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Too_Many_Tools
02-07-2010, 10:56 PM
http://www.blackanddecker.com/ProductGuide/Product-Details.aspx?ProductID=7812


I would like to hear of any Workmate mods anyone has done.

Also what other metalworking and woodworking groups are out there that would have Workmate mods discussed.


Thanks


TMT

deltaenterprizes
02-07-2010, 11:21 PM
I know people that have used them as reloading benches. I have made a cradle for my cheap import copy to hold rifles for cleaning, scope mounting and when glass bedding stocks.

Peter N
02-08-2010, 02:41 AM
Did you know that the man who invented the Workmate (Ron Hickman) was also the designer of the Lotus Elan, Elan+2, and Lotus Europa?
He was Director of Engineering at Lotus cars for many years working alonside Colin Chapman.

Other than than snippet I have nothing else to add to your query though.

Peter

Circlip
02-08-2010, 08:22 AM
And he lives in Trinity on Jersey (Or did do)

Regards Ian.

KiddZimaHater
02-08-2010, 09:17 AM
I removed the particle-board work surface after it got wet and warped. I replaced it with two 2 X 6's.
Those workmates sure come in handy.

Tony Ennis
02-08-2010, 09:25 AM
I love mine. I bolt vises and grinders (etc) to plywood, then attach a 2x2 to the bottom side of the plywood so I can clamp the tool into the workmate and shelve it when I'm done.

Scishopguy
02-08-2010, 03:38 PM
I have two of them that I got in the late 70's and use them for everything. One is the dual height model and the other is the cheaper, but more portable, single height model. The single height belonged to my dad and had been used to death by him before he passed on. I saved it from the trash bin and replaced the table jaws with that dense, tightly laminated, metric, birch plywood that is really stable. A little cleaning and painting and it was ready for it's second lifetime of service. They are the best thing in the world for working on doors or any large and ungainly project. The best thing is that they are the same height when both are at full up position and make a pretty nice temporary bench that is even strong enough to stand on. Don't you just love a tool that is worth more than it cost by many times over?!!! :D

KiddZimaHater
02-08-2010, 08:35 PM
Oh, I forgot....
I made a temporary headstock steady rest with my WorkMate as well.
I had a 5 ft. long, 5/8" aluminum bar hanging out of the rear of my headstock while doing a simple drill and parting job in my lathe.
I didn't want the bar to bend and whip around so I solved that problem.
I drilled a slightly larger 5/8" hole in a 2X4, then clamped the 2X4 in the workmate at the right heigth, and PRESTO!!! Instant steady.:)

aboard_epsilon
02-08-2010, 08:47 PM
best mod i made was to chuck it away and buy a superjaws ..

the mk1 workmates, the ones with the cast alloy beams in them are excellent though .

all the best.markj

John Stevenson
02-08-2010, 08:51 PM
I have a MKI but one of the alloy legs has broken, suppose i ought to gusset and weld it sometime.

.

Boucher
02-08-2010, 09:10 PM
I have had a couple of them for years. For the shop, the mid height settting is just right to set the tool grinder on and set in a swivel chair and sharpen tools. I have a 3/4" plywood board with a piece of 2 X 4 screwed to it for a portable shooting bench when prarie dog hunting. Easy to move and store. I tend to use a smaller version of that for a flat surface for tools when working on a project for a while.

Arcane
02-08-2010, 11:12 PM
This doesn't have anything to do with Workmates other than they are often used to support miter saws, and I think this qualifies as a "better mousetrap". No doubt many already know about them but for those who don't...

http://www.busybeetools.com/pictures/b2654.jpg

Ken_Shea
02-08-2010, 11:30 PM
Always threatened to get one but doubted there usefulness, seems that may not be an excuse now.

Don't recall the name but really liked a 3 legged version seen on TV.

smiller6912
02-08-2010, 11:44 PM
I know of way more "attachments" than mods to the workmate.
For example, I don't do a lot of welding but I wanted a decent weld table when I do so, Some scrap 2x2x1/4 angle and 10 Ga sheet steel and I made a great little weld table that clamps on an angle leg to give it a great base and it hangs up on the wall when the workmate is wearing the compound miter saw table that I made........
(a cheap $15 HF knockoff workmate is used for a more-or-less permanent base for the tool grinder)
I think that they make a pretty good portable stable base, I have a few of them.

Mcgyver
02-08-2010, 11:53 PM
Workmates are great. Often it's my welding table. Where to temporarily put the table off a mill. A low height bench for the kids. Place to my T&C saddle while i scrape. Place to setup dirty work, angle grinding etc. Where i set up my temporary router table. Where my IFB forge and annealing box get used. Indispensable enough that if it broke, it would a quick trip to the store... or maybe a kijiji seach

Greg Q
02-09-2010, 02:01 AM
If you don't mind lots of extra weight, get some melamine coated particle board, cut a piece to make a bottom shelf (screwed in place). Next, trace out the shape between the front and rear uprights for more particle board. Hammer the pieces into the channels-this makes the workmate much more rigid.

Finally, as already mentioned, replace the plywood jaws with 2 X 6 or similar hardwood. Vee groove the jaw area, and add a vertical vee groove inboard of each end as well. Glue a 2 X 2 under the jaws at the mating surface to increase the jaw area.

If you do the particle board re-inforcement you can drill 3/4" (approx) holes to hold the plastic dogs if you still have them.

Greg

Tony Ennis
02-09-2010, 09:39 AM
alloy legs

The legs on my late-80s cheapie are sheet metal.

The Workbench Book is a book highly regarded by the woodworking community. It has chapter of chapter of hoity-toity master workbenches and construction plans. There's a chapter dedicated to the Workmate because it is so useful and loved it transcends hoity-toitiness.

I cobbled together a few accessories to make mine the base for a gun bench. Now my son can work on his flintlock.

Your Old Dog
02-09-2010, 10:09 AM
Well, I was going to say I thought these things were for girls to use to work around the house. No self respecting man would be caught dead with something as cheaply made as these. After reading the thread, guess I'll hike up my panties, lower my skirt and go for a ride :D Actually, I may try to Craigslist one used of the older and better constructed version.

aboard_epsilon
02-09-2010, 10:33 AM
Always threatened to get one but doubted there usefulness, seems that may not be an excuse now.

Don't recall the name but really liked a 3 legged version seen on TV.

that would be the Triton Superjaws i mentioned earlier on ..fantastic bit of kit ..

all the best.markj

Too_Many_Tools
02-09-2010, 03:51 PM
Well, I was going to say I thought these things were for girls to use to work around the house. No self respecting man would be caught dead with something as cheaply made as these. After reading the thread, guess I'll hike up my panties, lower my skirt and go for a ride :D Actually, I may try to Craigslist one used of the older and better constructed version.

That was my initial opinion years ago...before I got one.

Darn...it is really useful...especially if you want portability.

I now have several and they all get used.

And that is why the original question...to see what I can do to them to make them even more useful.

TMT