The next project was supposed to be a wardrobe, but the wardrobe’s user was so uncertain about her needs in a wardrobe that I decided to make a workbench instead. This project was enabled by a friend with a powered jointer. I used the Benchcrafted hardware, the Glide leg vise and the tail vise. And I mostly followed the plans that Benchcrafted supplies. I finished this project in late 2011, and then built a wall rack for my tools. I’m pretty sure that if I had a tool chest, my tools would just always be sitting on the bench top.
The old workbench was a built-in structure that was nailed to the wall and was very sturdy, but it presented workholding challenges, particularly with securing things to the top for planing. I would use the Veritas wonder-dog, but it was not great. It would spin in the hole and release the work, especially when planing across the grain.
And the new bench:
Here is a shot showing the glide leg vise in operation. The pin keeps the vise chop parallel when holding workpieces of different thicknesses. The wheel rollers take the weight off the screw so the vise glides in and out easily. I took the screw handle off the wheel because it seemed unnecessary and I kept bumping into it.
The tail vise has been fantastic, and I’ve really been enjoying it as I have worked on my next project. It is so easy to hold things in place on the bench top that I do it when I’m marking with a gauge, or for other operations where before it was just too much trouble and I would hold the work in one hand while using a tool in the other.
I made the dogs out of hickory dowel, which I unfortunately had to shave down so it would fit in the holes as the dowel was slightly oversized. Fitting with a ball catch the dogs work well and I have a dog in every hole in the bench, so I’m never hunting around for the dogs.
Here’s a picture showing the tools on the wall. I sure got a lot more on there than I did on the peg board: