After making several portable workbenches for our plane making classes for use by students, we have received numerous requests for the complete bench by customers. In response to these requests, we have added them to our product line. Dubbed the “milkman’s workbench” by Chris Schwarz in his Popular Woodworking article in June 2013, this tabletop bench is designed to clamp to any solid surface and is equipped with a full range of clamping options in a compact footprint. Here are the details:
- Overall dimensions of the bench less the screws are 30″ long, 7 3/8″ wide, and 1 5/8″ thick.
- The bench is built of European beech, including the screws.
- Clamping capacity: Wagon vice between dogs is 23 1/2″, Moxon style front vice 19 1/2″ wide x 1 7/8″ deep.
- Jaw liner applied to wagon vice jaws and back of Moxon vice.
- Screws are 1 1/2″ octagonal grips and are threaded at 1 1/4″ diameter with 5 threads per inch. The wagon vice has a wood garter underneath so the vice jaw travels with the screw.
- Two front screws can be positioned in any of the four tapped holes in the front apron.
- Steel angle iron brackets are mounted to the end and back for mounting to the work surface with “F” style clamps.
- Bench dogs are 3/4″ diameter and made of hickory. They have ball detents to secure them in the holes. Two will be included. More details below.
- The front corners are pegged bridle joints, and there is a lag screw through the front rail into the bench for strength to resist clamping forces of the front vice.
- Two coats of oil-varnish finish will be applied. Screws will be waxed.
- An extra piece of jaw liner is provided for those who wish to add it to the dog faces.
One change we made was to replace the square dogs with 3/4″ round dogs. The square dogs are somewhat delicate and subject to compression failure on the front faces. The larger dogs are more robust and the round holes will add the versatility of various woodworking accessories in the market. These dogs are made of hickory, and have flat clamping faces that are slightly angled to give good grip at the top. They feature a ball detent to hold them in place at any setting desired. While the video above states them being made by a third party vendor, they are now made in house.