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Thread: Folding work tables

  1. #1
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    Default Folding work tables

    Iíve had an old Workmate 200 for years. There are times it comes in really handy but itís a bit of a PITA to set up, especially having to fold out all four legs then turn it upright. Not terrible, just not real quick and easy. Plus it takes 10Ē when folded, critical in my tiny shop.
    4C0C6ADE-11E4-4308-938F-022C1B9936B8.jpeg

    Iím intrigued by this Worx Pegasus. Looks VERY easy to set up and only takes 5Ē of storage. It seems to do everything the old Workmate does and maybe more. They were recently $99 but have now gone up to $135. Anyone have one? If so do you like it?
    https://youtu.be/b1etNSmcCZU
    C4E0B320-BDC0-4020-8727-7F0934FABBBD.jpeg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    I have one similar to this that lives on the boat. I also have a traditional one like yours. The one below seems just about as steady & folds much flatter. ~$50 at my local hardware store - cheaper online.

    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    I have three of the Workmates in various configurations. I like the fact that the 200s are fairly heavy and don't move as much. I also find I use them without flipping the riser legs out quite a bit. But, then I have a fairly large shop space.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    I had a client once who had what he claimed was an original workmate that he bought from the inventor, Ron Hickman, before he sold out to Black and Decker. Must have been late 60s or early 70s. I have a few various models. The problem with folding work tables is that if they are light enough to be convenient they are too light to be useful.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    They've always been compelling to me but then I've been given two of them and gave them both away. Both sat in my shop for years, only getting used once or twice apiece. Usually, the moments that I needed to use one were a signal that the rest of my shop was a disaster and needed to be cleaned.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    I make a fair amount of use of a Workmate. Usually outside of the shop (garage). I put a chop saw on it when I am making firewood for my Cubic Mini woodstove.
    What's not on a boat costs nothing, weighs nothing, and can't break

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    I’ve had an old Workmate 200 for years. There are times it comes in really handy but it’s a bit of a PITA to set up, especially having to fold out all four legs then turn it upright. Not terrible, just not real quick and easy. Plus it takes 10” when folded, critical in my tiny shop.
    4C0C6ADE-11E4-4308-938F-022C1B9936B8.jpeg

    I’m intrigued by this Worx Pegasus. Looks VERY easy to set up and only takes 5” of storage. It seems to do everything the old Workmate does and maybe more. They were recently $99 but have now gone up to $135. Anyone have one? If so do you like it?
    https://youtu.be/b1etNSmcCZU
    C4E0B320-BDC0-4020-8727-7F0934FABBBD.jpeg

    I have them both. They are not really substitutes for one another. The workmate excels with heavier loads and things that need to be hammered or sawn. The other is a nice, light work table that can be put out of the way when not needed. I agree the legs are a pain with the workmate, but the place that stores the vices on the worx are not good either. They slip out easily when being set up or folded. Get in the way sometimes when not in use. The clamps are not a good replacement for the integral vise on the workmate. Conversely if I need a broad stable work surface, the workmate aint it

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    I have a center "leaf" for my workmate - but it only adds 30% to the work area.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    But what do you do with such tables? I'm sure you have work benches in the shop.

    Why not use saw horses for the other stuff?

    SAM_9095.jpg

    They don't fold, but they do stack. You need a table, clamp something across them.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    Quote Originally Posted by Etdbob View Post
    But what do you do with such tables? I'm sure you have work benches in the shop.

    Why not use saw horses for the other stuff?

    They don't fold, but they do stack. You need a table, clamp something across them.
    The plastic ones do fold & are surprisingly sturdy. I have some set up with an old piece of 1" MDO on top as I build the real workbench. Other than being too low (the world is made for midgets ) it works just fine.

