Improving the Black & Decker Workmate

Happy Birthday, America!

I’ve had a B&D Workmate, this one the model 425, for quite a few years now, and use it more than I ever expected to.  It’s a really handy tool for quick projects in a crowded garage.

(Tip: Bolt sized plywood bases onto power tools you use a lot, to quickly clamp them into the Workmate for a quick and portable base. Setup and take-down are super-fast!)

The one thing that’s always bugged me has been the lack of any on-board ‘dog’ storage. Seemed like every time I needed to use a couple of dogs to clamp something down, they were wandering around the garage somewhere. Like the canine variety, the little critters tend to wander off when you aren’t looking.

‘Been ruminating on a way to attach them right to the Workmate for a while now, and finally got some time to work on that the last few days. Turns out, a piece of standard furring strip with a few holes drilled in it did the trick.

The only ‘glitch’ with this is the odd size of the dog shanks. 3/4″ would’ve way too easy to duplicate, I suppose, so they went with 25/32″, at least on this model. After trying to grind down a 7/8″ spade bit to the right size, yep, I ground it just a bit too small. So I drilled the holes out to 3/4″ and used a router bit in the drill press to carefully ease their size up.

This rack mounts just forward of the step using 4 small screws, as can be seen in the photo, and the dog holes ended up laid out (by accident!) just right for the folding feet to miss them.

While I was at it, I chucked up a few old pieces of laminated oak in the lathe and turned 3 extra dogs.

Hope that’s of some use…

God bless you and yours,

Dave Harnish
Acts 4:12



About Dave Harnish

I've been an appliance repair tech since 1972, with interests in most everything, including Bible study (I'm one of those KJV-only geezers), old Sunbeam Mixmasters, Maytag wringer washers, the outdoors, birds, hunting, metalworking, firewood cutting, and most anything going on outside on our mountain here in N. PA's 'Endless Mountains'.
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