Review By Dean Bielanowski  Triton Website - http://www.triton.net.au



Multi Stand Review
By Dean Bielanowski

 

 

"A versatile multipurpose support stand with extra-wide tripod base for excellent stability on level or uneven ground."
Photo Source: Triton Website - http://www.triton.net.au

Triton is well-regarded in Australia and abroad as a manufacturer of innovative tools for the amateur to professional woodworker. Many Triton tools incorporate 'first on the scene' features which provide improved reliability, improved safety and use-ability. The Triton Multi Stand is no exception to this rule and takes the regular roller-stand concept and transforms it into a more versatile piece of equipment.

Let's take a closer look and see why!

One would imagine that a work-support stand like this would not really have that many features, however, in true Triton design spirit, they have incorporated a few extra 'goodies' that improve the versatility of the Multi Stand over standard roller-type supports.

I thought perhaps the best way to review this item might be to take a look at what Triton themselves claim as the stand-out features of the product and then comment on whether the marketing blurb offers a good degree of validity, so let's put their marketing hype to the test!

  • A versatile multipurpose support stand with extra-wide tripod base for excellent stability on level or uneven ground.

The Multi Stand certainly is versatile. I have used it for a large number of purposes. Predominantly, like a roller-stand, I use it mostly for outboard support of work pieces both on the table saw and router table. As we will see shortly, however, the Multi-stand has given the roller concept the flick and gone with a new method of guiding and supporting the work-piece while it is being cut/shaped. The versatility of the multi-stand could be granted to several of the key features of the product, however, one key feature stands out. Unlike the roller-stand, the multi-stand actually has two support surfaces that sit on top of the U-shaped upper support frame when viewed from the Front plane (see accompanying photos). The U-shaped design means that there exists about a
2-1/4" channel that runs the length of the upper support. This channel is actually a makeshift vice and features a small, but effective clamping system to hold work-pieces of varying sizes. Along with the three sturdy legs, each with a 1/2" hole to hold metal pins that can be used to hold the multi-stand down fast in dirt or on the lawn etc, the multi stand can be used for such applications as holding a door while hanging/hinging it or use 2 multi stands and a pre-made table top for a quick and easy display-type table for parties, functions or other purposes. On uneven ground, the Triton Multi Stand performs well within it specifications, but of course, center of gravity rules apply and you can't expect the stand to hold a heavy, long piece of lumber with the stand on a sharp downslope or side of a hill unless you keep the center of gravity of the whole system within its base of support. It's simple physics... Small molded ridges incorporated into one side of the U-shaped channel help hold wooden stock firmly, but these may need to be covered if you are clamping delicate work to stop damage. The small vice component also contains 'teeth' to hold material effectively and the same considerations of care must be exercised if holding delicate work. Is it versatile? Yes! and the number of uses are only limited by your imagination really. I often use the Multi Stand to hold a tool tray I have built. Essentially, it is a 4-sided tray made out of ply and a 2" pine framing piece glued to the base of the tray. The pine framing piece sits in the vice of the Multi Stand and holds the tool tray above it. A great, versatile tool tray setup that can be easily moved around to all your machinery.

  • The low-friction slide surfaces provide smooth, controlled travel without unwanted "steering" of the work piece. They ensure your work only moves when you want it to.

This is one of the innovative, yet simple features of the multi-stand that makes it unique. It uses 2 half-rounded parallel hardened plastic slide surfaces instead of rollers to guide the work piece when used as a work piece support during cuts/shaping etc. Triton claims the surfaces are low-friction, and indeed they are! I have yet to run something over it that stuck or caught on these slide surfaces. Even a rubber car mat slides over them nicely... The advantage these slide bar surfaces have is that they can be positioned at any angle to the work piece without the work piece being misguided by the stand, unlike roller stand heads that need to be positioned at 90 degrees to the direction of travel. The following diagram from Triton best shows what I am referring to here:


At any angle on the Triton Multi Stand, wood will feed over it nicely without deviating, whereas common roller stands will guide the wood away from the intended path if not initially positioned properly.

