Roubo Inspired Bench #4: Benchcrafted Hardware installation and a surprise visit

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Blog entry by jusfine posted 05-25-2013 09:09 PM 5569 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Dog Strip, Routing, End caps, plugs Part 4 of Roubo Inspired Bench series Part 5: Getting closer - finally getting the slabs on top of the bench, & an orange dog or 2 »

Installation of the wagon vise hardware – very easy to follow directions!

Gluing up the paduak for the leg vise. If you are going to use the crisscross system, ensure you have a minimum of 2 1/4” final thickness on your vise as the cavity routed for the hardware is considerable.

Plywood top is in place and vise hardware is partially assembled.

Couldn’t resist trying the hardware out after the right front leg was drilled for the holdfast clamps.

Marking out for the hardware installation on the left front leg.

Had a surprise visit from a friend, some of you may recognize Rob Cosman “Your Hand Tool Coach” ( who had wrapped up a seminar about 90 minutes away and dropped in to inspect my work and said he was here to take pictures of our colts for his wife… I think he really wanted to see if I was using my dovetail saw correctly.

Back on track again, I shaped the leg vise with subtle “cloud lift” details and am sampling the fit of the CrissCross before drilling for the Benchcrafted vise hardware.

The one thing that could be an issue is drilling the hole through the 9” width of the chop for the 3/8” supporting rod of the CrissCross. If you don’t have a 10” brad point bit, it can be difficult lining both holes up. Fortunately I had located a set of 12” bits and it worked perfectly, but they are not as easy to find as I thought they might be.

As you can see the concept is quite simple; and it works very slick and smooth. I was surprised to find that the hardware would not completely recess into the cavity that BC had recommended. Went back and checked their site to find they had added another page to the instructions describing the gap at the bottom where the leg meets the chop. I did a little more excavation, recessing the steel plate and got mine to close up within 1/8” which just looks better.

Trying the fit of the hardware with the leg.

Looks like there will be at least 9 1/2” of opening – a little more than I expected.

As you can see, the mortise for the hardware is quite deep.

Trying the fit of the “rails” which will support the slabs. I had left the tenons on the legs long, but decided to raise the top up 3/4”, which would give me a little extra between bottom of the laminated top and the top of my cabinet for my jigs. I trimmed the rails and posts with strips of padauk.

Next will be mortising the slabs to fit on the base.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

5 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


6956 posts in 2627 days

#1 posted 05-27-2013 01:06 AM

The shape of the vice is cool. Love the G&G twist. Hopefully,you were using the dovetail saw correctly.

View OnlyJustME's profile


1562 posts in 2406 days

#2 posted 05-27-2013 01:47 AM

Chop kinda looks like a giant tapered hole peg. Nice little anti-rack vice spacer.

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View lysdexic's profile


5255 posts in 2652 days

#3 posted 06-17-2013 02:42 AM

I sometimes contemplate retro fitting my bench with a criss cross. Jealous.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2955 days

#4 posted 06-17-2013 02:30 PM

Scott, I don’t think you would regret the retrofit – crank the wheel and that’s all there is to it, no matter how large or small a piece you want to hold…

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View lysdexic's profile


5255 posts in 2652 days

#5 posted 06-18-2013 02:39 AM

Randy, I put in the chain vise so I don’t have to mess with a pin. Yet, I don’t think the chop action is a smooth as it should be. A retro fit requires a whole new chop.

Still, I will think about.

BTW, your bench is very impressive.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

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