Author Topic: Black and Decker Workmate benches - are they any good ?  (Read 1455 times)

Offline Gas_mantle

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Black and Decker Workmate benches - are they any good ?
« on: February 24, 2019, 05:00:54 PM »
The title says it all really, I've been kinda thinking of buying one but they seem to get a bit of a bad review from the DIY fraternity.

I don't want one to tackle any real heavy work, it will only be for a bit of sawing, filing, painting etc and as a suitable bench to steam engines up outside. They seem to come in a variety of different sizes and flavours so I wondered if anyone here has one, what model they have and is it any good etc?

Many thanks.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 05:04:12 PM by Gas_mantle »

Offline Jasonb

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Re: Black and Decker Workmate benches - are they any good ?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2019, 05:12:01 PM »
Don't think any of the subsequent ones are quite as good as the original cast ali ones but they are still useful things to have. My brother has the original cast one that my dad bought when they first came out and I have a couple of steel ones that must be 25+ years old.

Offline Jo

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Re: Black and Decker Workmate benches - are they any good ?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2019, 05:17:45 PM »
I have an original blue B&D MkII workmate that was purchased second hand for the princely sum of £1 over 25 years ago  ;D It recently (about 5 years ago  ::) ) had its bits of the brown stuff covered with thicker bits of brown stuff but it is still going strong. The aluminium sub frame is a bit oxidised  :-X

I also have a pair of those cheap (£10 new) folding work tables.

It all depends what you want one for... Mine is now used as the engine running bench  :ThumbsUp:

Jo

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Offline Gas_mantle

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Re: Black and Decker Workmate benches - are they any good ?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2019, 05:18:53 PM »
Thanks, this kinda thing looks reasonable for the kind of light work I'll be doing - says it will support 250kg which seems a lot to me.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/BLACK-DECKER-Deluxe-Workmate-WM825-XJ/dp/B0001GRVYG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1551028500&sr=8-1&keywords=black+and+decker+workmate

Online crueby

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Re: Black and Decker Workmate benches - are they any good ?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2019, 05:21:50 PM »
I have a couple of the original ones, big cast frames, two level fold down legs, etc. They were absolutely great, I use them a lot for many jobs.
I also have a newer one, which weighs much less than the originals since it is stamped out steel sections. Still, a very handy unit, but not heavy enough to stay in place when doing large carving jobs. I mainly use it as a portable bench out in the garage for things like silver soldering. It is light enough to pick up and carry out to the driveway, put layers of firebrick on top for the soldering work. Also handy for sanding, cutting boards, etc.
While not built like the originals, the new ones are plenty good for a portable bench for light to medium work. For heavier jobs that need a bench that wont shift around, you could just load up the bottom with sandbags or bricks. The newer ones are much easier to transport, the originals were quite heavy and awkward on stairs or into a car. Either way, the do fold up fine. I have never had either new or old ones break on me, they get a lot of work.

Offline cnr6400

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Re: Black and Decker Workmate benches - are they any good ?
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2019, 05:52:29 PM »
I have two B&D workmates, the versions with stamped steel parts, both over 30 yr old. Nothing handier than these things for outdoor construction or holding large lumber for drilling, sawing, fastening . Also great for holding big awkward metal things for welding. Excellent for holding awkward shaped heavy bits while rebuilding motorcycle and small equipment engines from the smallest to a 750 cc Yamaha Maxim 4 cyl. The only parts I have broken on the workmates are some plastic D shaped gizmos that act(ed) as springs to keep the bottom legs folded up, and one wood top jaw that I seriously overloaded (my fault entirely) with a big full size tractor engine part. I made a new top jaw in plywood and it's been fine since, despite serial abuse within load limits,  and I tied up the swinging legs permanently down with strips of perforated metal and some screws.  Very happy with the ones I have. :Love:
« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 05:56:02 PM by cnr6400 »

Offline scc

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Re: Black and Decker Workmate benches - are they any good ?
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2019, 07:23:13 PM »
I too have one of the stamped steel ones, at a guess I've had it for at least 30 years.
loads of abuse...never breaks.....agree with all previous comments .    good tackle!              Terry

Offline Gas_mantle

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Re: Black and Decker Workmate benches - are they any good ?
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2019, 08:15:48 PM »
Many thanks everyone, I'll treat myself  :)

To be honest now the warm weather is here I've been practising steaming engines on coal and could do with some kind of portable bench just for that.


Offline bpudney

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Re: Black and Decker Workmate benches - are they any good ?
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2019, 08:48:28 PM »
I have one of the original two level jobs, given to me by my dear old Dad as a slightly delayed Wedding present way back in 1969.  Wouldn't be without it!!
cheers
Bill

Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: Black and Decker Workmate benches - are they any good ?
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2019, 07:33:01 AM »
Peter -

as far as I'm aware they vary in quality, some being sturdier than others, so if I were you I'd look and see if there are different versions. There are also some equivalents around made by other manufacturers.

In any case, though, they are handy things to have as we all need that extra bit of working space sometimes, and they don't take up too much room when folded.

gary

Offline Neil-Lickfold

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Re: Black and Decker Workmate benches - are they any good ?
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2019, 10:07:45 AM »
I have seen them for years and thought that they were not really any good. Until I saw a friend using a pair of them and I was a convert.
I went out and just got one to start with as the model he had was like 15 years old and no longer made. It was so good I went out and got a second one.
Just so handy. The last few days, I have been using it for a test stand holder for running F3D 6.5 cc pylon race engines.
Apart from all the home renno jobs etc. I would not want to be without them now. Wish I did not have bad preconceived ideas about them for the last 20 years.
There are copies of them about for sure, but the ones I have , just have a nicer feel with the clamps and the way the boards sit into the frame for adjustment etc. It also has 3 height settings as well, all folded down, just the bottom legs, or lifted up.
Neil

Offline Tom1948

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Re: Black and Decker Workmate benches - are they any good ?
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2019, 01:26:04 PM »
I have a very small shop. What I  like about it is I keep it folded up out of the way then when need be set it up outside or wherever I will do something on a temperary basis. I have had mine over 20 years.

Offline RayW

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Re: Black and Decker Workmate benches - are they any good ?
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2019, 03:53:33 PM »
I have two Workmates, one original, and one later model, and both have proved invaluable over the years. As regards weight capacity, I have used mine to hold full size stationary engines, some of which have been pretty heavy.
Black and Decker products certainly seem to have been made to last in those days - I was given a Black and Decker drill as a 21st birthday present and it still works now (I am 72). In fact, the drill is probably in better condition than me!!
Ray

Offline Mike Bondarczuk

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Re: Black and Decker Workmate benches - are they any good ?
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2019, 04:16:23 PM »
I have one of the original Black and Decker workmates, which is still going very strong and as an accessory I purchased a similar one from Lidl at the huge cost of £10 and whilst not as rigid as the original still works very well, considering the price.

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Offline Trevorc

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Re: Black and Decker Workmate benches - are they any good ?
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2019, 04:32:19 PM »
I think they are excellent, very useful for a whole range of jobs.
The “ jaws” will hold slightly tapered items and the bench can be set at three different heights.
They can carry a lot of weight, i currently have a 4 cylinder motor engine sitting on mine.
Trevorc