Second Prototype Workmate


Second prototype workbase, predecessor of the ‘Workmate’ combined vice and workbench, built by Ron Hickman, 1967.

In 1967, Ron Hickman began work to commercialise the idea which became the Workmate. This workbase could be disassembled to pack flat, but once assembled took up a great deal of storage space. The next bench had to be folding. The sketches shown below are Ron’s first ideas for a folding base.

The biggest problem was that, sold with a vice, the bench was too heavy and too expensive. But how could he do without the vice? It was at this point that Ron was struck by the visual resemblance of the two vice jaws with the two beams that formed the work surface.

‘It had been a kind of miniature workbench or double topped sawhorse. Suddenly it became the world’s biggest and most versatile vice standing on legs!’ [Ron Hickman]


Hand and Machine Tools
Object Number:
steel (metal) and wood (unidentified)