    The folding bench I pictured above is perfect for little projects on the boat when it's in the water & tucks away nicely in the forepeak.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    I too have an ancient Workmate, have replaced the tops with some nice Fir I had and epoxied it, but every time I open or close it I fear for my fingers. I use it when doing final fitting work at the end of the dock as you can clamp up a wide variety of shapes.
    I rather like the Bosch PWB600, about $220, but it is going to come from Europe, don’t know why it does. It seem to be distributed here in the US? I would probably have sprung for one, but I am trying to not work at the end of the dock, preferring to stay in my shop. But there is so much demand for yacht work right now it is unbelievable, if I was 10 years younger I would be tempted to outfit a van with tools, supplies, benches, etc to tackle all this work, and that Bosch bench would be on the list I think, but my shop and lovely small craft keep calling to me.
    Would be nice to actually see one and test it out though.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    Older gen CRVs have folding tables under the back storage space.
    If you hit up your local wrecking yard,they are pretty cheap.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    Interesting, hadn’t seen the Bosch. Kind of a better version of the Workmate, but expensive. Easier to set up and store than the Black and Decker.

  14. #14
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    Default

    I also have an ancient Workmate, but got a Jawhorse as a gift a few years ago and use it almost exclusively now. It securely holds from small parts up to ply sheets.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    My favorite tool that gets used often. Only real complaint is the plastic retainers that hold the feet out while unfolding tend to break. Other little bits need a little glue from time to time to hold them in place.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel E View Post
    My favorite tool that gets used often. Only real complaint is the plastic retainers that hold the feet out while unfolding tend to break. Other little bits need a little glue from time to time to hold them in place.
    I assume you are referring to the Worx Pegasus? Hope so, I just ordered one.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    I am not a big fan of folding plastic, it is invariably rickety.

    I made this probably 25 years ago, and it is still going strong.



    Heavy duty, and folds to a slender profile.

    https://www.popularwoodworking.com/p...ng-work-table/



    I used birch plywood and oak. I suppose you could use occume and Alaskan yellow cedar to shave a couple pounds.
    Steve Martinsen

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    Another big problem with plastic is how brittle it gets when cold. Tables and sawhorses that seem sturdy on a warm day get very weak on a cold day.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    Unless it is TOO hot, then they are all melty. But then, Ron is in Seattle, where it never gets far from 55F anytime anyways.
    Steve Martinsen

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    Another big problem with plastic is how brittle it gets when cold. Tables and sawhorses that seem sturdy on a warm day get very weak on a cold day.
    That part doesnít bother me as Iíll be using it in a heated shop in the winter, and outside the open garage door when the weather is milder. And this is not cheap lightweight plastic. Itís metal reinforced and strong.

    It was delivered this morning and my first impression upon opening it in the living room was that it was bigger than I expected. But once in the shop it isnít that much bigger than the WorkMate. But I think Iím going to like it. The big thing for me is that it is SO much easier to setup and reconfigure and fold up to stow. And it is really versatile. There are many different configurations that are useful. The WorkMate has been useful for many years but I just didnít use it as much as I could because of the PITA to set up and break down. If you have space to leave it setup then fine. I just canít spare the space. And the Worx table, altho a bigger work surface, stores in half the space as the WorkMate. So far Iím impressed.

    47087B55-C55B-4B73-9C1C-FB28EAE1512D.jpg

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    Really good way to hold pocket screw joints together while putting screws in. Iíve got the special Kreg clamps, this way is much better.

    DE70F2B1-8609-497B-9976-DCC20DCD9F29.jpg

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    I’ve started building a Moravian Bench. Not as portable as your table but more portable than my big workbench. Sometimes I’m on big trim jobs for two or three months.

    https://youtu.be/9vKPpp5_bbE



  23. #23
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    That looks like a good setup Ron. I have visions of 3 fingered carpenters all over the place when I think of Workmates. Maybe I was just never intuitive enough to use one properly but I had one, got rid of it and have turned about 3 used ones down since. Some guys love them obviously. I think you made a good choice.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    That Worx looks great, Ron. I may have to hunt one down. That an online purchase? I like my Workmates and have 3 of different ages, but I like that larger surface, too. I use the heck out of mine, especially during "open shop" days which I do frequently in the summer.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    If you don't need a fancy bench, just a portable secure table where you can mount a vise, these work very well. It's what I use at the boat, and in hangars.

