BORA - Centipede Work Support (Rating: 5)

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.