Please share your ideas, and especially photos, of your customized WorkMates!
I have had one about 25 yrs it seems to work well as is not sure that you need to customize one.
You can add any feature you deem necessary, to accommodate your intended tasks.
Think about what you want to do with it and go for it. You can always modify and build as you go.
* auxiliary top, a single piece 3/4" thk MDF or plywood, (seal with 3 coats of shellac), of suitable width and depth.
Add four 3/4" x 1" long dowels to the underside, and positioned so as to register with the outside corner holes in the bench top. Tightening the jaw clamp will hold it firmly in place.
* aux top with t-tracks and clamping devices.
* electrical outlet strip
* tool tray along the front/back
* shelf near the bottom to store tools
* base from 2x stock and equip it with casters, for mobility.
* pvc pipe configured to suffice as holster(s) for your drills/drivers
* pvc pipe caps to hold fasteners
* 3 gal bucket on one end for misc storage
Just to name a few.
I have 4 or 5 different aux tops, various sizes and with different features, each for its intended purpose---
such as drilling, clamping, sanding, sawing, planing, hammering, finishing--- just to name a few.
When not in use, I store the aux work tops vertically.
Guess I need to retract my previous comment , there is a lot of options. I just use mine for a clamp to stand wood on end or to clamp my belt sander upside down to make a small stationary sander out of it.
Alrighty then LOL
Ken, you have my mind racing with ideas! As it stands now I can eliminate 1-2 work "tables" that are taking up space and replace them with the storeable /portable aux tops you mentioned. Thanks!
An alternate to the dowel pegs, on the underside of the aux tops:
Add two 3/4 x 2" x "L" (suitable length) cleats to the underside of each aux top.
L= length of cleat equal the "gap" between the boards, on your WM table when fully opened, minus 1/2".
Locate a cleat in from each end of the aux top, so it's located about 1" in from the ends of the WM top.
When the aux top is placed on the WM table, the cleats will sandwich between the jaw faces of the WM top---
turn the hand crank on the WM top, and pinching the cleats between the jaws, will secure the aux work top to the WM top, during use.
(The cleats will provide adequate holding power during normal use).
When removing/changing aux worktops, turn the crank to loosen the clamping pressure.
Cleats can be glued and screwed to the underside of the aux work-top.
Cleats: pine/fir, or plywood.
Screws: Kreg flanged head 1-1/4" course thread.
Glue: titebond #2, or equiv.
(NOTE: the use of cleats may be simpler, to make and install, over dowel pegs.
Dowel pegs need to be accurately positioned and affixed, to function properly).
Skil made a "contractor-duty" portable work-bench, many years ago.
(It has since been discontinued---perhaps, since the B&D WM was introduced, it was less costly, and became popular).
The Skil cost more than a B&D bench; however, was of superior quality.
It contained many useful features, including---
large diameter HD tubular telescoping legs, bench dogs, legs and associated accessories stored in an integral onboard receptacle. Very stable and sturdy. One could place some heavy construction lumber material and timbers on this unit.
Other uses for the WM:
Place a miter box between the jaws, clamp in place.
This will provide a more stable platform when making miter cuts in the miter box.
I saw the Skil XBench you mentioned on YouTube. Very nice. No longer made, but accessories still available for Skil's WorkMate look alike. I wonder if Skil's clamping accessories will work with WM?
The Skil XBench workstation is a newer design---not the model I mentioned above.
Upon review of the "XBench clamping accessory kit", they appear they'll fit the bench-dog holes in the WM.
The XBench offers some nice features over the WM.