This bench was based on Paul’s design from Working Wood 1 & 2 book.
Throughout this project I received valuable direct help by many forum members here, as well as help indirectly via researching other’s questions and answers in the forums: thanks to you all.
In all its ugly splendor, it’s finally “done.” I used the vise today and it feels great to finally be using a bench, albeit one not perfectly crafted.
A quick summary of challenges encountered (& some overcome):
– big gaps in leg mortises (used L-brackets to reinforce)
– Legs not same height (did not discover this until leg assemblies were completed and attached to aprons. Sawed 1/4″ 4×4 discs and glued to bottom of shortest legs. Helps somewhat but difficult problem to solve – avoid if at all possible).
– When installing vise, my 12V drill was not powerful enough to drive the 5/16 lag screws into the benchtop. I borrowed a 18v drill / driver hoping the extra power would be enough. It worked wonderfully to drive the lag screws into the benchtop, but when I drove smaller lag screws (1/4″) into the apron to fix the vise face there, i broke off the head of one of the screws. So I tried to over-engineer the wood buffers on the vise face, so that it applies inward force on the vise face. .I also plan to install a supporting L-bracket under the right bottom corner of the vise to help compensate.
I’m sure I left out a few more mistakes – I only list them here in case others read and can avoid these in their bench builds.