Slowly plodding along. I was out of town for almost the entire month of December so not much has been done. However, I did manage to finally get the bottom shelf installed correctly.
My cuts were a bit too long so I ended up touching up the boards with a low angle block plane and then just screwing them in place. In addition to a storage area, the shelf also serves to hold ballast. You see, the original design of this bench was almost twice as large. However, in order to fit it into my small shop I had to make it smaller and therefore lighter. Right now I have a 50 lb sack of road salt down there to help keep the bench from shifting around so much.
I also attached the front vise: a Jorgensen Woodworker's Vise. I ordered the vise from Highland Woodworking and got excellent service as usual. They went above and beyond the call of duty to get my package rerouted to me after I gave them an old shipping address. I love those guys. So far it seems to work pretty well. The quick-release function is pretty neat. The only pain-in-the-butt part was mortising out the bottom of the bench to attach the vise to.
I mortised the face of the bench as well – that way the vise sits flush with both the top and the face. Once I got everything hooked up it worked like a charm. After cleaning up some of the oily residue on the vise with some alcohol, I gave it a good wipedown with wax to protect it. Now I have to decide if I am going to put wooden or leather faces on the vise.
Up next, the Shoulder Vise and on to Finishing!
-- Brian - Belmont, Massachusetts