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Project Information

Last summer I saw the wedge vises that Shipwright showed on the Lumberjocks site and really liked them. You can see these at http://lumberjocks.com/projects/70524. 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 http://www.popularwoodworking.com/workbenches/schwarz-workbenches/the-modern-milkmans-workbench and an updated article at http://www.popularwoodworking.com/workbenches/schwarz-workbenches/the-milkmans-workbench-in-use 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 http://www.popularwoodworking.com/article/milkmans-workbench-without-screws. 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.

Gallery

Comments

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5 Posts
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?
 

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1,833 Posts
Nice work, should serve you well.
 

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3,465 Posts
Nice rendition of the milkman's bench! These are great for using on those days where it's just perfect outside.
 

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4,477 Posts
Nice little bench!
Just make sure you dont drop anything while working near the edge :-(
 

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18,678 Posts
Excellent project.

Any idea why its called a "milkman's" bench
 

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7,448 Posts
A definite favorite, thanks for posting a great idea.
 

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

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2,876 Posts
Very nice!
 

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5,279 Posts
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.
 

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232 Posts
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.
 

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In Loving Memory
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8,391 Posts
Looks very handy and easy to use. Well done.
 

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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.
 

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582 Posts
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.
 

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5,996 Posts
Nice looking bench! I am sure it will get well used. Well done!
 

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That is excellent! I had not seen this before. Very useful and already passed it on to my list "to do". Thanks for posting it!
 

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Hey pinebox, This piece looks great. New member here but I've been looking at this project on and off for about a year now.
Can you explain how the long vice part works.

To me it looks like there are two shelves on the far ends of the inside of the vice that an elongated "T" shape board is resting on. Is that correct?
How are you wedging the small board? Is it just a block and a wedge?
I've stared at 395130.jpg for hours; really love your work
 
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