Milkman's Workbench with Wedge Vises

  • Advertise with us
Project by pinebox posted 05-15-2013 09:43 AM 17295 views 53 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Last summer I saw the wedge vises that Shipwright showed on the Lumberjocks site and really liked them. You can see these at Shipwright has a nice little video on how they work and a Sketchup drawing showing the details.

Later I saw the “milkman’s workbench” in an article by Chris Scwarz and immediately liked it too although I didn’t know what I would do with one. You can see the original article at and an updated article at which includes a video of it in use.

Why not combine the two? I didn’t want to spend the time to make the wooden screws anyway. Of course as I was typing this up I found that Ilkka Sivonen of Finland had already done something similar. You can see his version at Sivonen’s version is really nice but he used big wedges whereas mine uses small ones like Shipwright’s to allow a plane to get at the project easier.

So here is my version, warts and all. I tried it out on the deck and really liked it. It works better than expected. The front vise has a removable spacer which is just a super-wide version of the spacers in Shipwright’s vise. The bench is made of pallet wood and I haven’t cleaned it up yet but you can look at the different versions for ideas to make your own.

It’s a fun project. A view of the trees sure beats a windowless basement when the weather is nice.

19 comments so far

View dragonnotes's profile


72 posts in 2965 days

#1 posted 05-15-2013 10:40 AM

Wow, just checked out your videos. You are the real deal. If i can even make some of the joints required in this piece, I would love to make one for working outside as well. Thanks for sharing. After looking at this a bit. There is so much to it I am intimidated. :) Where do you start?

View Ken90712's profile


17553 posts in 3122 days

#2 posted 05-15-2013 10:49 AM

Nice work, should serve you well.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2884 days

#3 posted 05-15-2013 12:20 PM

Nice rendition of the milkman’s bench! These are great for using on those days where it’s just perfect outside.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View helluvawreck's profile


30502 posts in 2800 days

#4 posted 05-15-2013 12:24 PM

That’s a wonderful design and it looks like it would be a joy to use. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View JoeinGa's profile


7733 posts in 1940 days

#5 posted 05-15-2013 12:34 PM

Nice little bench!
Just make sure you dont drop anything while working near the edge :-(

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Don W's profile

Don W

18662 posts in 2501 days

#6 posted 05-15-2013 01:10 PM

Excellent project.

Any idea why its called a “milkman’s” bench

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View waho6o9's profile


8130 posts in 2510 days

#7 posted 05-15-2013 01:38 PM

A definite favorite, thanks for posting a great idea.

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2884 days

#8 posted 05-15-2013 01:41 PM

Don, it’s called that because Chris Schwarz saw one of these that was owned by a milkman.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Airframer's profile


3043 posts in 1886 days

#9 posted 05-15-2013 02:04 PM

Very nice!

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

View shipwright's profile (online now)


7937 posts in 2731 days

#10 posted 05-15-2013 03:10 PM

Good one.
I like it and it’s nice to see someone else using the wedge idea.
I’ve been using my bench a lot and am still impressed with how well they work.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Dakkar's profile


323 posts in 1860 days

#11 posted 05-15-2013 03:29 PM

The wedge vise idea certainly is interesting. You seem to have found a sturdy base to clamp it to, as well, but I don’t think that would work for me. I’d be spending half my time jumping over the rail and chasing things that roll down the hill.

View stefang's profile


15878 posts in 3267 days

#12 posted 05-15-2013 04:48 PM

Looks very handy and easy to use. Well done.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View pinebox's profile


33 posts in 1901 days

#13 posted 05-15-2013 04:49 PM

The main problems with this bench are parts falling off when it is clamped to a railing and storage of all the little wedges and spacers. I’ve got the beginnings of an idea of creating a drawer on the bottom of the bench that would extend and work as a tray to catch rolling parts when the bench was in use and then slide in and act as a storage compartment for the loose parts when not in use. If I make another one, I would try to work out the bench dog spacing better too.

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2472 days

#14 posted 05-15-2013 07:14 PM

Bravo! Looks like a great idea. I’d like to figure out a good way to make a tote that transforms into a mini bench/vise.

-- I never finish anyth

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2123 days

#15 posted 05-15-2013 09:40 PM

very nice,great build.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

showing 1 through 15 of 19 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics