Friday, February 3, 2017

Tool Review -- Jobmate Folding Work Bench 057-0029-0

I got this yesterday from the local Canadian Tire outlet for the regular price of $39.99.

Let's see what's in the box.

'Some assembly required', evidently.

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The assembly instructions included are adequate, but the drawing doesn't show the leg structure's orientation correctly. The picture on the box is correct. Use the picture as your guide and you'll get it right.

The factory got the parts complement right -- my unit was complete with no incorrect or missing parts. I encountered one adjustment that needs doing that the instructions don't mention, one lubrication requirement and one nasty flaw. It's possible that the flaw was just a one-off thing that I had the bad luck to end up with, but I suspect that a lot of these units were produced with the same flaw -- mass production unfortunately lends itself to mass error.

An Adjustment

Note the attachment of the moveable jaws' mounting brackets to their rails -- there's a fair bit of undesirable slop there. Snug up the nyloc nuts that secure the brackets to the vise screw nuts with a 13mm socket wrench. For each rail, you want a moveable bracket that slides freely along its rail, but with a minimum of slop between the bracket and the rail.


The factory doesn't lubricate the vise screws. Apply WD-40. Avoid using grease; grease will just get loaded up with dust and turn to sludge.

A Flaw

There are sixteen pilot hole locations for the screws that secure the vise jaws to their brackets. The eight outboard locations are ok, but the holes should be deeper -- just shy of going all the way through. That's no big deal, and easily rectified.

The nastiness is with the eight inboard pilot hole locations. They're drilled very shallowly, and they're mispositioned -- they don't meet up with the screw holes in the brackets. New 1/8" diameter pilot holes must be spotted and drilled in order for the brackets to be attachable. Bending the brackets to meet the existing hole locations is inadvisable -- you'd end up with badly distorted brackets.

The Finished Work Bench

Here it is in its natural habitat -- a room undergoing some renovation.

It looks to me like the thing will do what I need it to quite nicely. I have a small closet space to put flooring in, and an entire bedroom that needs baseboard installed. I'll let you know how the work bench performs.

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Update -- TUESDAY, FEBRUARY  7, 2017

For light work, it's a fine little rig.

Where a full-size Workmate would be too much of a good thing, the Jobmate bench is ideal.

Update II - Another Flaw -- THURSDAY, MARCH 2, 2017

I noticed that the work surface wasn't level from front to rear. The rear edge of the work surface was higher than the front edge. Shortening the rear legs by 1/2" corrected the condition.

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