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Milkman's Workbench in Maple

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Project by Lumberpunk posted 153 days ago 2806 views 22 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My Version of the Milkman’s workbench.

I was looking for some sort of bench but my basement shop is already crammed to the gills, so when I stumbled across this post: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/89903 I was inspired to make my own version.

The bench measures 30”x16” and is made from 8/4 maple offcuts from a big cutting table I made for a friends clothing design business.

The tail vise end is a big ol’ dovetail (my first) cut on the bandsaw and cleaned up with planes and chisels. The far end is mortise and tenoned, you can see the purpleheart plug where I cut a mortise on the wrong side. Pbbt!

The main clamping block has biscuits attaching it to the frame to aid with alignment during glue up and the little support block next to the twin screw vise has dowels for the same reason.

The vise screws are made from what ever kind of 1/2 inch ready rod they had at the hardware store in my very small town with nuts mortised into the frame and glued with epoxy. I also epoxied a nut to the end of the screw and trapped it inside the chop with a 1/8th piece of purpleheart so the vise would return when unscrewed. However I am now wishing I had left the twin screw chop free on the ends so I could take it out and replace it with two chops to make three vises or make custom chops to hold different shapes. I may dig out the purpleheart plates one day to make this possible.

I had a piece of 7/8th birch dowel I made lying around so I drilled all my dog holes at 7/8ths but realized after that this cut me off from all the 3/4” accessories available out in the world. Might have to get some brass bushings to make fitting some other stuff possible down the line.

As all the wood was offcuts I think my total cost was about $12 for the ready rod and nuts and I still have a few good lengths of rod left.

Finished with two coats of BLO.

A great project to build, a good learning experience and super effective as a bench for smaller projects. It has already seen a lot of use and puts a big grin on my face.





11 comments so far

View airfieldman's profile

airfieldman

177 posts in 2412 days


#1 posted 153 days ago

”you can see the purpleheart plug where I cut a mortise on the wrong side. Pbbt!”

I always appreciate when others self identify their mistakes. It makes me realize that I’m not the only one on here that makes them.
I would never have thought of making a small bench like that. I have nothing as for vises (well, other than swearing and boozing…ha!). Perhaps this is my way in before I tackle my first real workbench. Thanks for sharing!

-- Measure with a micrometer, mark with a crayon, cut it with a chainsaw.

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3621 posts in 1969 days


#2 posted 152 days ago

That is one beautiful concept ... even if you have a full shop this allows you to move some part of a project out of the way!
My uncle, he passed away late last year, would have really liked this as his shop was 1/2 of a card table in size and his only power tool was a light bulb. His speciality was bird houses and he made some outrageous ones for friends in Germany.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View siavosh's profile

siavosh

257 posts in 472 days


#3 posted 152 days ago

Very nice, right now I’m struggling/enjoying trying to figure out the best apartment workspace contraptions I can come up with too. It’s a fun process, and it looks like you found your solution!

-- http://woodspotting.com/ -- Discover and follow 100's of woodworking blogs

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

3261 posts in 1469 days


#4 posted 152 days ago

Some very useful ideas in your project.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Lumberpunk's profile

Lumberpunk

186 posts in 938 days


#5 posted 152 days ago

Ha! Most of my mistakes come from moving to fast. This is an awesome solution (with limitations) to many of my wood working problems. AT some point I will build a shop here and then I will have a full sized bench (which I still dream of) but for now this little baby bench is serving me well.

View patcollins's profile

patcollins

964 posts in 1466 days


#6 posted 152 days ago

Maybe I don’t understand the finer points of being a milkman, but what the heck does a milkman need a work bench for?

View stefang's profile

stefang

12588 posts in 1935 days


#7 posted 152 days ago

Very nice bench and a great solution for almost anyone, especially with the variations that can be incorporated into the design. Well done!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15431 posts in 1468 days


#8 posted 152 days ago

That’s an unusual design and will be a great addition to the shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- 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 Net55's profile

Net55

78 posts in 189 days


#9 posted 152 days ago

A fine addition to any shop. Well don Lsmart!

-- Bill, SW Florida

View oldretiredjim's profile

oldretiredjim

178 posts in 986 days


#10 posted 152 days ago

Really nice and adds flexibility to the shop. Thanks for sharing.

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6749 posts in 1753 days


#11 posted 152 days ago

Thats very cool. Great idea to use modern hardware.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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