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Old 19-05-2014, 11:34   #1
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Any Portable Workbench Recommendations?

I'm looking for a folding, portable workbench for the boat. I've gone through several of the Black and Decker WorkMates over the years in land based shops, and they work great, but they're heavy, cumbersome and are almost entirely constructed of steel. I found the QuickBench online, but thought I would ask if anyone else has found something along those lines that's better. Aluminum or fiberglass legs, like the electricians ladders, would be much better for offshore environment.

Some steel fasteners could be okay if they're easily replaceable with stainless.

I vaguely remember seeing something made of plastic and fiberglass some years back, but don't remember the name. I think it was Euro or Australian.
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Old 19-05-2014, 15:15   #2
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Re: any portable workbench recommendations?

I'd be interested in replies to this as well. I want to go cruising as soon as possible but to have a dedicated workbench area requires a bigger boat and thus more expensive (longer wait).
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Old 19-05-2014, 15:44   #3
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Re: any portable workbench recommendations?

I find the Black & Decker Shop Box to be real handy on board. It is a mini version of their workbench tables about the size of a large toolbox. Easy to store and has storage space under the vise table. You can see me using it to cut some 1/2 inch starboard for a helm project:
CUTTING STAR BOARD WITH AN OSCILLATING MULTITOOL - YouTube
I don't think they are still in production but, you might find one on Ebay or Craigs list from time to time.
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Old 19-05-2014, 16:35   #4
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Re: Any Portable Workbench Recommendations?

I don't really need one to store tools in. I've gone to canvas soft tool bags for that. I need something with a work surface and some clamps to secure things while I cut, chisel, grind, sand, file, solder, tap, glue, etc. That can put work pieces at a convenient height, and will let me drill holes and hit things with hammers while no where near gel coat.

Check this one out, has some promise.
Stanley Folding Workbench (STST11026) - Sawhorses & Workmates - Ace Hardware


250 lb capacity is a little light, but it's all plastic. I figure one that still works in six months at 250 lbs is better than the rusted shut 500 lb. steel ones.
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Old 19-05-2014, 16:40   #5
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Re: Any Portable Workbench Recommendations?

While you're at it look at the Zyliss Vise; it's no longer made but lots on ebay; a VERY useful tool for a boat; we have two...

Zyliss 4 in 1 Vice Plane Bench Clamp Gluing Press Used Multi Use Vise | eBay
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Old 19-05-2014, 16:50   #6
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Re: Any Portable Workbench Recommendations?

You might want to look at Keter.
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Old 20-05-2014, 06:53   #7
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Re: Any Portable Workbench Recommendations?

I did look at that Keter, and watched a video. Looks slick. Rated to a thousand pounds. But looks like the legs are chrome steel. That's a kiss of death here, even in a home workshop. Unless one likes to spray anti-rust compounds every week or so. I even have to spray CRC on the bottoms of my CRC and WD-40 cans. They rust through.
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Old 20-05-2014, 14:16   #8
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Re: Any Portable Workbench Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
I'm looking for a folding, portable workbench for the boat.
A lot depends on your storage space and priorities.

Here is what I do: I have two 2x6" (50mm x 150mm) boards cut to fit across the cockpit seats from coaming to coaming. They double as fender boards. I have two wooden cutting boards that clamp to the boards. The same boards clamp across my pushpit for diesel and water jugs.

Your call and your needs of course.
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Old 20-05-2014, 14:33   #9
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Re: Any Portable Workbench Recommendations?

that sounds like a good approach for a lot of boats. In my case, however the boards would have to span almost 14 ft to be suspended across the cockpit and then I'd have the issues of handling and storing two 14 ft. 2x6's. I've got a great place to set up a folding workbench, plenty of places to store a folding workbench. Hence my search for recommendations on a good choice in seagoing workbenches.
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Old 20-05-2014, 15:12   #10
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Re: Any Portable Workbench Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
I don't really need one to store tools in. I've gone to canvas soft tool bags for that. I need something with a work surface and some clamps to secure things while I cut, chisel, grind, sand, file, solder, tap, glue, etc. That can put work pieces at a convenient height, and will let me drill holes and hit things with hammers while no where near gel coat.

Check this one out, has some promise.
Stanley Folding Workbench (STST11026) - Sawhorses & Workmates - Ace Hardware


250 lb capacity is a little light, but it's all plastic. I figure one that still works in six months at 250 lbs is better than the rusted shut 500 lb. steel ones.

I used one of those for a couple years and it held up well, the clamps are handy.
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Old 20-05-2014, 15:28   #11
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Re: Any Portable Workbench Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
that sounds like a good approach for a lot of boats. In my case, however the boards would have to span almost 14 ft to be suspended across the cockpit and then I'd have the issues of handling and storing two 14 ft. 2x6's.
I missed the catamaran in your signature. The Stanley product looks interesting. Have you looked at Rockler products? ( Workbenches and Tops | Rockler Woodworking & Hardware ) Perhaps you can find something that clamps over your cockpit table.
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Old 20-05-2014, 15:36   #12
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Re: Any Portable Workbench Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
I don't really need one to store tools in. I've gone to canvas soft tool bags for that. I need something with a work surface and some clamps to secure things while I cut, chisel, grind, sand, file, solder, tap, glue, etc. That can put work pieces at a convenient height, and will let me drill holes and hit things with hammers while no where near gel coat.

Check this one out, has some promise.
Stanley Folding Workbench (STST11026) - Sawhorses & Workmates - Ace Hardware


250 lb capacity is a little light, but it's all plastic. I figure one that still works in six months at 250 lbs is better than the rusted shut 500 lb. steel ones.
Looks good and since it's non rusting even better.
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Old 21-05-2014, 05:46   #13
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Re: Any Portable Workbench Recommendations?

I did check Rockler, as I've used some of their stuff before. They seem pretty heavily invested in their Jawhorse bench, which I'm sure is a great addition to a garage workshop. Too big, too much steel for the boat though. There's just no good way to make thin steel work for a long time on a boat, in my experience. Well, I guess if it was kept sprayed down with some rust preventative, but who wants to try to use greasy tools all the time? And it really doesn't work, in the long run anyhow. Someone needs to come out with a fitted tool kit that includes a dehumidified case sealed with o-rings.
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