworking and Hardware has come up with a nice compromise to a panel cart. It is affordable and is multipurpose.

Material Mate Panel Cart and Shop Stand

Rockler is known for helping create innovated solutions to the woodworking shop. Whether that is for the weekend warrior or the high producing production shops, Rockler had products that can make your time in the shop more enjoyable, safer, and your results even better. Material handling in the shop always had been a cumbersome topic. With the Material Mate Panel Cart and Shop Stand, not only can you use it to bring your sheet goods into the shop but you can also use it as a shop stand.

With its steel construction, this unit can carry a lot of weight. Unable to find a weight capacity, we tried to test the limits. We loaded a hair under 300 board feet of 8/4 solid walnut on the Material Mate Panel Cart and Shop Stand. And to top it off, we put a baby calf on top of the walnut! With all this weight, it was hard to move and was cumbersome in itself. It is clearly not intended for this much weight but with the 4″ casters, once we were able to get the unit moving it was smooth sailing.

Features and Specs:

  • Top Frame Length: 36″
  • Top Frame Width (without knobs): Adjustable from 22″ to 30-1/4″
  • Bottom Frame Dimensions: 25-1/4″ W x 36″ L
  • Height (with top flat): Adjustable from 31″ to 36″ high
  • Height (with top tilted): Adjustable from 40″ to 45″ high
  • Caster Diameter: 4″
    • Two swiveling and locking
    • Two fixed
  • Material: Steel (very high quality)
  • Can pass through a 30″ wide service door when tilted vertically

Tilting Top

The innovated feature on this unit is the tilting top. Tilting the top allows the unit to go from Shop Stand mode into a Panel Cart extremely fast. There is a red lever that grips onto the frame of the unit that can be pulled to tilt the top.

With two precision pivoting pins/bolts, the unit pivots extremely smoothly.

Adjustable Height

Second, to the tilting top, the unit is adjustable. You can adjust the unit to be a hair below your table saw surface so you can utlize the Material Mate to help load your sheet goods on the table saw. Excellent for large full sheets of material or someone that is smaller and cannot handle the weight of a full sheet.

Flip Stops

The top frame has two red flip stops that are secured in place with large fixture knobs. These can be rotated for both of the purposes of this unit. If the unit is in Shop Stand mode, you want them to be folded down and out of the way. If you are using it as a Panel Cart, you want them rotated and extended so the sheet goods can rest on them.

Extending top

The top frame had an adjustable bar that can be extended to make a larger working surface or shop stand. As mentioned above in the Features and Specs section, it can be extended from 22″ to 30-1/4″ wide. The unit has a single bullet pin on each of the sides to lock the extendable section in place. Once you decide where you want it, you need to place one Safety Locking Pin in each of the sides. This will give to top extra safety in not failing when loaded up with the material.

 

Instructions and Assembly

Rockler always has extremely well-written instructions with full colored pictures and zoomed in areas. We recommend assembling the unit on an elevated surface and then bringing it down to the ground (with some help) when you are completed. It isn’t comfortable assembling something on the ground.

If we had to guess, it took Andy by himself 30-45 minutes to assembly.

Conclusion

If you are struggling with bringing material into your shop, loading sheet goods on your table saw, or need another work surface, the Rockler Material Mate Panel Cart and Shop Stand could be a great solution for you. With the tilting top and adjustable height, this single unit can solve all three of those problems. In reviewing some of the other panel cart options out there, the Material Mate is extremely affordable and very well built. Find a local Rockler Woodworking and Hardware brick and motar store or check it out online at www.rockler.com

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