3 Day Bench Build Blog #3: DAY 3: Final Assembly & Vise Install

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Blog entry by jcwalleye posted 06-02-2011 03:28 AM 7162 reads 6 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: The Top Takes Shape Part 3 of 3 Day Bench Build Blog series no next part

With the top done, set the leg assembly in position next to the face vise.

And the end vise slides to make sure everything still fits.

Square everything up and mark the spot where the hex bolts attach the top to the top rail.

I used the top rails as a jig to get the holes straight and drilled from the bottom toward the top to just where the brad point stuck through the top surface. This gave me a pilot for later drilling the counter bore in the top for the ½” bolts that attaches the top to the rop rails.

I used a slightly different setup for drilling the holes for the end caps. After drilling the end caps at the drill press, I clamped the cap in place and used it as a guide for drilling into the end of the bench. Then I used a jig that I don’t have a picture of to position the hole for the barrel (bench) nuts. Here I’m drilling for the 3/8” end cap barrel nuts.

End caps are bolted on with 3/8” hex bolt and barrel nut.

The Jorgensen vise was easy to install. Two screws in the face, and two lag screws into the bottom of the bench.

I plan to glue rawhide to the vise face.

And build a wooden chop, if that’s the right term, for the movable jaw. Because I didn’t mount the top of the Jorgensen jaws flush with the top of the bench, the Jorgensen dog block won’t work. But there are dog holes in the top of the chop,

The Benchcrafted vise was a little more involved.

The first step was to remove the piece of the dog laminate row that was only screwed in, and route a channel in the underside of the bench for the dog block traveler.

Next was to drill out the clearance hole in the end cap for the screw.

And the two mounting bolts, that provide the opposing force to the screw.

Accuracy is critical here to getting a smooth running vise. I calculated the dimensions and measured the spot first, then used the template to mark the same spot. The two were identical so I was confident it was right. Anybody needing to improve the accuracy of their layout may want to consider getting one of the Incra Precision T-Rules. With them, you can accurately mark lines to 1/64” precision.

Here is another important measure though for the life of me, can’t figure out what it was for.

The placement of the two slides is also critical. Here they are roughed in.

For the Benchcrafted hand wheel to not project above the top of the bench, the end cap needs to be at least 4” tall. For a bench-top that’s thinner than 4”, like mine at 3 & 3/16”, you need to shim the slides. Here I’m holding the slide in the position.

I used a 13/16” shim to match the end cap, and then cut a rabbit in it so the slides would be at the proper depth. This gave a cleaner feel to the bench, though wasn’t necessary. I could have just shimmed the slides. The wagon wheel vise is very smooth. I can give it a hard spin and it will spin up to 9 revolutions from it’s own momentum. When it comes in contact with something to clamp, you can barely turn it 1/8th revolution and everything is immobilized. There is no backlash. It is a high precision quality vise, albiet expensive.

Sand the bottom and seal with a couple coats of WATCO natural Danish oil.

Attach the base, flip it on the legs, sand it and two coats of WATCO.

And viola a new bench. In three days.

OK, maybe I didn’t build it in 3 days, more like 6 weeks, but at least I blogged it in 3 days.

-- Trees, a wonderful gift --Joe--

11 comments so far

View spamfilterman's profile


149 posts in 4072 days

#1 posted 06-02-2011 04:49 AM

very nice. looked like a lot of fun.

View scarpenter002's profile


619 posts in 4955 days

#2 posted 06-02-2011 09:38 AM

Very nice. Looks this bench will serve you well for many years.

-- Scott in Texas

View Brit's profile


8305 posts in 3893 days

#3 posted 06-02-2011 10:15 AM

This was a really enjoyable read. Thank you for taking the extra time to record the journey and share it with us. That bench will last you years.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View saddletramp's profile


1180 posts in 3688 days

#4 posted 06-02-2011 12:31 PM

200 years from now, someone will be buying that bench at an antique sale and thinking: “Boy am I ever lucky to be able to buy this bench from a time when people knew what craftmanship really was.”.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3854 days

#5 posted 06-02-2011 12:47 PM

100% awesome. I see many projects coming from this bench

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3916 days

#6 posted 06-02-2011 09:07 PM

That bench is really nice. I think that I will make it a favorite. Congratulations.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View jcwalleye's profile


306 posts in 4123 days

#7 posted 06-03-2011 02:56 AM

Thanks for all the nice comments.

-- Trees, a wonderful gift --Joe--

View DocK16's profile


1199 posts in 5137 days

#8 posted 11-12-2011 09:53 AM

Definitely will stand the test of time. And any other test

View BigD1's profile


79 posts in 4184 days

#9 posted 11-29-2011 09:46 PM

Wow!! Just finished your posting on the bench and shop. You are a craftsman for sure. What did you make your bench top out of. Looks like hardwood. I used Hard Country Maple. I think it will out last my life time. I put a saw cut into mine last week. Didn’t hurt like I thought it would. Oh well…no pain no gain!! I have a 22’x22’ shop. Not big enough. Need a 50’x100’ I tell my self. Will never see that….would be nice. You can find the plans for my box at Fine I bought the plans from them. The hinge is determined my the size and weight of the lid. Yes, the lid stays open at any point of opening. To get the lid to lay flat, you have to counter sink the hinge in the back piece of your box. Because it stays open in any position, it won’t go past flush, level, position. Just counter sink the hinge the thickness of the hinge. It works really well. I used 1x lumber. It was a joy to build. The lid is 48” long at it’s widest point. Hope this helps you out. BigD1

-- Donald Baty

View sawedoff's profile


155 posts in 3470 days

#10 posted 12-24-2011 09:39 PM

This is a really nice bench….. I am going to try to make one like this in a few weeks. Don’t know if I’m good enough to build the vises in. Super Nice Job!

-- still wet behind the ears.....

View Ken90712's profile


17984 posts in 4239 days

#11 posted 02-03-2012 05:53 PM

Great job on the blog I enjoyed reading them on your great bench! Well done.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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