Portable (Milkmans) Workbench Version II

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.

Woods: maple spalted oak

Tags: workbench

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4 Comments

Thorreain ...

Very nice portable solution. You have some great skills. It’s great to see that you build things other than chairs, but they are my favourites. Thanks for sharing the story and wonderful pics.

Shin ...

Very interesting, and nice, too. Looks like it works great.

Jeff Vandenberg ...

Great solution. I dont have the Beall but wooden hand screw style with a blade inside. I got mine through Grizzly. Now I’m very sure that your threads are cut very clean. Mine get some tearout but not bad as you think. Great work!

a1jim ...

Very useful nice build.

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Portable (Milkmans) Workbench Version II