Hand tool/bench questions

I'm about finally ready to build a real workbench and explore the slippery slope of hand tools. I've got a couple of Japanese saws, a half-dozen old and new (Veritas) planes, and am set up to keep them ScarySharp. Over a year ago my bride gave me a Veritas Twin-Screw vise that's still in the box. I've been looking at, and planning with, the three workbench books (Landis, Allen and Schwartz). I'm thinking seriously of a simple Roubo-style bench with truss-rodded base, the Twin-Screw as a face vise, no end vise, and the top consisting of two Ikea 24"x72"x1.5" laminated beech countertops ($59/each!) glued face-to-face for a 3" thick top. I'm also toying with the idea of making the bench double-sided by adding a crochet, sliding deadman and leg vise to the other side of the bench. Any good reason why not if the bench is to sit in the middle of the workspace?
I'd like to use simple stops, round bench dogs (which I'll make as needed) and holdfasts (I already have two of the Gramercy holdfasts) for the vast majority of my workholding on the top and front of the bench. All three authors note that holdfasts are tough on the holes they go into, but don't give any real indication of how long a dedicated holdfast hole remains round and useful. Is this something I need to obsess over, and somehow plan to redo periodically as I work with the bench? Or will this be an issue for my grandchildren long after I'm gone?
Those of you who have gone sliding down this slope and are willing to share... your comments on any or all of the above are most welcome.
Michael Latcha - at home in Redford, MI
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Good for you.
I'm thinking seriously of a simple Roubo-style bench

None that I can think of, other than possibly doing laps around the bench to get tools if both vises are in use In my shop, the layout is 8 ft of base cabinets and countertop against the wall, then the bench, with standing space between the front of the bench and the countertop, then the ts on the other side of the bench. workpieces go off the ts onto the bench and after all that's done, I go around to the other side to do handwork. Having the countertop behind me during this certainly keeps the bench uncluttered.

Don't know, didn't install holdfasts in mine.

If you indeed get to the bottom of this slope, you won't regret it. You'll wonder how you ever did anything without it after awhile.

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I like your workflow, it seems efficient. My own thinking is that work pieces would start out on the "old" side (with the crochet) for sawing, jointing, mortising, facing, etc. (perhaps off the bench for turning), then make their way to the "new" side (with the vice) for dovetailing, sticking, assembly, etc. Since few people around seem interested in woodworking, including my kids, it's unlikely that I'll have both sides of the bench going at once... unless something is glued up and drying in the vise as I rough-work another piece on the other side of the bench.. which was really the idea behind two working sides.
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I can't answer this question directly, as I don't use a regular hold fast. For my own bench, which is a home brewed concoction I got one of the screw-type holdfasts[1] made by Anant. The Anant holdfast comes with an iron flange that gets mortised into the bench for the hold fast to go through and anchor to. So there shouldn't be a problem with the hole elongating. I've had mine for about a year now and have had no difficulties with it. I especially like that I can control exactly how much pressure I want to put on something by way of the acme screw.
[1]: http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdIDx29
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<<snip>>

I'm not sure what size shaft the Gramercy holdfasts have, but if you can find some short pieces of pipe or steel tubing that the shaft will fit easily in, bore a hole or 5 in your bench top and press/glue/somehow mechanically connect said tubes to top. Be certain to put the top of the tube BELOW the surface of the bench.
Mike
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