I have very limited space to work on things and limited storage space, so I have to make the most of what I have. I wanted a workstand for my mountain bike, but didn’t particularly want to spend $300 on one. I also didn’t really want to have to find room to store it, so I devised an attachment to fit onto a Black & Decker Workmate folding workbench. I made this out of aluminium, but if you don’t have the metalworking skills or tools, timber could be substituted. Total cost is about $15 and it takes up very little storage space. It doesn’t do everything a proper workstand will do – nor is it intended to. When I need a stand, most of the time it’s for adjusting the drivetrain, so all I need is a way of getting the bike off the ground and turning the pedals.
It consists of 4 main sections:
1. A main support section that bolts to the Workmate.
2. A support leg
3. An axle assembly that takes the front forks
4. A bottom bracket support.
- 900mm length of 50 x 30mm RHS aluminium.
- 600mm length of 20 or 25mm aluminium tube and a rubber foot to fit.
- Two scraps of 25 x 3 (1 x 1/8”) flat bar aluminium about 100mm long
- A 50mm length of 10 or 12mm aluminium tube for spacers.
- 1 x quick-release skewer. This is available from any bike shop for a couple of bucks.
- 150 length of 13mm diameter acetal (Delrin) rod. Nylon or aluminium will do or hardwood at a pinch.
- M10 x 60mm bolt, flat washers and wing nut to fit. I used plastic knobs instead of wing nuts.
- M8 x 40mm socket cap screw, flat washers and wing nut to fit.
- Miscellaneous screws and material scraps
- Basic hand tools
- Ultrabond or Durafix fluxless welding/brazing rods. Not essential as other methods can be substituted.
Step 1: Cut and drill the RHS
Cut two lengths of the RHS aluminium: one about 750mm long and the other about 75mm long. The longer one has to be at least as long as the distance from your bottom bracket to your front axle, plus about 100mm to spare. The other one has to be as wide as your bottom bracket.
Drill a clearance hole for the M10 bolt about 170mm from one end of the longer length of RHS. Distance isn’t critical.
Step 2: Drill the shorter length of RHS
In the shorter length of RHS, drill an 8mm hole in the centre through both sides. Drill out one side only to 13mm. If you don’t have a drill that big, drill the biggest hole you can. It only has to be able to clear the socket cap screw head and fit an Allen key for making adjustments. Don't drill the other two holes yet.
Step 3: Slot the other side
On the other side, slot the hole with a mill. If you don’t have a mill, drill a series of holes and file a slot out. Length of the slot isn't critical - it allows for making adjustments in frame size.
Step 4: Measure the height for the support leg
Clamp the main section to your Workmate. On flat ground, measure the distance from the ground to the top of the bar and cut the length of 25mm tube to this length.
Step 5: Make a plug for the tube
Make a plug for the end of the tube. I used Delrin, but a bit of hardwood chopped off the mop handle does the job just as well. It should be a good snug fit. Epoxy it in place permanently. This is what you fasten the leg to the main section with. Drill and tap a hole to take a mounting bolt or drill for a self-tapping screw.
Step 6: Make the axle assembly
Cut the Delrin or aluminium rod to length and bore a clearance hole all the way through for the skewer. If you have an old bike hub lying around you could use this instead of a piece of rod.
If you have a lathe, turn a shoulder on the Delrin rod. It should fit into the fork lugs on your bike. If you don’t have a lathe, you’ll have to improvise or cut it by hand.
Step 7: Mount the axle assembly
Drill a hole to take the axle about 50mm from the end of the RHS through both sides. It should be an interference fit hole for the axle. Push the axle assembly through so it protrudes evenly on both sides.
Step 8: Drill the other end of the RHS
In the other end of the RHS, drill two 6mm clearance holes at 70 and 120mm from the end.
Step 9: Drill out the other side
Flip the RHS over. For the hole that's 120mm from the end, drill it out to the same size as the tube you're using for the support leg.
Step 10: Mount the support leg
Insert the support leg through the underside of the RHS and bolt or screw it in place from the top.I used a Delrin spacer on the support leg, but this is optional.
Step 11: Make the bottom bracket support
Bend two lengths of 25 x 3 flatbar into a U shape to fit your bottom bracket. Drill and countersink a hole in the centre. Size isn't important - it's determined by what size screws you use to mount them.
Step 12: Spacer for the bottom bracket support
Using Durafix or Ultrabond, weld a scrap of tube to the U pieces as a spacer. The spacer only has to be high enough to clear the gear cables on the bottom bracket, so a few flat washers could be substituted for a spacer.
Step 13: Mount the bottom bracket supports
Drill holes in the shorter length of RHS. The positioning of these will vary, depending on your bike. A spacing of 48mm between centres should suit most mountain bikes. (See step 2 ). Screw the suports to the RHS using shakeproof washers and Nyloc nuts if you have them.
Step 14: Make a spacer for the bottom bracket support
Using a bit of 10 or 12mm tube, make a spacer that will fit inside the RHS (see photo). You need this because without it when you tighten the bolt holding the bottom bracket support, the RHS will flex and distort.
Step 15: Bolt the bottom bracket support on
Using the socket cap screw and a wing nut, bolt the complete bottom bracket support onto the RHS. Don't tighten it up yet as you'll need to make some adjustments.
Step 16: Pads for the bottom bracket support
Superglue a strip of rubber on each support to protect your paint work. A bit of old inner tube will do.
Step 17: Mount to your Workmate
Using the 10mm bolt, mount the complete stand to your Workmate. You'll probably have to drill a hole to take it. Make sure before you mount it that the pedals can turn freely. Mount the skewer and adjust the botton bracket support to fit your bike.