Elbesee’s Posilock Stand is considerably cheaper than stands from some of the big names such as Lowery and DMC, but don’t let that put you off. It’s sturdy, adjustable and does the job well, though you are likely to want some of the optional extras available for it.
How it works
The stand can be used to hold any hoop or rotating frame up to a recommended maximum of 21″ wide. It has clamps – tightened with wing nuts – that grip the top edge of your hoop or frame:
If you don’t like the idea of clamping and squashing the fabric on your frame then keep reading, as a separately available add-on avoids this.
Because it holds the top of the frame/hoop, it needs to stand in front of your seat. Some alternatives such as the Lowery workstand hold the side of your piece, so they can stand to the side of your seat and you don’t have to move them when you get up.
The main arm can be set at different angles which alters the height from the floor to the top of the frame from around 20″ to 40″. I’ve comfortably used the stand while sitting on both sofas and dining chairs and I haven’t needed to use the stand at anywhere near its lowest or highest settings.
The name “posilock” comes from the method of adjustment. At points where angles can be altered, you have a wing-nut and two large, ridged plastic washers that interlock. The theory is that you can loosen the wing-nut slightly without the arm moving (thanks to the interlocking washers) and then click the arm up/down over each washer ridge, find a position you like and then tighten the wing-nut.
The theory is pretty good and it works to some extent. With a large frame in place, the weight on the arm means it does still move as soon as you loosen the wing-nut. This is a minor point though – the important thing is that once everything is fully tightened, there’s no movement.
Checking the back of your stitching
A feature I really like is the ability to flip your hoop or frame up to look at the back of your stitching. This was one of my concerns when moving to a floor stand as I constantly look at the back of my work. You can assemble the stand in such a way that the head isn’t free to pivot like this, if you prefer.
Solid build quality
The stand is made from beech. The wood is nice and smooth and the whole thing feels solid. I’ve used it with the maximum-recommended 21″ frame and there’s no hint of it falling over. I suspect you could use slightly larger frames with it, but test the stability if you decide to give this a try!
Awful assembly instructions
So, the price is very attractive, it’s solid and works well. Where’s the downside?
The assembly instructions are truly awful. I’ve put my fair share of flat pack furniture together and Elbesee’s instructions are, quite simply, the worst I’ve ever seen. They’re text instructions and without diagrams you’ll find yourself guessing which way round some pieces are meant to go. You’ll realise you’ve done something wrong, but only at the point where it means going back a step, taking something apart and reassembling it. Despite this, it still only takes about half an hour to assemble, but you won’t be in a good mood when you finish.
Elbesee make some optional extras you can buy for your stand, and you’re likely to want some of them.
I said you could avoid clamping your fabric, and this is how. The Helping Hand is a wooden rod that goes in the clamps instead. Short arms then screw on to your rotating frame. Simply take the top two screws out of your frame and replace with those that attach the Helping Hand.
As far as I’m concerned, this is an essential add-on. Not only does it avoid you clamping your rolled fabric, it also means you can rotate your frame while it’s on the stand. A nice bonus is that it has magnets for holding your needles and scissors.
The only time you wouldn’t use it is if you switch frequently between stitching with the frame on and off the stand. You wouldn’t want to hold the frame with the Helping Hand still attached, and taking it off means taking the screws out and putting the originals back in. You could do this, but it would be an irritating way to start your stitching sessions.
At time of writing the Helping Hand is £5.99 and available in three sizes: for frames up to 12″ wide, up to 18″ and up to 24″. Buy one to match your largest frame as there’s nothing to stop you using a small frame with a wider Helping Hand.
Lamp or chart holder
As the name suggests, this add-on will hold a lamp or a chart. You can put two on the stand if you want to hold both a lamp and a chart.
Once set up, it works well. However, it comes with no assembly instructions at all. Perhaps I shouldn’t have complained about the poor assembly instructions supplied with the stand – it turns out that bad instructions are still better than no instructions. If you’ve just assembled your stand you should be OK as the principles are the same. If not, or if you’re getting this to go with a different stand, beware!
Here’s the stand with both the Helping Hand and the chart holder in action:
Otherwise known as a wing-nut tightener, the Twizzler is useful enough if you use rotating frames. With the number of wing-nuts you’ll be tightening on the frame, it comes into its own.
I’m delighted with the stand even without considering the low price. When I factor that in too, the purchase was a no brainer. If you plan to use the stand with rotating frames (not just hoops), I strongly recommend the Helping Hand add-on which is well worth the small extra cost. In general the chart holder is useful too. Adding both brings the total to around £40, which is still a good price for a floor stand.