Rockler Material Mate Shop Stand

Rockler Material Mate Panel Cart

The Rockler Material Mate Shop Stand was designed to help the contractor and woodworker’s reduce the effort necessary to wrestling sheet goods around the shop. It will carry, and  transport 4×8 panels easier and safer, than manually carrying them.

If you’re a one-man show this cart can save your back and make unloading lumber from your truck, to the shop much easier. The Material Mate has durable 4-inch heavy duty casters which allow the cart to be easily pushed in any direction. The cart has a 150 lb capacity and easily maneuvers over pavement and concrete floors. Two of the casters are swiveling and locking, and two are fixed.

Tilt Feature

The Material Mate has a tilting top that allows convenient loading if you store your sheet stock on edge — a common space-saving practice in small shops. With the Material Mate tilted, the sheet can be transferred to, or from, the rack with minimal re-positioning.

In the vertical position, the rack passes through a narrow as 30 in. service door and also provides a more compact footprint when stored. With the top in the horizontal position, you can unload sheets directly off the bed of your truck, or use it as an out feed table.

Multi-Use Table and Out-feed Table

When not in use as a panel cart, you can even add a top and use the Material Mate as a mobile shop stand, work table [photo below] or tables saw out-feed table.

The tilt-feature, combined with the heavy duty casters, got me thinking of a mobile assembly table and table saw feed table for my shop. It worked great and the adjustable heights helped me dial in to my table saw height.

Although we all dream of large barn type workshops loaded with tools and equipment, in reality we often find our work spaces relegated to a corner of the basement or a in a garage. It is in these spaces where space becomes an issue. Having a small shop means conserving space, having tool stands with casters to roll them out of the way, and tools with multiple uses. The Material Mate fits this bill.

Heavy Duty Construction

The Material Mate is made of tubular steel that’s powder-coated for durability. You have to assemble the stand which takes about 30-minutes to do. Its top frame measures 36 in. long, and its width is expandable from 22 in. to 30-1/4 in. (without knobs).

The bottom frame dimensions are 25-1/4 in. wide x 36 in. long.

I liked that the working surface of the cart can be raised or lowered by choosing from among several bolt hole options. With the top positioned flat, the base is adjustable from 31 to 36 in. high. When tilted, the top also is adjustable for height: 40 to 45 in. tall.

Weighing 66 lbs. the Material Mate has a load capacity of 150-pounds which will only allow for two sheets of 3/4″ material at one time. We wish they would have designed this to hold several sheets at one time,  maybe five or six sheets so it could be used in a commercial space to move multiple sheets of plywood or sheet rock.

Based on the 150 pound capacity you would need to know these weights:

  • 1/2″ Sheet Plywood 45.44 pounds
  • 5/8″ Sheet Plywood 56.64 pounds
  • 3/4″ Sheet Plywood 68.16 pounds
  • 1/2″ Sheet Rock 4×8 Panel 77 pounds

Material Mate Specifications

    • 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”
    • Material: Steel
    • Weight (lbs): 66lbs

Overall Impression

The Material Mate is like having an assistant help you with sheet goods, who doesn’t like assistants? Move full 4′ x 8′ sheets fast and effortlssly? Sure sign me up!

The Rockler’s Material Mate Panel Cart sells for $249.99 and we consider it a good multi-purpose solution for transporting stock, assisting as an assembly table, and as a table saw feed table. It allowed us to maneuver and position sheet stock ergonomically and comfortable.

Like I mentioned above, multi-purpose tools are more valuable to a small shop. This alone makes it worth considering as an option.

 

About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is also the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and the editor of the blog, A Concord Carpenter and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts. As a carpenter and web editor, Rob is a recognized leader in tool and how-to information for building professionals. He is the carpenter correspondence for and writes a Q&A column, in the Sunday Boston Globe, called "Ask the Carpenter."He hosts the Concord Carpenter Cable TV Show,, offering the do-it-yourself audience in Boston’s Metro West region expert advice on home repairs and maintenance. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, where we post all of our tool reviews and video editorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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