Sawhorse with an attitude!

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Review by Joseph Cataldie posted 08-10-2009 05:47 AM 6053 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Sawhorse with an attitude! Sawhorse with an attitude! Sawhorse with an attitude! Click the pictures to enlarge them

I just got my B&D Workmate 125 put together. I’d heard horror stories about the assembly process, in fact, the guy that sold it to me at the B&D outlet told me not to pay too much attention to the instructions. He was right. The instructions are terrible, but I still got it together in about 30-45 minutes while watching TV. Granted, a number of the holes for the bolts didn’t line up very well, but with a set of vise grips, a few hammer taps and minimal cursing, it went together fairly smoothly.

I’ve heard a lot of old-timers tell me that these things aren’t built as well as they once were and while I don’t doubt that, mine feels pretty sturdy and I anticipate getting plenty of use from it. The frame is made from stamped and folded sheet metal. The top is made from laminated bamboo which is nice and dense. It also has grooves cut in the vise faces to hold round objects in place. This is the base model. There are a couple of step ups from this one including the WM 225 and the WM 425, which have a few more bells and whistles and support a bit more weight. It is DIY grade. I’d like to see the little handles upgraded to metal or a heavier plastic, but that’s about my only complaint.

It’s as small as a sawhorse, but with the clamping feature you can customize it to do a sorts of tasks. I anticipate building a tabletop downdraft table with a dog on the bottom for the vise to clamp onto. As a bonus, the two components (table & workmate) will equal the height of my tablesaw and BOO-YA!, I’ve got an outfeed table too. In the same manner, I can build tool bases from scrap plywood to fit into the vise as well, or anything else. It also folds up neatly for storage and is light enough to hang on the wall out of the way.

It’s rated for 350 pounds. I haven’t pushed it too far, but I weigh about 195 and it didn’t budge when I put all my weight on it and shifted my weight around (sorry, that’s as scientific as I could get on short notice).

Retail appears to be around $30, but I picked up mine at the B&D outlet for 14 bucks! Great deal for the money.

Four stars for its value and accurate description, reserving the last star for something a bit more industrial.

-- Joey C., Baton Rouge, LA,

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Joseph Cataldie

71 posts in 3986 days

13 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118065 posts in 4347 days

#1 posted 08-10-2009 05:53 AM

Good review Joey a handy tool for sure.


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Craftsman on the lake

3335 posts in 4208 days

#2 posted 08-10-2009 02:33 PM

I’m one of the old timers that have the metal version of one of these. It’s a mass of zigzaggy, scissor legged, coiled springs in bringing it from flat to upright but it is very sturdy and strong. But then again it cost about a hundred bucks back then. Yours looks just as functional.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 4074 days

#3 posted 08-10-2009 02:43 PM

My old one had a step on it with 4 short legs that folded down. One of the legs finally gave up and started giving me troubles so one of my sons has it now and still uses it. I would like to have another one. It looks like the model you posted here is built differently, at the price you paid it looks like a heck of a deal.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4539 days

#4 posted 08-10-2009 07:41 PM

very nice. these are good little things to have and the people who say they werent built as well as they once were are true. mine crapped out in a few months but i pushed it a littlr harder than i should have… dont ask more me than it… but the old one that my dad has which is about 20 years old is solid as a 200 year old oak. that thing just does not move at all. they are really nice little tools ans you will enjoy yours!!!

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4515 days

#5 posted 08-11-2009 01:23 AM

I had one of these back in the ‘80’s and got rid of it during one of my moves. It was very handy. Paid quite a bundle for it. I’ve been thinking about getting another and it sounds like they still do the job they were meant to do. Thanks for the post.

View Hunterastin's profile


52 posts in 4061 days

#6 posted 08-11-2009 02:48 AM

iv got one of these that my dads work gave away as gifts, it works great, its great for clamping since i dont have but two small six inch clamps

View ZachM's profile


83 posts in 4476 days

#7 posted 08-11-2009 08:54 PM

I have one of those that I use to hold my miter saw, $14 isn’t a bad deal, but they certainly aren’t worth the $30 or more that they are regularly priced. If you move it around much at all, make sure you don’t lose 1 of the plastic feet as that will make it lopsided.

View Joseph Cataldie's profile

Joseph Cataldie

71 posts in 3986 days

#8 posted 08-11-2009 09:55 PM

Sorry to hear you’ve had trouble with yours. Try squirting a little liquid nails down in the rubber cups of the feet and they should stay on pretty well.

-- Joey C., Baton Rouge, LA,

View Kevin's profile


24 posts in 4101 days

#9 posted 08-12-2009 07:32 AM

I have an older version of this i use for everything! It folds nearly flat and is out of the way when not in use. I can use it for my drill press, miter saw, scroll saw, and even my mini lathe with a good load on it. I have no complaints what so ever and would recommend this to anyone, especially someone with limited space.

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 4038 days

#10 posted 08-12-2009 05:53 PM

harbor freight has these exact things if you cant find a cheap B&D version try HF

i think i got mine for $9. they work good just dont put any weight on the cross brace as the sheet metal will fold in half

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 4503 days

#11 posted 08-13-2009 04:26 AM

Got two of these – one a model 85 (so you can guess how old that is!) and another just as old that I can’t id because the label is gone. I got each of them in the mid-70’s when I was stationed in the Azores and got the other one for my Dad as a gift a year or so later. The only problem I have had with either of them is the screws loosening and the rubber feet wearing out. Seems as though there ought to be some place to get feet such as these instead of paying over $3 each as replacement parts!!! I suppose that one of these days, I’ll just bite the bullet and order the 8 feet for the two of them. Mine have been used for nearly everything one could think up and they still are in daily use in my shop.

I’ve checked out the 125 and the new ones don’t compare. Wish I could find a couple of more of the old ones like I have.


-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View TheLandYacht's profile


32 posts in 4008 days

#12 posted 08-13-2009 06:05 AM

Jim Crockett: You could always MAKE feet
or just discover the wonder that is hot-glue! I love hot-glue cuz you can substitute it for so many different plastic/rubber/laminate items if you know how to shape it.

View paulbunyan's profile


6 posts in 3342 days

#13 posted 05-13-2011 05:21 AM

i bought a (very) used elderly wm 300 at a habitat for humanity re-store ~2 years ago. thought sho’ i had gone to heaven. found out the hard way that one of the catches wouldn’t hold weight- a part is missing. i used a dry wall jack as a prop, but never trusted it. it has been bugging me all this time. black and decker don’t want to know.
a neighbor offered to tack weld the stays in place, but it gets more use on the driveway than downstairs, so i have to drag it up a narrow stairway.

a female friend came over and was suggesting wedging a chunk of wood somewhere, but again trust issues.
i woke up during the night and realized if i used a couple of hitch pins they would keep the buttons from releasing the stays. went to ace hardware and bought 2 each of 2 sizes and thicknesses. the thicker ones work best, they really lock the whole thing together. i bent the loops out a bit for finger grips and tied some twine on each so they wouldn’t fly away with sudden release. i owe cindy for starting the solution process.

i love this device. as with anything made by man, it has limitations, but as long as you stay within them all is well.

um, can i change my LJ nickname to elvis, or is it taken? dunno what possessed me to do paulb, but there we are.

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