After working on my workbench for a little while now, I’ve decided that there are things I would change for my type of work. #1 thing is the height. i went with the 34” based on Christopher Schwartz recommendation and I find myself bending over way too much even in hand tool working and planing. I personally think for my 6’ height, a 38” bench would have suited me better. I’m going to revise my current bench by adding flip type blocks to the bottom to bring it higher up. I just find that a higher workbench would have been more beneficial, similar to Paul Seller’s bench.
#2: I would have made it wider with possibly a tool well. I find that 20” in quite narrow and 24” might be ideal.
#3: The twin screw vise that i had in there originally, I changed out to a quick release cast iron vise which I’m glad I did. I prefer to work on that much better. But my ideal setup I think would be a wide twin screw that utilitizes 1 handle, like the veritas system. I like my cast iron vise a lot, but I’m thinking for wider panels, it’s might suck, but nothing a pipe clamp can’t fix.
#4: The last thing I would change would be to add a covered tool storage on the bottom. Right now it’s just plywood and I set most of most used tools on that rack, but the tools get covered with dust right now.
#5: lastly, I would change the end vise to a wagon vise. Better for planing wider boards because it allows to whole board to set on the bench while working as opposed to the cast iron vise I have no which leaves part of the board hanging off which can cause it bend while planing slightly.
With all that being said, I think a new bench might be a good winter project right after Christmas incorporating these changes.
-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One, www.qualitycarpetonecrofton.com