I discovered woodworking during a frenzy on decorating our house. It occurred to me when wanting an old fashioned flat file that I could build one myself if I really put my mind to it. Before you ask, no I have not yet built the flat file of my dreams because in was sidetracked on building what I am told to be the most essential tool in a wood shop. The Workbench.
My extensive research on workbenches and bench vices mostly made me doubt what I was building or wanting to build and then change up the design again.
In the design process, I first was going to make my own twin vice with nothing but hardware and tools from the big box store (Home depot). Then I stumbled upon The new benchcrafted Wagon Vice and Leg Vice and I was inspired to create my own version (couldn't justify the $300-$400 on purchasing one ready made. Not in this economy and in the development of my husbands new business).
So, instead I purchased two large tail vice screws from lee valley (only $39!) and set off to design my own cheaper version. And I must say, the different "slides" and metal hardware that is available out there is incredible, but ultimately I decided on a cheap $20 metal slide hardware that I am told was used on boats :) This was purchased off of Ebay :) my favorite store.
So, after about 3 months of heavy work (i never did have arm muscles before....now I do) and deciding to go the hand planing and mostly hand sawing rout with the exception of the occasional use of power tools to cut accurately, I have just about finished the 3.5" thick workbench top, routed the cavity for the wagon vise, put together the lee valley tail screw with the metal slides from eBay and viola! A custom made wagon vise for under $60! And it works like a charm.
The workbench base is also a work in progress because I made the base before the workbench top and now the base is too big! So I will have to find a work around to that problem