14th Apr 2019, 06:26 PM #1
B&D Workmate - simple cheap solution to floppy legs problem
I have a fix here using shock cord for the problem on the Black & Decker Workmate folding workstand where the plastic clips that hold the legs open get old, brittle and break, leaving the legs flopping about.
The fix is to use shock cord, aka bungee rope or stretchy rope, to replace the original plastic clips. See photos below of the original clips and the shock-cord replacement.
Actually, I mentioned this fix as an idea in an earlier thread here, but in the current post here, I have made the fix and verify that it works well.
On eBay you can buy replacement plastic clips like the original (e.g. "Black Decker Leg Latch Catch Workmate 374985-49 WM535 WM536 WM626 WM750 WM800"), but the cost about $40 all up. Since you can get a whole new Workmate from Kogan for $100 (plus about $20 delivery), it seems silly to spend that. The alternative shock-cord solution costs about $10 tops.
I used a total of about 1.5 metres of 6mm shock cord cut into four lengths, drilled some holes, threaded the cord through and tied off the ends. That's more or less all that is involved. The principal holes to drill are one hole through each leg (see photos) so that the cord, when threaded through the hole and stretched under some tension, snaps the leg into either 'open' or 'closed' position. Because the cord will chafe on the metal edge of this hole, it's best to put a rubber grommet in each hole to protect the cord from the sharp edge. I used 8mm grommets. And note too I smoothed off the jagged edges of the broken old plastic clips, because there's a chance the cord will chafe on these too. Also, I left the cord about 50mm long out from the knot (didn't trim the dag off really short) just so I can hold it if I want to re-adjust the tension by relocating the knot.
Other fixes for the floppy legs have been suggested before, e.g. screws or magnets. Screws just fix the legs open - so you can't fully fold the unit anymore. Magnets hold the legs open, but the legs still flop about when 'folded'. Shock cord mimics the original clips, i.e. the legs can both snap open or snap closed.
The result works quite well. Possibly using 8mm cord instead of 6mm cord would allow more tension that would make the snap action even stronger. This might eliminate the slight sagging of the legs mine has when they are folded. But even with 6mm cord it is definitely a functional fix. No more floppy legs!
The other part that was missing on my workmate was the rubber tips on the low-height stub legs. Rather than paying too much for new OEM tips, I just bought chair leg tips. I got 13mm tips. These fitted nice and tightly, but I've noticed some splitting. Maybe 16mm tips, the next size up, would be better, or maybe they'd be too loose. I've put a 6-gauge self-tapping screw through mine (see photos), so they won't come off.
Well, that's it, maybe this idea will help someone else with the Workmate floppy legs problem. I'd be interested in seeing any variations on this idea, e.g. whether 8mm shock cord works even better.
1 - The original Workmate plastic clips - these eventually break, leaving the legs floppy.
WM original open.jpg WM original closed.jpg
2 - General view of the Workmate with shock cord fix applied.
WM general view 01.jpg WM general view 02.jpg
3 - Method of attaching the shock cord on the 'footstand' (i.e. front) legs.
WM detail 01a step closed.jpg WM detail 02 step open.jpg
4 - Method of attaching the shock cord on the back legs.
WM detail 04 no-step closed.jpg WM detail 03 no-step open.jpg
14th Apr 2019 06:26 PM # ADSGoogle Adsense Advertisement
- Join Date
- Advertising world
By MWF FEED in forum METALWORK FORUMReplies: 0Last Post: 13th Feb 2018, 12:30 AM
By IanW in forum HAND TOOLS - UNPOWEREDReplies: 24Last Post: 20th Jan 2016, 08:32 PM
By nearnexus in forum METALWORK FORUMReplies: 9Last Post: 25th Dec 2013, 08:05 PM
By WillyInBris in forum CNC MachinesReplies: 9Last Post: 26th May 2009, 11:09 AM
By Reno RSS Feed in forum PLUMBING, ELECTRICAL, HEATING, COOLING, etcReplies: 0Last Post: 28th Jan 2009, 12:00 AM