My first big build, and what a journey it's been. Yet another workbench. #4: Fitting the vises and finishing up

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Blog entry by Lind posted 08-31-2015 11:04 PM 1305 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: The legs, the frame and a whole bunch of joinery Part 4 of My first big build, and what a journey it's been. Yet another workbench. series no next part

After a lot of planing and a lot of sanding I arrived at the above, and was ready to fit the vises. (By the way, the white spots are filler used to seal and fill som nasty planing marks where the grain switched direction… Next time I’m buying better wood.) I wanted a leg vise, but wasn’t decided on whether I was going to go with a standard parallel guide with a pin or if I wanted to try a pinless design. I haven’t used a lot of benches but the pin just didn’t seem practical to me, even though a lot of people on LJ seem to think it’s a non-issue. Despite that I decided to try a pinless design like the one this guy is using:

I took the bearings from a pair of old rollerscates and built the brackets. Both brackets are built to allow for adjustment, but i didn’t actually have to spend a lot of time adjusting it after the initial fit. It stays almost parallel (1 – 2mm difference between top and bottom) when locking pieces tight out to 10 inches, so I’m really not worried about it. My only concern is whether it will stand the abuse over time, but it can easily be converted to a allow for a pin if needed. For now, all it needs is a piece of leather on the leg and on the vise itself which should make it hold wood even tighter than it does now.

The tail vise was much more difficult, but the drawerslides that I decided to use for it turned out to be a lot more durable than I feared at one point. Again, only time will tell if it’s gonna last or not, but the worst case scenario is that I have to take it off and fit a benchcrafted tail vise instead. For now it seems durable enough, and it holds plenty tight.

And after drilling the dog holes, making the handles and applying a final coat of BLO all around, my first big build is finally finished:

It’s not perfect and I made a lot of mistakes along the way, but I can honestly say that this is one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done. It feels super sturdy and it looks better than I thought it would. It already has plenbty of dents and scratches from using it while finishing up, just like it should. I lost count at some point, but I must have spent 80+ hours on it, and I’ve enjoyed every minute.

I look forward to spend that time many times over improving my skills on the next projects.

Thanks for reading.

-- He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat

1 comment so far

View Andre's profile


3002 posts in 2410 days

#1 posted 09-02-2015 02:22 PM

Looks good, I am also in the middle of making a new bench and have had many of the same assembly issues!
Not in a big rush started a year ago collecting wood and vises, seems life always comes up with something to distract my progression for days, weeks at a time. Going to try and post a summary of the build if I ever get it completed?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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