I had a modicum of free time last week, so I took the opportunity to laminate the main benchtop of my new clamp-on workbench. At 48 inches long, the workbench is essentially the same length as the dining table to which it will clamp.
In many ways, this new workbench is the spiritual successor to the planing slab that I unsuccessfully made out of home center douglas fir last year, although not nearly as long or heavy. I’m hoping that with the inset vise (rather than a proper wagon vise), I’ll have about 44 inches between the dogs. Compare this to 24 1/4 inches on the Milkman’s Workbench pictured above.
In addition to being much longer, the main benchtop is significantly deeper. My Milkman’s Workbench has a main benchtop of 6 1/2 inches, and an overall depth of 9 3/8 inches including the face vise. Compare the new workbench, which will have a main benchtop of 8 13/16 inches deep (I lost just 3/16 inches of nominal depth to jointing). Add to that about 1 1/2 inches of inner front vise chop and another 5 1/2 inches of fully-extended front vise outer chop and I will be able to support almost 16 inches of work over the length of the front vise. I plan to make a peg-held support for the right side of the bench so I have full support over the full 48 inches.
All of this is now dependent on how well I hang the front vise. I plan to cut dadoes in the underside of the main bench to accept the screws. Then it’s just a question of drilling holes perfectly straight through the outer chop (without a drill press) and figuring out how to seat the collets into the inner chop perfectly in line with the outer chop holes.