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Thread: Small Portable workbench ??

  1. #1
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    Default Small Portable workbench ??

    I have an old WorkMate which has been a great workbench but would like a smaller portable bench to use onboard. Any suggestions? Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    There are various small units designed to mount on a bench or a bulkhead that might do you. If this thread is still alive and if I get around to it, I'll pull mine out and snap it. I modivied it to hang on the traveler over the stern so all the saw dust and wood chips fall overboard. I don't think it's workmate brand but we'll see when I get there.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    This toolchest/toolbox is designed with a working surface on one side. It has dog holes designed to take the Veritas Surface Clamp, but could just as easily use other clamp types or if the sides were thicker, also conventional holdfasts. This nice thing about this is that it serves as a means of tool storage, transport and a small work surface...



    Free plans available from this page on The Unplugged Workshop website.
    "Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors". African Proverb

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    The home made option is the most elegant and can be made to fit the space you have.

    However, if you like the Work Mate clamp arrangement you may be able to get hold of one of these:

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/BLACK-DECKER-W...#ht_500wt_1032

    I don't think they're made now but I use the one I have all the time.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Songololo View Post
    This toolchest/toolbox is designed with a working surface on one side. It has dog holes designed to take the Veritas Surface Clamp, but could just as easily use other clamp types or if the sides were thicker, also conventional holdfasts. This nice thing about this is that it serves as a means of tool storage, transport and a small work surface...



    Free plans available from this page on The Unplugged Workshop website.
    Nice find. Thanks

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    I've seen what essentially are miniature woodworking benches, designed to be clamped onto a benchtop, tabletop or countetop. You could pretty easily make one with a well-selected 2x12 from Lowe's or Home Depot. Get the best, straightest, clearest plank you can find; use a chunk for the mini-bench top, attach a couple of short legs, and provide means of attaching to the table.

    Here is a very nice example that might actually be more than you want or need, but it's a nice, sturdy one.

    You could do something along these lines, but of course modified to be a workbench, rather than a router table:

    - Bill T.

    "How many politically-correct people does it take to screw in a light-bulb?"

    "Look, I don't know, but that's not funny."

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    Years ago I bought a Zyliss vise, for working away from the shop. They are readily available.
    It'll turn a scrap of ply, old door or table edge into a workbench.
    It's very compact and 'tho a bit fiddly, it works well and is extremely versatile. Workmates are too short for my taste.
    vise_holding_board.300-330x166.jpg

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    Here's another neat idea from Jim's catboat thread:

    "Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors". African Proverb

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    Along those lines, you've also got Chris Schwarz's nice little sawbenches - but they're really meant to be sawbenches - which those nice little benches look like to me, also.

    This is his original 2008 version:




    Here is a free PDF document showing all construction details.

    More recently he modified the design a bit because he found that in use, it was too easy to inadvertently kick the lower stretchers. So he went to a single, central stretcher.

    Here's the newer design:



    He's now hawking a DVD that shows you step-by-step how to build it.

    It wouldn't be too hard to build something like that from the photo alone, and modify it to be a nice little portable workbench.
    - Bill T.

    "How many politically-correct people does it take to screw in a light-bulb?"

    "Look, I don't know, but that's not funny."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    When looking for toolbox ideas to build with the Cub Scouts, I came across this:



    Basically a journeyman's tote that turns into a sawhorse.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  11. #11
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    A benchtop bench plan (*.PDF link) , as mentioned previously:



    On a similar note, one from Tools for Working Wood:

    Last edited by Songololo; 12-13-2010 at 01:36 PM.
    "Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors". African Proverb

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    Thanks to everyone who posted. I appreciate all the guidance and help. Happy Holidays to you all and thanks again steve

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    The best practical one I've had, as opposed to some of the elegant stuff in these posts, is the B&D 400. A simpler version of the WorkMate, folds nearly flat and is the right height.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    I saw this and it looked pretty sharp. Check out the video. It is on my x-mas list to myself.
    https://www.jawhorse.com/default.aspx

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    The jawhorse is nice, but very expensive. I boughty my B&D used for ten bucks at a garage sale. Iit's an older one, and pretty beat up, but works just fine and it has done the job for me. I keep it in the boathouse but move it onto the boat if I am taking a long trip and feel I might need a work surface while voyaging. If I need a bigger work surface, I attach a larger top board of scrap ply. The "vise" section is handy for holding a work piece, although not as versatile as a real vise as you know.

