An Inexpensive Workbench #2: Mounting the top and vise

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Blog entry by Rob posted 01-17-2009 06:45 AM 6829 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: base complete & hand planing the top Part 2 of An Inexpensive Workbench series Part 3: Dogs, Holes, and New Jaws »

My bench costs rose slightly today. I bought some lag bolts to attach the top to the base. $3.50. Let’s see, about 60 in wood, 65 for the vise, a bottle of glue; I figure I’m close to $135 into this so far. I still have to get some hardwood jaws for the vise but I’m pretty sure I’ll keep total cost under 150. Here’s a pic with the top attached …
After flattening the top I went ahead and attached the vise. I found the instructions kind of complicated so I’m using scrap wood from the bench for the jaws temporarilly. Now that I’ve got the hang of it I’ll move on to hardwood. Oh, by the way, I glad I picked up a transfer punch set recently; I found it pretty indispensible today in mounting the top and vise. So here it is with the vise in place …
So that’s it for today. I cleaned up the shop after and check out this pile of shavings!
I guess the next step will be adding dog holes and getting proper jaws. Thanks for stopping by!

8 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3645 days

#1 posted 01-17-2009 06:54 AM

nicely done!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View BarryW's profile


1015 posts in 3903 days

#2 posted 01-17-2009 11:36 AM

Shavings…the pillow of the wood gods.

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3818 days

#3 posted 01-17-2009 01:35 PM

This is going to be a nice bench, especially given the “investment” that you are putting into it.

Well done.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View dsb1829's profile


367 posts in 3624 days

#4 posted 01-17-2009 05:12 PM

Not too shabby there Rob. Looks like it is coming together well. Two good points: vises are a bit nerve wracking and transfer punches are a fantastic tool to have around. I got my transfer set at HF, for what they are used for that level of quality has proven fine.

On the vise front, don’t get too wrapped up in perfection. I found that the hardware itself is imperfect. Not only that, but the wood is going to move some seasonally. Just remember that form should follow function. So long as it securely holds the wood you are in like Flynn.

That pile on the floor is great. You should really look into dust collection :-)
I prefer dust pan for these types. Better yet is to train any small mammals you have around to do the task for you. Preferably one that is properly aged (my 3yr old just makes a bigger mess, but the 7yr old is fairly good at clean-up)

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

View ShannonRogers's profile


540 posts in 3784 days

#5 posted 01-17-2009 06:42 PM

Once again I like the simplicity of this bench. The single face vise should serve you well and with the legs flush with the top you can hold most any size board by just putting a few dog holes in the legs. Invest in some good holdfasts and bench dogs. If you get some Veritas Wonder Dogs you can forego a tail vise for face planing too.

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3882 days

#6 posted 01-17-2009 07:32 PM

I like it, thanks for the posts.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3724 days

#7 posted 01-18-2009 04:58 AM

man that is a lot of planing but it did come out great!

View Todd Thomas 's profile

Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 3445 days

#8 posted 01-18-2009 02:35 PM

looks good..reminds me I need to get on with making one….I like your design, and budget allot….

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

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