I designed in a lot of methods to hold work securely, and almost every time I work on the bench I learn another trick or two. The ability to remove the tool trays in the center of the bench has proven more useful than I thought and I can quickly secure my work to the top or front of the bench using hold-downs, holdfasts or clamps. The only annoying issue that has come up is a bit of shrinkage in the top and legs. The dog holes are now slightly small, and the brass bench dogs started sticking when the heat came on this fall. Mike Wenzloff shared a cool trick with me, and the dogs are now a bit smaller.
One area of concern among readers is the mounting of the blocks that hold the screws for the Veritas twin-screw vise. These blocks are more than two-inches thick and are simply glued to the bottom of the bench top. The concern is that the pressure exerted by the vise will break the glue joint. As the project neared completion, Chris Schwarz expressed this same notion to me, and suggested that I bolt the two pieces of wood together. I’m convinced it will be OK, the edges were well prepared, the joint was clamped overnight and it was about a week before the vise was mounted. My thinking is that the joint is as strong as the wood itself, and I wouldn’t be concerned about the vise splitting a piece of solid wood the same size.
So far, so good, and if the blocks ever do fail, I will bolt them back on and take the boss out to lunch, while I eat some crow pad thai. If you missed the original article, you can buy the back issue, or find it on the new 2008 back issue CD. There is also a short video about using the bench here. And last but not least, there is a 60-minute long DVD that follows the construction of the bench. On the DVD are a PDF version of the original article, a set of detailed construction drawings, and a copy of the SketchUp model. You can get the DVD by clicking here and if you have any questions or comments, you can leave a comment here on the blog, or you can reach me by E-mail.