I do not have a proper workbench at the cottage. There is a flimsy work table in the garage with no work holding capability. It would also be nice to be able to work outside and enjoy the view of the lake.
I first saw the Milkman’s Workbench in the June 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking magazine. I knew it would be a great little bench to have at the cottage. It easily attaches to a table top, or even a picnic table allowing me to work outside.
Last year, I made my first version out of leftover maple hardwood flooring: following the plans and dimensions outlined in the article. It worked great.
I still had some maple hardwood flooring around so I decided to make a larger version, for use this summer. The vice block is made from oak. I found some spalted mystery wood in my wood pile that I used for the knobs. The 1 1/4 inch diameter vice screws were made using the Beall wood threading tool. Instead of square dogs I went with 3/4” diameter dogs so that I could use my holdfasts.
It is a very handy little workbench with a great end vice and very useful face vice. I even use at home in my workshop. My small workbench in my shop does not have a face vice, so I use the portable bench when cutting dovetails.
The first bench measures 30” x 7 1/4” x 1 1/2”. The new version measures 36” x 9 1/2” x 2 3/4”. The face vice can handle wood up to 24” long and 3” wide. The end vice has a length capacity of 29.5”. I wanted it to be longer but because of a cutting mistake, oops, I lost about 1.5” in length.)
The bench is finished with some wipe on poly.