Photo Source: Triton Website - http://www.triton.net.au

These slide surfaces are removable and held in place by countersunk screws. (3 across the top of each slide bar). Just by the feel of the plastic slide bars, they may be prone to damage if you were to drop the stand on a hard surface with the slide bars making first contact. This was one thing I wasn't prepared to try, but if it did happen, I would imagine it would be a very simple process to obtain replacement parts and remove and re-fit the damaged bars. I don't plan on breaking mine any time soon by the way!

  • Swivelling and tilting head clamps pieces of wood to give many applications in the workshop, at home and on-site

Personally, I don't count swivelling heads as a major feature. This should be standard on all types of support stands, and not really needed in many cases as these stands are simple enough just to turn around anyway. The tilting head however, combined with the Multi-stand vice feature mentioned earlier opens up yet a few more possibilities. I recall seeing in one of Triton's video promotion tapes that the Multi Stand was used to hold a long length of timber clamped in the vice with the head set at roughly 45 degrees. Hanging off one end of the length of timber , which was now perched 10 ft up in the air, was a spotlight/floodlight. This was a great idea for a portable lighting system that caught my eye and demonstrated one of the possibilities the tilting head feature offers. The head can tilt from 0 to 90 degrees and can also be used to support stock when cutting compound angles on a bandsaw for example, with your bandsaw table tilted, and the Multi-stand providing additional support. This is particularly useful when working with 'flexible' material like thin ply sheets for example that tend to flex, bend or twist when no support is directly available. 

  • Height adjusts from 635 - 940 mm (25" to 37") and folds for easy transport and storage.

The height range of the Multi-stand will likely suit 90% or more of your support requirements. Height is adjustable via the large hardened plastic knob just above where the legs meet the main vertical shaft. The plastic knobs are very generous in size and allow you to achieve good leverage to apply and release tension on the shaft to keep it locked at your chosen height. There are occasions when a little extra height could be useful, but it is difficult to meet everyone's requirements while still maintaining a compact and sturdy system. The 3 legs of the multi-stand are attached to the base via a standard bolt-washer-nut configuration and assuming you don't over-tighten the nuts, the legs fold in very smoothly. Along with the tilting head, which can be tilted down for storage, the whole unit folds up to a fairly thin and compact size to make storage much easier. Perfect if you only have a small workspace or shop to work in.

  • Supports over 100Kg (220lb)

While I didn't fully test the 100Kg load limit, I certainly would have placed close to around 70kg on the unit at one stage and experienced no problems at all. The Multi-stand is very rigid and solidly built. It has a bit of weight to it and will not easily tip over or fail as long as you are sensible with its use. There are very few (if any) situations in general woodworking practice where a load of 100Kg (220lb) or more would need to be applied to the stand, and if there was, you would probably be looking at other alternatives to hold that kind of weight anyway.

Conclusion

The Triton Multi-stand has taken a very important safety tool every workshop should have several of and added a few simple, but effective changes to create a unique stand with far greater versatility than a regular 'roller-type' stand. I have used roller stands previously, but since buying the multi-stand, I can imagine the 'rollers' will be seeing much less use in the future. I have already started saving the coins for a few more Multi Stands for my shop and priced at around US$70 or AUD$79 (if you are in Australia - Triton's home land), they offer good value for money for the versatility they offer.

Triton Website - http://www.triton.net.au

Multi Stand Photos
All photos copyright. Use without prior written permission prohibited


This deliberately darkened photo highlights the small vice assembly inside the U-channel


Height adjustment knob provides quick and ergonomic action


The head of the Multi Stand can tilt from 0 to 90 degrees


Solid metal construction allows 100kg (220lbs) of load to be achieved safely.


Here is my portable tool tray made specifically to fit in the Multi Stand.


Holes in each leg's foot allows pins or tent pegs to be inserted for added stability on rough/outdoor surfaces


Photo Source: Triton Website - http://www.triton.net.au


Photo Source: Triton Website - http://www.triton.net.au


Photo Source: Triton Website - http://www.triton.net.au
 

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