Can't say how useful the fence would be as the bench is still unused. Fidgeon suggests it is a nice tweak when crosscutting. It attaches with a couple dowells and pops out if in the way. I doubt it added 15 minutes to the build, so why not? At the worst it's like "sports" mode on a car. You might not need it but it's cool to know it's there.
Beautiful. Obviously you know some things about finishing. The hardware attached is also very interesting. Could you give us more information about both? This is a piece of furniture. I think it would be perfect in the entryway to sit on to take off your boots … between bouts of sawing in the shop … if you ever had the nerve to take a saw anywhere near it … and the hardware on the top didn't interfere with Aunt Mazie's "comfort" level.
Good lookin' bench, but you're gonna cry when you nick it! I agree with Smitty though, the fence seems in the way. I bored a series of dog holes down the length of mine, but have yet to use them! I just take a knee and saw away. May I assume your shop is unplugged?
The hardware shown are veritas surface clamps. Basically complicated holdfasts. I like them because holdfasts seem to me like witchcraft. The finish is just BLO. the wood was part of a project I was working on while still in Indonesia. I never finished it but after checking prices realized it would be cheaper to ship my teak to Colorado than to buy new in the States.
A quick note to any passing through here. Now that it's seen some use, I can confirm that the (removable) fence is a good addition. It is rarely in the way, easily taken out, and handy when crosscutting.