    The sawhorses fold up and can be hung on a wall out of the way. The table is 5/8 plywood that will fit in a short-box (2m) pickup truck (not too heavy to lift when the vise is bolted on).

    In use I tack the table to the sawhorses with a couple of construction screws. Very simple and plenty sturdy. And the height is adjustable by tying a knot in the string.

    sawhorse and workbench.jpg

    IMG_6790 (2) sm.jpg

    IMG_6797 (2) sm.jpg
    Last edited by Dave Hadfield; 02-10-2022 at 12:50 PM.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    In reading through the responses I realize that there are different versions of "portability". In my case, due to a very small shop, I need something I can quickly pull out into the middle for one or two tasks, then quickly get it back out of the way for the next tool to roll into the center. I don't have a need to take it to a different site and set it up for a week, though I realize many others do. If I'm working on the boat in the boatyard, then I take real sawhorses and real planks for scaffolding and work surfaces. But the Worx table works well in my shop. I wish it had a truer more level surface, but I realize that the nature of its construction doesn't really lend itself to that.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    Maybe go mobile rather than portable.
    Modified some pallet racking added some castors and it works as a out feed for the saw bench also has acres a plenty of storage.
    0BA69EE0-D42A-4A04-A751-EA9816A54F6C.jpg
    3BB6451F-A341-42F5-816E-DA955F8F4364.jpg

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    I have the Torx bench and also a power screwdriver. I find them both flimsy and doubt I will buy anything further from them.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    Quote Originally Posted by Boatbum View Post
    I have the Torx bench and also a power screwdriver. I find them both flimsy and doubt I will buy anything further from them.
    Do you mean Worx?
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    As a follow up, while I wouldnít call the Worx bench flimsy, I am disappointed that the table is not at all a flat surface. Itís irregularities make it pretty much useless as a setup table. Whereas the old Black and Decker workmate can be used as a flat surface.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    Horses for courses.

    I have an original Workmate, like yours, that I bought when building my first house over 40 years ago. It's getting beat up and a little rickety, but still very serviceable.

    I use it all the time as my shop barely has room for the boat I am currently building, let alone any standalone equipment. I have been using the Workmate for so long that setup is practically muscle memory. I doubt that it takes me more than 5 seconds.

    I use it most frequently, together with a roller stand, to work on long pieces. I also find it handy to clamp anything that needs edge planing. I have a woodworking vise on my main workbench, but the boat blocks that unless I move the boat out of the shop (which I do in nice weather).
    Alex

    ďIt's only those who do nothing that make no mistakes, I suppose.Ē
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    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    My 40 year old Workmate is getting a much deserved rest. This thing is big and bulky and heavy; but it has wheels. It was also kind of expensive.

    The engineering on this guy is impressive, at least to this non-engineer. It's not as solid as a 400 lb woodworking bench, but in comparison, my Workmate is as solid as an over-cooked box of pasta.

    Schooner sailors love to get blown offshore!

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    I have one of those but find it too heavy to use very much. Right now my little lathe is bolted to a chunk of 2X12 and clamped in the jaws....works great for that!

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    Your right, it's a heavy muthah. Stable and heavy kinda go together. I can wheel this thing up to the open tailgate of a pick-em-up-truck, and slide it in. At the other end of it's journey, I can get it down to the ground and slip, slap, bam, I've got a workbench that gives me almost enough stability to do a decent job with a whammer and a chisel.

    I no longer do much of the kind of work that requires the use of such a stable platform. I recently purchased this thing to help me with a project that I got sucked into which required more use of my hands and fingers than they were willing to accomplish without yelling and screaming at me to stop what I was doing to them. I'm afraid that without the Jaw Horse acting as a mediator between us, my hands and I would no longer be on speaking terms!
    Schooner sailors love to get blown offshore!

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Folding work tables

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    I assume you are referring to the Worx Pegasus? Hope so, I just ordered one.
    No the old style workmate.

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