Workmate Dropleaf #79-021

The Northern Illinois Steam Power Club’s annual threshing bee has a flea market as part of the activities.  Last year I purchased what appeared to be a small Workmate, and at the bargain price of $5.  The plastic bits look to have been used and abused, but otherwise is good condition.

There are no markings on this thing to indicate that it is a Workmate, or even made by Black and Decker, which is really odd.  So before cleaning it up and putting it into service, I want to figure out what this actually is.  And that was more difficult that I thought.  General google searches turned up little, and image searches fared no better.  I was able to get a lead from the Lumberjocks forums that eventually lead me to a review and advertisement:

PopularScience_April1982_WorkmakeDropleaf PopularScience_November1981_WorkmakeDropleaf


So, it is a Workmate, and it’s fairly old as well.  It’s also not a heavy duty tool, the work surface is plastic and the vice jaws are protected with thin pieces of aluminum.  And in this case, that aluminum was held in place with what appears to be polyurethane glue.


There was spray-paint all over the plastic, and general grime buildup on everything else.  Time to break it down and clean it up.

WorkMate_Dropleaf_11 WorkMate_Dropleaf_03

WorkMate_Dropleaf_16 WorkMate_Dropleaf_07

The aluminum pieces removed quite easily as the glue was not doing too much to hold it on.  Both plastic surfaces has the paint and glue removed with a wire wheel brush mounted in the drill.

It cleaned up well, and just like in the review above, it will be mounted at the end of my bench.  Just as soon as I figure out a good way to accomplish it.



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