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Thread: Workmate Jaws

  1. #1
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    Workmate Jaws

    Gang, anyone ever made a set of replacement jaws for a workmate? I have an older workmate, and I don't see any model # on it, but the jaws are pretty well toast. I'd like to make a new set of Jaws or boards for it, but not sure what to use to make them out of. Suggestions welcome!
    -Ned

  2. #2
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    I have two Workmates. A newer one that has MDF/melamine jaws/boards and an older one that has plywood/melamine. Personally, I like the plywood ones better, but that Workmate is missing the center board. (That way when I got it.) I'd like to make a replacement for that board, but it's thick plywood, and doesn't looks like a standard thickness. Probably be easier to just laminate a couple of pieces of 1/2" plywood together and make an completely new set of jaws.

    My MDF Workmate has the center board, but it is worn out and sagging. Here again, though, it's not a standard thickness of MDF, so when I replace it, I'll likely just replace all three boards with something convenient.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  3. #3
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    Ned the one that I have has 7/8"thick plywood jaws, it's from the 70's and the jaws are as tough as nails.I would suggest any good solid wood, maple would be a good choice I would think, or you could go with thick Baltic birch plywood

  4. #4
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    My dad bought the one I have back when they only made one model. Early to mid 70's maybe? Anyway the jaws are Baltic Birch-looking, high ply count plywood. Marine ply maybe? I hand sanded them and re-topped them with poly a decade or so ago. Still going strong. I imagine anything stout that would survive where you plan to use them would be fine. Ash is pretty tough, pecan is harder than all get out. White oak would take moisture abuse but, then again, so would marine ply.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
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  5. #5
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    My Workmate was given to me in 1976 I think.

    I guess you are talking about the wood surfaces that are fixed on the back of the worktop and the one on the front that slides back and forth. Mine is made from heavy duty plywood. I would think you could make it from some apple ply or Baltic birch ply being careful to laminate to the proper thicknesses with a strong adhesive.
    Last edited by Mike Stafford; 05-13-2013 at 09:49 PM.
    I may be getting a little older physically but mentally I'm still tarp as a shack.

  6. #6
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    Thanks y'all.
    I think I'm going to go with maple or Ash when I get around tuit... don't have a good source of birch ply locally but I can get hardwoods easily.
    -Ned

  7. #7
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    Either maple or ash should work well, Those would probably be my choices if I had access to all the inexpensive hardwoods that you east coasters do. And the thickness really isn't critical either, as long as all the jaws are the same. Somewhere in the 3/4" to 1" range should work well (thicker is better).
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
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    I made new ones for mine, using 5/4 hard maple.

    Not sure if they've changed, but the old ones had 'dog holes' that were 20mm - just a bit over ", so if you've still got the plastic 'dogs' for yours, you'll need the 20mm holes.

    For anyone who's interested, ironically, the B-D plastic 'dogs' will also fit the (very expensive) Festool Multi-Function Table (MFT).
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  9. #9
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    Hey thank you guys.

    I just went and checked. Mine is a model 350, and has two MDF planks on top. I got it used so the third one may have been with it new, but I didn't get it. I guess I should consider making the planks a little more substantial.

    As for the "plastic dogs Jim talked about, I was planning on turning some from hardwood. 20mm huh? Thanks. Now to get on to making the pieces.

    Mahalo and Aloha, Tony
    "You got to learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself". (Author unknown)

    "Time flies like..... an arrow,,,Fruit flies like..... a banana." Groucho Marx

    Ah,,,to live in Paradise!

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Baideme View Post
    ...As for the "plastic dogs Jim talked about, I was planning on turning some from hardwood. 20mm huh?...
    I was gonna do the same thing, but I don't have a metric lathe.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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