    I also have a Zyliss which I use at home and it is exactly as Hal says: fiddley but handy. However, it seems a bit bulky and clumsy for on board use and I don't travel with it.

    But it seems to me you are looking for something with a very compact footprint if the B&D is already too big because they are pretty hard to beat for a simple off the shelf solution that can fold flat.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    The truth is that I have 2 boats a thousand miles apart and the much appreciated Workmate stays with the northern boat. I am not against another Workmate at all but wondered what else was out there. a mini-workmate maybe. Thanks again

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    I might add also that the absolute simplest work bench top I have seen is a pair of the ever present square plastic milk cases held together with a few Jorgenson spring clamps and a vise added to it.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    Quote Originally Posted by farwesthoops View Post
    The truth is that I have 2 boats a thousand miles apart and the much appreciated Workmate stays with the northern boat. I am not against another Workmate at all but wondered what else was out there. a mini-workmate maybe. Thanks again
    Nothing wrong with multiple Workmates. I have found the Type IV version to be much better than what's made today (all steel, no plastic (other than maybe the crank handles)), and widely available used at garage sales and Craig's list, etc.

    I have two - paid $35 for one at an estate sale, $25 for the other from CL - and given the chance, will buy another, as long as it's similarly priced.

    For true woodworking, though, I do think they're limited - although I've seen old Workmates modified in pretty cool ways - e.g., with the termite barf tops replaced with nice laminated maple bench tops, with dog holes and small face vises, etc. Pretty cool.
    - Bill T.

    "How many politically-correct people does it take to screw in a light-bulb?"

    "Look, I don't know, but that's not funny."

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    When you go the the British Museum in London, there is an exhibit of (I think) Victorian era tool boxes. They are about 21/2 foot cubes, beat to hell on the outside and jewel like on the inside. Marquetry decorations, racks for all the tools, etc. I guess in those days, your tool box was your resume.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    Here's one that works on a boat. I made hooks to grab the traveler and a brace to level it up. Sticks over the stern so plane shavings and such go overboard.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    Developments...

    How about clipping this mini Festool workbench systainer onto the









    3 drawer system and having a good little onboard 'workbench' storage cabinet! Worktop one is 40 and the drawer storage one is about 60. Now you know what to ask for for Christmas or next Birthday.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 05-22-2022 at 10:34 AM.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    Wow, 12 yrs later...
    And, I found I had posted about my B&D 400. Well it got a bit rotten low down, so I had to replace the bottom 100mm of one of the legs. That was 6 months ago, but I fancy replacing all the legs, as it very useful. 20x30 tube. Available is at least twice as thick as the original, so be good to see me out.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    Wow. Bit of a zombie thread. There is a more recent one on the subject here.
    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...light=Workmate

    I ended up buying the Worx table. I like how it folds and stores. But what I don’t like is that the molded plastic top isn’t anywhere near flat so as to be almost useless. I might dig out my old B&D Workmate from storage.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    A million options. The little Sjobergs "workstation" might be worth a look, depending on your needs. I like it. Often goes on sale on the big online woodworking sellers. https://sjobergs.se/en/product/sjobe...ion-pro-33309/

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Small Portable workbench ??

    Before I was aware of that 'Sjoberg 33309' , I had 'crafted' an alternative from 3/4" plywood and cleats to hold it on an opened cabinet drawer - no dog holes, yet, but it does mount a portable vise ( vice) , and has provision for clamp purchase along the two sides -- works for me until I can combat the 'garage clutter monster'




    Rick
    Charter Member - - Professional Procrastinators Association of America - - putting things off since 1965 " I'll get around to it tomorrow, .... maybe "

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