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travelbenchI’m in Fort Collins, Colo., for an in-house conference where editors and community leaders in all areas of our parent company, F+W Media, are getting together to share ideas, talk about the business etc.

And last night, we had a trade show so that each of us could demonstrate to our fellow employees what we do. So I of course brought an array of books and DVDs, Kevin Ireland made a Power Point presentation about the Woodworking in America conference, online education, etc.

But I also brought “The Milkman’s Workbench” – the travel bench about which Christopher Schwarz writes in the June 2013 issue, along with a chisel, a dovetail saw and some Band-Aids. I’m glad I didn’t need the last item on that list, because I was giving brief sawing and chopping instruction to our division presidents, area directors, etc. It wouldn’t do to be the cause of bloodshed. Most folks took to it remarkable well, for never having held a saw before – and clearly, chopping was a lot a fun for those who tried it (hitting things is, after all, a great stress reliever).

But what impressed me most – beyond my division president’s innate exemplary tool-wielding skills (yes, that’s in case she reads this) – was how well the little travel bench performed, in seriously less-than-ideal conditions. It was clamped to a tablecloth-draped folding table. And while the table moved a bit under sawing pressure, the bench held firm.

I suppose I’ll have to return this one to Chris. And borrow his threading kit. I gotta make one of these benches. (And I also have to make one bench dog before I return the bench to its owner…sorry ’bout that, Chris. You know how executives can get out of hand…)

— Megan Fitzpatrick

p.s. Every time I tried to take a picture, I got caught. There is no occular proof. But there are witnesses.

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Showing 7 comments

    I’m one of those procrastinating folks who is always looking for plans and the “little bit better design”. I believe I have found that in two current projects. Has anyone considered a fixture for the Dutch tool box that would allow it to carry the Milkman’s Workbench?

  • nannyone

    Hello Megan. I dearly want to build this little beauty………where are the plans????? I have VERY limited space in my shop and I am also in need of some sort of clamping device so please help out a new woodworker and tell me where to get the plans. Best regards.

  • Bryan Robinson

    Who left the dog out???

  • David Randall

    Chris’s blog entry with Jonas Jensen’s dimensions and pictures led me to build one of these benches. I used steel screws instead of wood ones and mounted Jorgensen Hold Downs upside-down to clamp it. This bench is amazingly useful! I didn’t like the wobble element of clamping it to tables, so have just finished building a knock-down base for it. I took photographs during the process, and as soon as I finish the bed I’m building for next weekend’s visitor, I’ll start writing about it.

  • Steve_OH

    That’s why I used bubinga for the bench dogs on the one that I built. It’s hard to beat bubinga for strength and toughness.


  • renaissanceww

    I think Chris would be more upset if you came back from Ft Collins without some samples of the excellent micro-brews available in the immediate area.

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Evan's sideboard from the NBSS program