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MilkChocolate Workbench

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Project by eTodd posted 07-05-2015 04:14 PM 5967 views 20 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Like many readers of Popular Woodworking and Christopher Schwarz’s hand tool articles, I was enamored of the Milkman’s Workbench (June 2013, #204). I had been looking for a portable woodworking bench that I could take with me on vacation (the only down-side of going someplace for vacation is that I am not in my shop). I was given a pile of ill-dried walnut (plenty of wave and twist) that was kind of difficult to make any furniture out of, so I thought I would try a modified version to see how I liked it. In honor of the the source of my inspiration and the walnut used for construction, I call my version the “MilkChocolate Workbench”.

There were a few details in the original (like the cross grain gluing of the outer frame to the rear bench) and the non-serviceable wagon vise that I did not like, and I thought I might size it to fit the work-pieces I had in mind. The overall size ended up being 36” long by 9-1/4” wide by 2-1/4” thick. I can fit a 30” work-piece between the bench dogs, a 24” wide panel in the front vice, and the wagon vise can clamp work pieces up to 4”x5.5”.

Basic construction is rails stretching the entire length to form the front and back. Three cross pieces, pegged into the front and back rails, are used to define the front vise/bench rectangle and the wagon vise rectangle. The bench slab is glued to the back rail and is allowed to expand or contract on dados cut in two of the cross pieces, alleviating one of my concerns. The wagon vise is made serviceable by removable cleats on the bottom that are held in by screws. Other than walnut, pegs are oak, and the dowels used for the threaded rod are of maple (stained dark), and leather pads are glued to all clamping mechanisms.

I gave this one to my youngest son for Christmas while I build my version of a Moxon vise, and explore the possibilities of a modified version of Chad Stanton’s portable work/saw bench combo.

-- eTodd





9 comments so far

View stefang's profile

stefang

15952 posts in 3483 days


#1 posted 07-05-2015 04:37 PM

You did a very good job on this. The walnut looks great too. I can relate to your wanting a bench to take on vacation. I usually take vacations at my son’s house in Sweden and I have equipped a nice shop in his basement with extra tools from home.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

5619 posts in 2815 days


#2 posted 07-05-2015 05:03 PM

Well thought out little workbench and the modifications you made make sense .
So nice looking that is almost a shame to use it .

Klaus

-- Kiefer https://www.youtube.com/user/woodkiefer1/videos

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8434 posts in 2725 days


#3 posted 07-05-2015 09:00 PM

Clean work eTodd, mighty fine!

View DanielS's profile

DanielS

123 posts in 2085 days


#4 posted 07-06-2015 01:05 AM

Beautiful work.

-- Daniel S

View lepelerin's profile

lepelerin

495 posts in 2473 days


#5 posted 07-06-2015 06:15 AM

nice work

View lumberboss's profile

lumberboss

27 posts in 1240 days


#6 posted 07-06-2015 02:58 PM

Great Job And of Course Very Functional!!!

View tomakazi's profile

tomakazi

686 posts in 3431 days


#7 posted 07-10-2015 02:24 AM

I could sure use one of these, Great job!!

-- I didn't go to college, I was too busy learning stuff - Ted Nugent

View metolius's profile

metolius

52 posts in 879 days


#8 posted 04-10-2018 08:24 PM

I am looking into putting the milkman project on my list of things to do and am compelled to comment here a couple years after the fact that I think the modifications introduced here are fantastic.

Particularly, pegging the cross piece from the front to back rail, bridling all four corners, and managing expansion internally with the platform only glued on the back rail.

Great work!

View metolius's profile

metolius

52 posts in 879 days


#9 posted 04-10-2018 09:44 PM



I am looking into putting the milkman project on my list of things to do and am compelled to comment here a couple years after the fact that I think the modifications introduced here are fantastic.

Particularly, pegging the cross piece from the front to back rail, bridling all four corners, and managing expansion internally with the platform only glued on the back rail.

Great work!

- metolius

Plus ++ centering the dog hole on the wagon vise … – Cheers !

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