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WorkMate Drawer

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Project by Gus01 posted 09-17-2016 03:45 AM 3441 views 3 times favorited 23 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





23 comments so far

View CO_Goose's profile

CO_Goose

186 posts in 1966 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

Gus01

74 posts in 1233 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

LittleBlackDuck

2050 posts in 995 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.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3182 posts in 3406 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

117 posts in 1478 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

LittleBlackDuck

2050 posts in 995 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.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Gus01's profile

Gus01

74 posts in 1233 days


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

Ha

-- John 3:16

View MilFlyer's profile

MilFlyer

939 posts in 1846 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

Gus01

74 posts in 1233 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

View OleGrump's profile

OleGrump

167 posts in 519 days


#10 posted 07-27-2017 01:40 PM

LOVE IT ! I’ve had a WM 400 for over 25 years, which followed me through at least four moves. (Unlike a series of wooden work benches) I’ve used the WM for darned near everything, including making a replacement kitchen cabinet door. Fortunately, it was a rustic style, and I could do with hand tools on the WM. This drawer is a BIG and long overdue addition to the tool. Among many things I like about this project is that it sits at a comfortable height, just below the work surface. The cardboard “bottom” which came with mine was supposedly to hold tools, (long since gone and replaced with plywood) but you have to bend WAY down. This is a FAR better solution.
BTW, I gotta admire ANY high-school science teacher who can build a telephone out of two cocoanuts and some wire….... Remember the pedal powered hacksaw he built using Mrs. Howell’s diamond necklace…...???

-- OleGrump

View Gus01's profile

Gus01

74 posts in 1233 days


#11 posted 07-27-2017 01:46 PM

BTW, I gotta admire ANY high-school science teacher who can build a telephone out of two cocoanuts and some wire….... Remember the pedal powered hacksaw he built using Mrs. Howell s diamond necklace…...???

- OleGrump

Yes I rmember the saw but can’t remember what he was making. I need to watch some of those old shows. Now that I’m into woodworking I’ll probably get more than a few extra giggles at the Professors projects.

-- John 3:16

View pdalton's profile

pdalton

6 posts in 1902 days


#12 posted 07-21-2018 11:24 PM

Guys -

Until recently stolen, I owned a Workmate for probably 30+ years. It was a two-level model (bottom feet folded in) and had a plastic drawer that hooked under the worktop (even when folded up) that was useful for holding the benchtop pegs & other miscellaneous small items.

I can replace the Workmate itself, of course, but I haven’t been able to find any information about that plastic drawer unit.

I don’t remember now whether the drawer unit actually came with the Workmate when I bought it or if was an accessory item I purchased separately, but I’m hopeful that—if I can get a product number for it—I might be able to find a used one somewhere.

Does anyone remember (or own) this plastic drawer unit and perhaps know the product number for it? B&D support hasn’t been much help so far.

Thanks.

View Gus01's profile

Gus01

74 posts in 1233 days


#13 posted 07-22-2018 03:53 PM

I’m sorry for the loss you’ve had. I can’t stand thieves. I had an old CB radio stolen from my car back when they were expensive. I was so mad I could spit screws (woodworkers don’t use nails or admit it). I looked for what I could find regarding replacing the drawer for a WorkMate and found very little. If you’d like, I’ll be glad to send more pics detailing what I did. I’m very happy with it.

-- John 3:16

View pdalton's profile

pdalton

6 posts in 1902 days


#14 posted 07-23-2018 04:54 AM

Gus01 -

Thanks for taking the time to look for the drawer. Knowing that you couldn’t find anything about it either makes me feel that I probably didn’t miss anything in my own search.

After looking at current WorkMate models, I’ve decided I’ll buy a 425 as a replacement. It looks similar to the one I had, but I’m sure it’s probably improved some. I think mine was a 300, but I’m not certain.

The pix you posted are great and I think I can figure out how to make one from those; but if you have more photos, I’d love to see them before I undertake a similar project myself.

Once I get the new WorkMate, I’m going to look underneath to try to figure out how that plastic drawer was attached. After I first installed it, it just stayed on, so I can’t remember exactly how it worked. As I recall, it had 2 hard plastic hooks or appendages at the back and front that somehow fit into preexisting locations underneath the table for support and it was narrow enough that it could stay in place when the unit was folded up. However, it’s entirely possible that design changes to the WorkMate over the years have eliminated the places where the drawer system connected to that old WorkMate. But if I can figure out how to make it work, I’ll post it here.

Thanks again!

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

2050 posts in 995 days


#15 posted 07-23-2018 08:58 AM


.... I’ve decided I ll buy a 425 as a replacement. It looks similar to the one I had, but I m sure it s probably improved some.
- pdalton

pd’, I’m sure you’ll appreciate the extra feature of the 425.

Couple of suggestions, if I can take the liberty. This is a picture of what mine has morphed into over the years,

The drawers (more like movable shelves with narrow sides) are nowhere as pretty as Gus01’s and without a lid are not dust friendly (or if you look at it the right way… too dust friendly), however, it probably won’t be your main workbench but a supplement so I do recommend wheels for ease of portability. Don’t go for piddly small wheels…. 125mm+ for sturdiness, better brakes and will roll over all bar a firehose in action. You might have to fold up the bottom stands to compensate… at least be forewarned.

If you put a reasonable sized drawer under the table, you’ll probably find access to whatever you store on the bottom shelf cumbersome to access. Don’t waste that space and put in another drawer or at least a shelf on runners so you can easily pull it out and get to all those tools you suddenly now need and have worked their way to the inaccessible back row.

Also some subtlelly placed hook strips are a great parking bay for loose hook & loop sandpaper.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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