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Great choice for portable support

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Review by Rich posted 12-13-2019 07:58 PM 4860 views 2 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Great choice for portable support No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

This review is for the BORA Centipede Work Support. It’s a very handy, lightweight and versatile option for portable support. As you can see in the review photo, the one I use is the 2×4 foot model. Actually, I bought two of them. It’s available in 4×4 and 4×8 as well, but I felt having two of the smaller units would be more versatile. After using them for a few weeks, I think I made a good choice.

The Centipede comes with a very nice fitted case, however, I found it to be a pain to get it all tucked back in when I wanted to store it, so I just added a 12” Velcro strap from Home Depot to keep it closed. It sets up in about two seconds. All you do is pull the two center caps apart and it folds right out. It’s rated at 2500 lbs. I doubt if I will ever test that out, but it’s good to know I can set anything I want on there.

One use I found for it is as stand for breaking down sheet goods. It comes with yokes that fit in the top brackets and can fit 2×4s to support the board being cut. Pictured is the Centipede with two 4 foot supports. By setting up both Centipedes, this configuration allows easy ripping of full 4×8 sheets, and supports the board even after it’s cut. I also have configured it with 2 foot supports that allow easy crosscutting.

Another use is to add a plywood sheet to turn it into a work surface. I’ve not only set this up for a temporary work area around the house, but because the Centipede is so lightweight, it’s great to carry to job sites as well.

Although it comes with hold-down clamps to keep the plywood top in place, I found it still tended to slip around, and since the unit is 2×4 feet, a 2×4 foot sheet of plywood only partly sits on the support caps and was prone to slip off. I remedied that by installing dowels in the corners that fit in the holes in the caps and lock it in place. I also routed a hand hold in the plywood to make it easy to carry.

Finally, one key thing to remember is that the Centipede is intended for balanced, static loads. The warning label shows that it should not be used for offset loads, nor is it to be used as a scaffold to stand on.

While it won’t replace a dedicated folding worktable like the Workmate, it is a great accessory to have around for times you need to break down sheet goods or need more work surface.

The BORA web site lists the 2×4 model at $89, but it’s priced in the low $70s elsewhere.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner




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Rich

7369 posts in 1805 days



28 comments so far

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LeeRoyMan

2077 posts in 943 days


#1 posted 12-13-2019 08:18 PM

It looks kind of rickety. Does it sturdy up pretty good when it’s up?
2500 lbs, I doubt I would want to even stack 10 sheets at 100 lbs per. Would it hang?
Not that I ever would, but, just curious how strong in real life it really is.

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Rich

7369 posts in 1805 days


#2 posted 12-13-2019 09:38 PM

It’s rock solid once it’s locked in place. Those diagonal straps are thin steel, but they’re under tension when it’s loaded, so it’s very strong. The vertical members are solid rods. Again, it’s intended for stable loads. For instance, you would not be able to clamp a board on it and use a hand plane unless it was a little block plane and you were holding the board steady. Honestly, I wouldn’t hesitate to put 1000 lbs of plywood on it. That’s a distributed load at only about 30 lb/sqft.

Here’s a shot from their web site, and, as you know, if it’s on the Internet it has to be true.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View cmacnaughton's profile

cmacnaughton

222 posts in 860 days


#3 posted 12-16-2019 04:04 PM

I’ve been thinking of getting the 4×8’. I’m glad I read your review first…I think it makes sense to get 2 smaller ones like you did. Thanks!

-- –Chuck M. Nutmegger by choice

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

7924 posts in 2037 days


#4 posted 12-17-2019 03:58 AM

Interesting… Saw one advertised many, many, many years ago. I think it cost about $150, which I didn’t think too vicious, however, the $450 shipping to Australia got the anger juices flowing…

They are now available locally and I may consider a purchase… similar to your 2 x small set-up… Would be ideal for assembly outside the workshop under the carport.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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Rich

7369 posts in 1805 days


#5 posted 12-17-2019 04:50 AM

Glad it was useful. I’ll be setting mine up to finish a couple of 36×80 doors for a contractor I work with. My shop is so overcrowded, these things are a must to survive and get the orders out.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View CANDL's profile

CANDL

45 posts in 4023 days


#6 posted 12-18-2019 11:57 AM

I got the same thing from Menards about a year ago… used it at the sister-in-laws to do a built in. Worked great. Added a 2” slab of rigid insulation for the track saw and good to go.

I agree 5 star

View nkawtg's profile

nkawtg

302 posts in 2467 days


#7 posted 12-20-2019 12:45 AM

Only the smallest centipede is in stock. No idea when they’ll have more.
https://boratool.com/

View Rich's profile

Rich

7369 posts in 1805 days


#8 posted 12-20-2019 01:51 AM


Only the smallest centipede is in stock. No idea when they ll have more.
https://boratool.com/

- nkawtg

I noticed that too. I bought the last two from the Factory Authorized Outlet store on eBay. Check around with other retailers. I hope they haven’t been discontinued. I’d think it would say so on the Bora site if they have, but you never know.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

10270 posts in 3625 days


#9 posted 12-20-2019 01:58 AM

Interesting unit. I like your modifictaions to improve performance and ease of use.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Rich's profile

Rich

7369 posts in 1805 days


#10 posted 12-20-2019 04:17 AM


Interesting unit. I like your modifictaions to improve performance and ease of use.

- woodbutcherbynight

Good to hear from you, Gunny.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

7924 posts in 2037 days


#11 posted 12-20-2019 06:49 AM


Only the smallest centipede is in stock….
- nkawtg

For once we have something you don’t down under…

I bit the bullet and ordered 2 @ 4’ x 4’ (thought 2’ was a tad narrow) this morning and it’s already in the mail to be delivered tomorrow (Aussie Post works on Saturday during Christmas)...
It’s bloody amazing how quickly items can get shipped when the want to… Normaly I get orders shipped from the USA quicker than interstate.

Merry Christmas to me!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

10270 posts in 3625 days


#12 posted 12-21-2019 03:11 AM


Interesting unit. I like your modifictaions to improve performance and ease of use.

- woodbutcherbynight

Good to hear from you, Gunny.

- Rich

Thanks, been busy as of late.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

6007 posts in 4879 days


#13 posted 12-24-2019 04:06 AM

It looks kind of rickety. Does it sturdy up pretty good when it s up?
2500 lbs, I doubt I would want to even stack 10 sheets at 100 lbs per. Would it hang?
Not that I ever would, but, just curious how strong in real life it really is.

- LeeRoyMan

It is very strong … I have sat on it, stood on it, stacked stuff on it, never a problem. I bought mine several years ago (when it was a crowd-funding startup), and wish I would have bought two!

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

7924 posts in 2037 days


#14 posted 12-29-2019 12:26 PM



.... I bit the bullet and ordered 2 @ 4 x 4…..
- LittleBlackDuck

Missed out on my centipede... I finished up with a quinquagenarian... they only delivered one!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View getgray's profile

getgray

2 posts in 345 days


#15 posted 10-13-2020 09:19 PM

@Rich : The pegs you installed, you did that on a 2×4 sheet, right? So the centipede is not in it’s fully open position? That’s what I need, that is, to have it completely under a 2×4 sheet.

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