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Old Workmate spares

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NickWelford

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I have an old workmate (WM325 I think) that I bought in 1977, for about £22.50, a discount of 10% on the rrp. It’s the one with the aluminium H frames, always better than subsequent pressed steel ones. I need to replace the 24mm ply tops now, and they seem to be very difficult to find, although I might be able to get some for around £60! If anyone has any knowledge of where to find more economical one I should be grateful, otherwise it looks like I might have to source some 24mm ply and make my own. I’m not the most accurate of machinists though!
 

Lons

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You don't need to be much of a machinist Nick as if you use decent ply it should be flat. I would,t bother sourcing 24mm just laminate 2 x 12mm or better double up some 18mm as it will easily accommodate thicker tops.

I replaced the tops from one of mine with some 30mm mahogany / sapele reclaimed from old school science bench, works perfectly and better than the original ply
 

marcros

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I would make some, either from good ply or an alternative hardwood.
 

AJB Temple

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I have the same workmate. It is very easy to make replacement tops with some 24mm ply offcuts. I used the old ones as a template to drill the holes.
 

sunnybob

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stick 12 mm together. Or even 3 x 7 mm, or whatever thickness you want. I've just made new for mine with 12 mm.
 

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pcb1962

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Unless the dog has chewed the end off like Bob's, why not just plane the existing tops and re-face with 6mm ply?
 

robgul

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Slightly surprised that thing has survived this long! - I had one around the same time and the frame failed after about 15 years of moderate use . . . I think "aluminium" may be generous in the description - IIRC it was Mazac which could be die-cast (rather cheaper than casting aluminium)

Since then I've had a couple of cheapie Clarke "workmate" trestles - tops are MDF .... after the first one broke I just screwed a bit of 12mm ply to the two sections of the brand new (free replacement) one.
 

AJB Temple

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Slightly surprised that thing has survived this long! - I had one around the same time and the frame failed after about 15 years of moderate use . . . I think "aluminium" may be generous in the description - IIRC it was Mazac which could be die-cast (rather cheaper than casting aluminium)
If it is the one they sold as Professional, then my experience is they are close to indestructible. I used to have one of the original blue steel ones, that was a bit rusty and in a moment of stupidity in a house move I skipped it.
 

Droogs

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This may be a situation where one of the new fangled laser router machines some of the members have, could come riding to the rescue and they could make one for you with all the info etched in as well
 

sunnybob

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Unless the dog has chewed the end off like Bob's, why not just plane the existing tops and re-face with 6mm ply?
That dog was ME! I have the steel version. Bought it in the mid 70's. Only just refurbed it last month. Its had a very hard life. I could not get one of the bolts undone so I used extreme prejudice to get it out.
Also, one of the handles broke about 20 years ago so I bought new black plastic handles with red knobs on.
This is a full exploded parts list before I started :oops:
IMG_2921.JPG
 

TheUnicorn

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I picked up an older model workmate a few months ago, bargain at £6, amazed at how much more sturdy it feels than my more modern pressed type model.
 

NickWelford

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Unless the dog has chewed the end off like Bob's, why not just plane the existing tops and re-face with 6mm ply?
They’re warped and a bit saggy unfortunately. Were out in the weather for a while.
Thanks for all the suggestions, I have some 12mm ply, so I’ll perhaps laminate three pieces to make a good solid top.
I say I’m not a good machinist, but I have a table saw and a pillar drill, so how difficult can it be?
 

Blister

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I have 2 of the old steel one's they are very good
 

sunnybob

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12 x 3 + 36. You only need 2 x 12 to make 24, and lets face it, you could make them out of 18 mm and it would still be as strong.
 

Sideways

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I made solid maple replacements for my wonderful old cast alloy workmate. Far stiffer than any of the later pressed steel ones that i've used. It's a classic and becoming rare so show it some love and take care of it.
It's a versatile work holder so I don't do any heavy hammering on mine.
 

Nigel Burden

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I have one of the old blue steel ones and replaced the tops with with two made out of an old formica topped ply table which must be about 1 1/2 inches thick. Quite easy to do.

Nigel.
 

Mickjay

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Cheap 18mm ply on mine, the original circa 1978 was 18mm so have stuck with that. It's on the second set of replacement tops which take half an hour to make so I don't mind them getting damaged by careless drilling, sawing, etc. If I used something good I'm sure I would become very precious with it, it's only a worktop and clamp after all.
 

jim1950

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Found a place on ebay for workmate spares, very good service I think it was the Power tool centre in essex
 
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