Milkman's Workbench in Maple

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Project by Lumberpunk posted 02-25-2014 05:34 PM 23340 views 26 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: 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.

-- If someone tells you you have enough tools and don't need any more, stop talking to them, you don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

11 comments so far

View Pete's profile


188 posts in 4733 days

#1 posted 02-25-2014 05:46 PM

”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


7683 posts in 4290 days

#2 posted 02-26-2014 12:37 AM

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.

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 2793 days

#3 posted 02-26-2014 04:29 AM

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!

-- -- Discover the most interesting woodworking blogs from around the world

View Ivan's profile


16407 posts in 3789 days

#4 posted 02-26-2014 06:10 AM

Some very useful ideas in your project.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Lumberpunk's profile


334 posts in 3259 days

#5 posted 02-26-2014 08:06 AM

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.

-- If someone tells you you have enough tools and don't need any more, stop talking to them, you don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

View patcollins's profile


1687 posts in 3787 days

#6 posted 02-26-2014 12:40 PM

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


17040 posts in 4256 days

#7 posted 02-26-2014 01:47 PM

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


32122 posts in 3789 days

#8 posted 02-26-2014 02:27 PM

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

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Net55's profile


78 posts in 2510 days

#9 posted 02-26-2014 02:38 PM

A fine addition to any shop. Well don Lsmart!

-- Bill, SW Florida

View oldretiredjim's profile


206 posts in 3307 days

#10 posted 02-26-2014 03:12 PM

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

View Mauricio's profile


7166 posts in 4073 days

#11 posted 02-26-2014 03:54 PM

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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