WorkMate Drawer

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Project by Gus01 posted 09-17-2016 03:45 AM 1438 views 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ok before anyone says this looks like something the Professor on Gilligans Island would do, I’d have to agree. In my shop I don’t have a traditional woodworking bench. I have a Craftsman work bench from Sears that I’ve “upgraded” and I also use a Black and Decker WorkMate when needed. Two goals of this project was 1) not make any modifications to the WorkMate that couldn’t be undone and 2) use materials I already had. As you can see I wanted a drawer that holds clamps that I use on the WorkMate and could also hold other tools that I might be using at the WorkMate on various projects. The end result accomplished both goals and despite the looks it works quite well. I first built the drawer then needed a way to attach it. There’s several ways I could have done this but this seemed simple and functional so I went with it. Basically it’s a drawer with bottom mounted ball bearing slides mounted to a piece of plywood. To keep the drawer level I used a small slat that fits in the front brace under the front top piece of the WorkMate. To keep the assembly from sliding I attached small stop blocks on the underside of the plywood, one in the front behind the front brace and one in the back in front of the back brace. This prevents front or back movement and the WorkMates own support structure prevents side movement. The final issue was to prevent any possible tilting of the assembly. The rear support brace on the WorkMate has a small slot in it. A simple “L” bracket attached to the rear stop block and inserted into the slot takes care of that. I can remove the entire assembly including the front leveling slat in less than ten seconds or replace it in similar time. It make be ugly but it was never intended to be a work of art and it works incredibly well. Now if one of you can tell me who the Professor was or what Gilligans Island was then you probably have gray hair or like me you may be lacking it all together.

-- John 3:16

9 comments so far

View CO_Goose's profile


136 posts in 1481 days

#1 posted 09-17-2016 04:15 PM

Does the workmate still fold up with the drawer in place? I have limited space and I have to hang up my workmate.

-- Just making sawdust

View Gus01's profile


51 posts in 749 days

#2 posted 09-17-2016 04:33 PM

Not with the drawer in place. The top of the WorkMate would bind against it. You could remove the drawer assembly and the leveling slat and add a mounting clip for the leveling slat to the plywood shelf the drawer is mounted to and hang it on the wall along side the WorkMate. You would need to put a latch on the drawer and add some sort of retention for stuff inside the drawer.

-- John 3:16

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


942 posts in 511 days

#3 posted 09-17-2016 05:13 PM

Neat idea.
I’ve had a Workmate 400 for more years then I’d like to own up to and always go scurrying around the workshop trying to find it’s dedicated “dogs” when I need to use it.
Mine is mounted on a mobile base and being the heavy duty one is an ideal portable work bench with enough meat behind to not limit it to lightweight work.
I have many fancy clamps but find that at times I am greatful for it unique clamping facility especially when freehand routing odd shapes.

-- There's two ways to do things... My way or the right way.. LBD

View MT_Stringer's profile


3046 posts in 2921 days

#4 posted 09-17-2016 07:27 PM

Nice box.

For you guys with the Workmate (including me), there are a lot of YouTube videos showing mods that folks have done.

Mine is the old 225 model. It must be at least 20 years old, but still works…well, except for a broke spring that locks the leg in place. Most of the time, it sits in a corner and pouts! :-)

Note: Dang I hate getting old. I honestly can not remember when or how I came to own it. :-( Was it one, two or three wives ago? !!!

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Paul M's profile

Paul M

101 posts in 994 days

#5 posted 09-17-2016 10:12 PM

1st of all, to me saying “this looks like something the Professor on Gilligan’s Island would do” is a compliment. That dude made cars, appliances, etc out of bamboo and coconuts.

2nd: I like the idea and execution. I was thinking the other day of how to make a temporary shelf/box for simple storage on the WorkMate.

Well done.

-- Paul M

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


942 posts in 511 days

#6 posted 09-18-2016 01:16 AM

Note: Dang I hate getting old. I honestly can not remember when or how I came to own it.

- MTStringer

Getting old is not the issue… It’s when you STOP getting old that you suddenly realise you have a problem.
Was it one, two or three wives ago? !!!

- MT_Stringer

At least it’s more “supportive” and doesn’t tell you how to run your life.

-- There's two ways to do things... My way or the right way.. LBD

View Gus01's profile


51 posts in 749 days

#7 posted 09-18-2016 02:11 AM


-- John 3:16

View Richard W. Hyman Jr's profile

Richard W. Hyman Jr

737 posts in 1362 days

#8 posted 09-19-2016 05:23 PM

That’s brilliant! The last three years we were living in Korea and my Black and Decker Workmate bench was my shop bench as well. Wish I had thought to customize the way you have. And I’m with Paul about the Professor. He could make darn near anything if you gave him a couple of coconuts!

-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams

View Gus01's profile


51 posts in 749 days

#9 posted 09-24-2016 07:18 PM

Thanks for all the comments. Now back to Gilligans Island for some more ideas

-- John 3:16

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