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Workmate TLC Tip

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Forum topic by OleGrump posted 07-31-2017 02:43 PM 473 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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OleGrump

132 posts in 180 days


07-31-2017 02:43 PM

Yeah, this is about a Workmate, the tool-thingy people love to hate, but most of us have one. OK, I like to think of mine more as a glorified sawhorse (which is what it really is) rather than a “workbench” per se.
Anyway, The WM 400 has been with me for, oh 25, 26 years, and has seen some action during it’s tour of duty. It is time to perform a little TLC on it. One of the legs had a broken spring, which was an easy part to replace. (There are even videos on YouTube) The other issue was that one of the side knobs which lock the moving jaw section into either the flat or 90 degree upright position had come off. The knob is spring-loaded to be pulled out when moving the jaws up or down, then rotated back into position when the jaws are in the desired position.
This knob assembly is mounted on an ovoid shaped piece of plastic, with a groove on each side at the rounded ends. There are corresponding tabs on the side of the WM to hold it in place. My tip for reinstalling the knob assembly is to remove the two screws near the knobs and remove the jaw assembly completely. This allows you to access the metal tabs from BOTH sides, so you can slightly bend the retaining tabs as needed to reattach the locking knob assembly. The process takes just a couple of minutes, and is better than bending the tabs and trying to beat them back into place, only to have the knob fall off again. (That’s just TOO “Green Acres” !) One the locking knob is reattached, the WM is ready for service again.
Before y’all get the tar and feathers for me mentioning the Workmate, nowadays, it’s primary functions are as a chopsaw stand and outdoor sawing/sanding/etc.

-- OleGrump


8 replies so far

View fivecodys's profile

fivecodys

838 posts in 1472 days


#1 posted 07-31-2017 03:12 PM

I love mine. I have used that thing a lot.
It has served as my portable work bench when doing odd jobs for the elderly folks at church for many years. I think mine is a model 200.

-- Chem, Central California

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

992 posts in 2685 days


#2 posted 07-31-2017 03:24 PM

i have 4 of the OLD models, two have the lower legs folded and live on furniture dollies with a 3×3 piece of plywood with a cleat under it for a table top & I use them as mobile assembly tables, #3 is the base of my outfeed table and #4 is the multi purpose extra “sawhorse” when needed.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View OleGrump's profile

OleGrump

132 posts in 180 days


#3 posted 07-31-2017 04:54 PM

Thank you for your input, guys! Glad to hear others appreciate the capabilities of this contraption. Seems like Workmates are a “Love ‘em or Hate ‘em” subject. What I CAN say about mine is that it has followed and faithfully served me through five different address and innumerable projects. (Including four years in a condominium, where projects were done on the patio in good weather, or indoors in bad) The various actual wooden workbenches had to remain at most of those homes with dedicated workspaces. I’m sure y’all can figure out one of the items I used when I built the wooden work benches for those homes…...... BTW, I’ve seen a pretty nifty little shop-built removable drawer attachment for holding clamps, the dogs, tape measure, etc. with the WM elsewhere here on the LJ site. I think I’m gonna hafta build me my own version of it. Looks pretty darned handy!

-- OleGrump

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5990 posts in 2035 days


#4 posted 07-31-2017 05:00 PM

You might want to read through this thread… lots of Workmate fans around here:

Workamates of our Dreams

Cheers,
Brad

PS: Mine is currently being used as the stand for a Unimat mini-lathe :)

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Bluenote38's profile

Bluenote38

219 posts in 224 days


#5 posted 07-31-2017 05:06 PM

Hey – I have a WM 500 love it! I’m rebuilding the top at the moment (Youtube John Taylor #36). I use it for everything. Added a mobile base so: chop saw, planer, assembly, painting, carving, routing, out feed, lawn mower repair, AND a serving table at two graduation parties. So a Roubo it’s not but very useful for me. I think I’m going to look up that little drawer thing too.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

992 posts in 2685 days


#6 posted 07-31-2017 08:15 PM

Thanks Brad, didn’t have time to find that one!

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View OleGrump's profile

OleGrump

132 posts in 180 days


#7 posted 08-01-2017 04:22 PM

BTW, I’ve seen some discussion elsewhere about this, so thought I’d add it here. I have bored some extra dog holes in the WM 400 with a #13 auger bit. (13/16ths diameter) This is VERY slightly larger than the factory holes, but the bench dogs and Grip Mate bases work fine with them.
Auger Bit ? Yep, good old hand brace. The bit went through the MDF just fine. Bored through until the lead screw emerged, then bored from the other side. Nice, clean holes. The factory holes are “20 MM”, but millimeters are for firearms, NOT for the workshop! The 13/16ths holes do an excellent job.

-- OleGrump

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3204 days


#8 posted 08-01-2017 04:29 PM


BTW, I ve seen some discussion elsewhere about this, so thought I d add it here. I have bored some extra dog holes in the WM 400 with a #13 auger bit. (13/16ths diameter) This is VERY slightly larger than the factory holes, but the bench dogs and Grip Mate bases work fine with them. Auger Bit ? Yep, good old hand brace. The bit went through the MDF just fine. Bored through until the lead screw emerged, then bored from the other side. Nice, clean holes. The factory holes are “20 MM”, but millimeters are for firearms, NOT for the workshop! The 13/16ths holes do an excellent job.
- OleGrump

LMAO ;-)

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