Since I got the top basically put together, it was time to worry about attaching a tool rail and leveling the bench.
I constructed the levelers from four hockey pucks. I drilled a recess in them and epoxied in a bolt by the head. I then drilled a matching recess in each leg and epoxied a nut in each leg. By spinning the hockey puck the bolt will move in and out, helping to level the bench.
To add stability to the system I also added a washer to the bolt head and epoxied that to the puck as well. Hopefully it will distribute the weight of the bench more.
I also decided to go ahead and attach the tool rail to the bench. I crosscut another piece of douglas fir to 48”. I then created the spacers by ripping a 1/2” wide strip with my hand saw, cutting it into 6 4” chunks, smoothing it with a number 4 plane, and then attaching it to the previously mentioned piece. Doing so established a 1/2” slot along one side for me to rest chisels, saws, squares, etc… in while I worked. Very handy.
Finally, I also took this time to bore the bench dog holes. I did so with a 3/4” auger bit and a hand brace. I learned that I had to clamp a scrap piece of wood to the bottom while doing this, otherwise the bit would make a mess when it punched through to the other side.
I did the boring while the bench top was still not quite smooth. If there was any tearout I wanted to clean it up when I smoothed out the top. For most of the top I put the dog holes 4” apart from each other. I only placed them where I thought they would be useful. I can always come back later and add more holes – it’s kind of hard to remove unnecessary ones though. I placed a series of them right where the shoulder vise and the front vise are. I figure those should get the majority of the use.
Up next, finishing up the leveling of the top and starting to attach the vises!
-- Brian - Belmont, Massachusetts