In the June 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking there is an article by Chris Schwarz titled “The Milkman’s Workbench”. Chris approached me about possibly making one of these benches for someone in need and I gladly accepted.
After I started planning for the build in earnest I decided that I might as well build two of these at the same time. I had the maple on hand and I wouldn’t mind having one to take to shows or maybe sell at some point. I’ve had a few short slabs of 9/4 maple drying in the attic of my shop for about four years. I thought a few of these would be perfect for the benches so I brought four slabs down to the shop to acclimate for a bit. They were showing 10-11% moisture content. I’d like to have them drop to the 9-10% range before final dimensioning.
It’s mostly straight grained and there are a few large pieces that are quarter sawn. Those will be perfect for the bench top. As you can see this bench is fairly small which will make it very portable and easy to store.
I laid out the rough dimensions of the major pieces on two of the slabs and then took them to the band saw to start the rough milling.
I decided to make the second bench a little longer – after I had marked out the stock.
After jointing a face and an edge, and feeding it though the planer I stickered it to let it acclimate a bit before doing any more.
I’ll be back in a few days to finish dimensioning the large parts.