The Workbench – Finishing Touches

After the last post I was left with a mostly complete workbench and certainly use-able.  All that was left was to install the vises and a few other odds and ends.  I started with installing the shoulder vise, which was simple because I had already bored all the holes and installed the nut.  This is a Veritas Shoulder Vise screw and is a little long for my small vise opening, but bearable for the time being.  I may try to cut the screw length down eventually.

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The total opening capacity is about 4″, which is fine for probably 90% of what I typically clamp in there.  I can always use the large leg vise on the other bench if I have something bigger than that.  The chop is 1 1/2″ thick red oak and is maybe a little overkill.  I could probably thin that down to 1″ and get a little more opening capacity, but we’ll see how this works out for now.

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Up next was the tail vise.  I’ve never had a tail vise before and typically just use battens and planing stops, so I didn’t want to go all out with this.  The main thing that I wanted a tail vise for was fenced plane work (plow planes, rabbet planes, etc.), so I wanted something that could put the front row of dog holes as close as possible to the front of the bench.  The Veritas Inset Vise fit the bill nicely and was really simple to install.  I just had to bore out the cavity for the vise and drop it in.

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The front row of dog holes is about an inch and a half from the front of the bench and I made a simple little jig to help me bore them out and to make sure they were all in line.

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For the back row of dog holes I added 4 holes, spaced roughly 2x the reach of my Lie-Nielsen hold fasts apart.  The furthest left front and back dog holes are inline with each other.

Other little finishing touches were a tongue and groove pine bottom shelf:

workbench_bottom_shelf

An oak tool rack across the back, which is really handy.  I prefer a tool rack like this to a tool well, but that’s just personal preference:

workbench_tool_rack

And finally a cheap $9 Ikea work lamp.  The Tertial Ikea lamp comes with a screw type mounting base, but I just screwed it to a scrap piece and stuck a 3/4″ dowel on the underside so I can move it around in different dog holes.

workbench_work_lamp

It’s a great little lamp actually and reaches right across my smaller sized bench.

The only things left were to cut the top to length and do some final shaping of the shoulder vise.  I may add a light finish to the top, but as of right now I’m enjoying the raw look.  Have a look here for all the final pictures and the very first The Wireless Woodworker video!

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