First up in New Shop - the Bench Legs

  • Posted on: 23 October 2014
  • By: Jay Oyster

After moving our entire house (and my shop) during the last four months, I've finally got my shop set up well enough to be usable. So I pulled out the parts for the bench and started working on the legs. You can see that I'm finally taking the time to work out the dimensions for the Benchcrafted wagon vice. I'll figure out the leg vice later. I had the legs and vices stored under the planer, since it's about the only tool in the shop so far with the rolling base installed. Since the photos, I've pulled out the legs and dimensioned them for length and width.  I still need to fix the depth. The front two legs will be nearly square, but the back two will not be as deep. It's a simple and practical matter of the available stock. The front legs will be 5" x 4 7/8". the back legs will be 5" by 4".

After agonizing for a while, trying to figure out how to fit the wagon vice around the front leg of the bench, I finally noticed a line in the instructions that let me off the hook . . . "These instructions do not match the way that Chris Schwartz installed the vice on his famous workbench. HIs slot is moved toward the back of the bench by several inches so the vice and dogs will not interfere with the front leg." There you have it. It's allowed. The Schwartz has spoken. :-)

I'm still having some problems squaring up the legs. I think the move has jostled everything out of square and I only have a limited amount of time to get everything back into alignment. As it is, it took me almost two hours to get my table saw, outfeed table and side table to sit with coplanar tops. I'm also working quickly now to identify all of the parts for this bench. I hadn't chosen the particular pieces to serve as runners for the base until now. I knew I was moving and was trying to get the jewelry cabinet done first. THAT obviously didn't happen.

Up next, cutting the tenons on the legs, the tenon on the end of the bench, and the mortise in the endcap. I'm also going to do a full markup on the bottom of the benchtop for placement of the wagon vice.

Reworking bench dimensions and legs