Workbench #6: Skirts & Vises

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Blog entry by twobyfour16 posted 09-05-2012 02:00 AM 4602 reads 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Trestle Base Complete Part 6 of Workbench series no next part

So, the top needed skirts, obviously, so time to laminate again. This time, I used 3 pieces of 1×8 black walnut. This gave me a skirt that is 2 1/4” thick, and 6 3/4” wide – after cleaning up the edges. I glued up enough blanks for the front skirt, two end skirts, and chops for both vises.

I did not get very many pictures of this process, as I had plenty of lamination pics earlier….
I will say that these skirts were BEEFY! And heavy.

So, now I had to figure out the joinery on the end skirts to the front skirt. I am not proficient on dovetailing (and I was freaked out about the possibility of ruining the skirts), so I just planned on joining them with a tongue and groove. But first, I needed to think about the vises. I had a twin screw Veritas for the end, and a Lee Valley single screw for the face. I simply followed the instructions to the tee & drilled all of the necessary holes for the front vise.

I flipped the top over and installed the vise carriage per the instructions. I had to put a spacer under the carriage to achieve the depth I wanted. Worked out great.

Time for the end vise. I’ll spare you the details, as the subject of installing this twin screw vise have been covered a million times here. However, I will confirm the importance of following the instructions to the tee. Read them carefully, pay attention, and don’t get ahead of yourself.

I routed the back of the end skirt to accept the vise nuts, and routed a channel in the bottom of the benchtop, which I (for some reason) assumed I would need to make the screws clear the bottom of the benchtop. I was wrong, but it was too late.
Drilled the holes for the screws, the barrel bolts, and the guide pins. All in all, it went well.

Regarding attaching the end skirts to the top. The Veritas twin screw came with 4 barrel bolts. I decided to use two on each end skirt. I drilled the holes right through the “tongue” that mated with the slots in the skirts. I drilled the holes in the skirts on the drill press first, set them temporarily on the benchtop, and drilled the holes through the tongue, into the top & hoped everything was square. Now, how to drill the hole in the bottom of the bench for the barrel nut & have it land in the right spot. Per the instructions that came with the Twin Screw, I build a little jig. Worked VERY well.

Tested the fit of the face vise – worked perfectly first time (beginner’s luck)

Played around (a lot) with the twin screws and got ready to glue the skirts to the top…

Next time – gluing the skirts & fine tuning the vises. Thanks for looking….

-- Allan, Portland, OR

3 comments so far

View lysdexic's profile


5291 posts in 3107 days

#1 posted 09-05-2012 02:20 AM

Looks great Allan. I had wondered what ever happen with this bench build. Are these pics current or are you getting caught up with the blog?

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

View twobyfour16's profile


69 posts in 3969 days

#2 posted 01-03-2014 06:05 PM

Lysdexic – Sorry for not finishing the blog. To answer your question, the bench is completely finished. I will work on getting some pictures & finishing up the blog. Thanks for the interest!
(by the way, I can’t believe I didn’t build a big heavy bench with a good vise earlier! – I use it all the time & love it)

-- Allan, Portland, OR

View lysdexic's profile


5291 posts in 3107 days

#3 posted 01-04-2014 04:21 AM

No worries. I’ll just stay here and refresh the page until the pictures are up :^)

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

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