a 21st century bench with engineered wood #13: top slab completion

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by metolius posted 04-05-2021 12:41 AM 727 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: installing a V-Twin Part 13 of a 21st century bench with engineered wood series Part 14: tool trays »

Step of completion for the top
1 – tail vise install
2 – plane stop install
2 – alignment and bolting down
3 – final oiling

The tail vise is a rockler 9 inch vise. I described the initial fitting in an earlier blog entry in this series. I delayed installing it until the V-twin vise was installed and fitted because this vise is heavy and I needed to move the top around a bit for for fitting the V-twin.

Its held by 4×3/8 carriage bolts through the top and a 3/8 lag screw in the front, with the iron flush with the end of the bench.

I prepared front and rear chops from a slab of hickory and lined them with black leather.
The rear chop is held by 3x #10 stainless screws. To locate the the screw holes in the vise, I inserted dowel center finders into the holes, put the chop in position, and then pressed them in by closing the vise

( screws are not driven home in this picture : )

My intent was that the back bench top slab would align along the line of the rear chop, but I found this was not possible.

Somewhere, I had miss measured when attaching hold down shims on the under side and these were stopping it from getting into the correct position.

It was about an 1/8” or so off, so I flipped it over and trimmed off 3/8”.

This was better.

My next alignment problem was that the two bench top slabs need to be perfectly parallel with each other so that trays may rest between them and be free to slide from one end of the bench to the other. Additionally, the bench top needs to be flush with the outside of the legs to support vertical clamping. I seemed to be about a 1/16th plus a touch off from something I did somewhere. It was hard to determine exactly where it happened. Maybe when I tied down the front slab for the V-twin… any whoo … all else is fixed in space and gotta make it fit.

a 1/32 taper here

a 1/32 taper there ( a #10 1/2 with a slight lateral skew adjustment is handy to get into the corners )

and all is good

After tie-ing the bench top down with a few carriage bolts, I pulled a veritas plane stop out of a drawer where its been sitting for a long time waiting for a home. Its an oddly shaped thing. I thought it might be a risky chore to get the right mortise fit for it but it ended up being not much more then a chip carving exercise.

With the two bench tops in their final space, I tuned up their inter-leveling and flatness.

Touch up planing messed with the finish already applied, so the finish has had to restart. After its first coat of oil …

... a few more to go.

Next step is to build some trays for it and accessorize. I’ve no conclusion of what the trays will be made of, how they will look, or how they will be made. For now and until I have a solid idea, I expect I will rip a simple board to sit on the shelf supports to fill in the space.

-- derek / oregon

2 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile


10810 posts in 3764 days

#1 posted 04-05-2021 12:59 AM

That looks amazing! There is much to be admired in your design. I can’t wait to begin my bench later this spring.

View metolius's profile


432 posts in 2229 days

#2 posted 04-05-2021 04:13 PM

Thank you ! – and good luck !

I think this bench will do most of what I have been wanting from it.

~correction~ I cited the rockler vise as a 9 inch → its a 7 inch

-- derek / oregon

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics