workbench finished: Sam Allen's joiner's bench with Veritas twin-screw end vise

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Hi wreckers,
I finally finished up the last few details on the workbench I finally got around to building. Although not as pretty as a lot of the benches I've seen, including several recent posts, I think the functionality it represents will still make it a joy to use. Since this is basically a step up from a Workmate, there is no question that I'm going to be thrilled to put it to use.
I'll post a few pics on ABPW, but you can see them all, as well as some further details of the bench, at this website: http://pages.cthome.net/logmanworld/workbench.htm
Let me know what you think!
Mike
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It looks perfect. Thanks for the reports and the great pictures. You should be very proud!
Bob McBreen
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Hi Bob,
The bench is far from perfect, but I think it will work for me. Thanks for the kind words.
Mike

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Mike in Mystic wrote:

It looks very nice, but what I like best about it is that you've obviously put a lot of thought into the various work-holding devices. I especially like your setup for clamping boards for jointing. The little trick of having a horizontal dog in the end-vise is a good one. (And one that I'll steal from you as soon as I figure out how to adapt it to my bench. :-)
I'm sure you'll get a lot of pleasure from the bench. Sometime down the line you'll stop in the middle of working on a project and wonder how you ever got by without such a stable work-surface. DAMHIKT.
Chuck Vance
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Hi Chuck,
Thanks for the compliments. I can't take credit for any of the ideas represented in this bench. Almost all of them came straight from Sam Allen's bench. Strangely, he has the horizontal dog-holes in his plan for this bench, but doesn't instruct the drilling of a horizontal dog-hole in the end vise. The Veritas workbench and vise instructions do have this shown, so it wasn't as if I had any eureka moment. I bet it'd be hard to find any original workbench innovation in this day and age, considering they've been in use for thousands of years.
And, believe me, having made do without a really good bench for a long time has me already appreciating the bench even if I haven't used it much yet.
Mike
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nice bench, hope to have mine finished before the year is out. I like your cordless drill too, have one just like it and the companion circular saw. they both do a great job.
BRuce (Benson NC)
Mike in Mystic wrote:

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Hi Bruce,
Thanks.
The Milwaukee drill earned it's weight and then some on this bench. All the dog holes were drilled with it, as were many of the the joinery joles for the bench base. Having the quick charger is a big plus. But the best thing was the torque on this drill - never had a problem even in the hard maple drilling a 3/4" auger bit. I know that some of the new impact drivers have even more torque, but I can't see why you'd need more than this drill has.
Mike
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Hi Mike!
I was just noticing the thread title and wondered if you secured your bench to your liking for some serious Neander-style, heavy duty, all out, sweat inducing PLANING? <G>
DAVE
Mike in Mystic wrote:

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Hi Dave,
I haven't really addressed that issue yet. I'll see how it goes, now that I have the end vise on, and if I put some heavy power tools on the shelf, maybe I won't need to do any more than make sure the thing is level and all four feet are touching the floor evenly. I might try the sandpaper on the bottom of the feet thing. I'm still not too keen on drilling holes in the garage floor.
Mike
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Mike in Mystic wrote:

I must have missed the original thread, but in case it wasn't mentioned, a great way to shim bench-legs is with those old hard rubber mousepads. They grip the floor well, and they'll compensate for any unevenness of your garage floor.
Chuck Vance
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how about putting a piece of plywood down and L bracketing the legs to it. then stand on the plywood when you are working... all forces exerted by your upper body will be balanced by the counter force from your lower body. ;)
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flip
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Can you picture Mike on the dance floor doing the Twist or Watusi? :)
dave
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how did you maintain vertical? i will be drilling through prefinished hardwood flooring and 2 x 3/4" plywood so it won't be as difficult but vertical seems to be an issue.
yep, lots of power and the quick charger is very good. SWMBO got me the package last year for Christmas and the "rebate" was another battery, so one in the drill, one in the saw and one in the charger. I have never had to wait for a battery to charge.
BRuce
Mike in Mystic wrote:

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what do you mean by "maintaining vertical"? If you mean drilling the holes perpendicular to the surface, then I follow. I used a drill guide (http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?pageB322&category=1,180,42311,4232 1&abspage=1&ccurrency=2&SID=)
(watch the wrap on the link)
This worked very well. It only accepts 3/8" shank bits though. I used a 3/4" auger bit for everything, and it worked fine.
I did end up destroying the drill guide, though. On the 2nd doghole in the hard maple end vise jaw I didn't have as good a grip on the drill as I thought and when the auger bit started to bit into the maple the torque whipped the drill around, pinning my hand between the drill and one of the guide posts. The bad thing was, the force from this was strong enough to bend the shank where the drill chuck attaches to the sliding portion of the drill guide by about 45 degrees. AND the trigger on the drill was stuck in the depressed position, causing my fingers to be compressed between the drill body and the guide bar. Needless to say it hurt like a B**ch and I was yelling something fierce. It took a second or two to realize what was causing the drill to keep trying to turn. Anyway, the moral of the story is make sure you have a good grip on your drill when drilling in hardwoods, especially when you have a drill that can put out some torque like that Milwaukee. I did the remaining vise jaw dogholes freehand, as well as the dog holes on the edge of the benchtop. I wouldn't have tried that with the holes on the benchtop itself, though, and if I ever need to do this type of drilling again I'll definitely buy another of these drill guides.
Mike
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Thanks Mike, I had just bought something similar to this for another project, now it will get used at least twice.
Yep, the torque will get you if you are not careful. Long time ago in another life, I was an electrician and we used Milwaukee right angle drills and a 1" bit to drill wiring holes for new construction. After hitting a hidden nail or 6 you learned what torque was all about. :-) that thing would flip you across the room if you weren't braced for it.
BRuce
Mike in Mystic wrote:

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BRuce <BRuce> wrote:

Hee... I have one of those torque monsters too. I got an auger bit tangled up in a chain link fence once. It came very close to breaking my wrist.
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luckily back then there were no trigger locks, don't know if the new ones have them.
"chain link fence".... that's going to leave a mark!
BRuce
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BRuce <BRuce> wrote in

I know my Hole Hog doesn't (thank goodness).
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BRuce <BRuce> wrote:

I've had the drill since my birthday in May, and I have no idea whether it has a trigger lock or not. If it does, I don't use it.
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Mike in Mystic wrote:

So far, the bestest thing about having a real workbench for me has been glue day. I used to have to use these gigantic 48" pipe clamps for every little thing that was bigger than 18". Of course, I still need the pipe clamps, and can't ever have too many clamps, but the workbench is working out great for this most of the time.
Only problem with mine so far is that my two most-used dog holes are already wallowing out badly. Yes, that's the price I paid for grafting a poplar top onto a pine substructure to make my own cheapass imitation of the bench you're talking about. I understand that, but I was still hoping it would be longer before I'd have to think up some way to make bushings for the thing.

I think you must be an aspiring Ted Turner or something. Looks for all the world like you ripped off some photos from Sam's book and colorized them. :)
Looks a lot better than my Frankenstein monster, but I'll bet it cost me less to get the functionality I wanted out of my grossly unsuitable bench. ($0.)
How does that whole truss rod setup work in the field? I'm thinking about retrofitting my bench with some judiciously-placed rods to try to improve its ability to resist wracking.
How about weight? Is it pretty solid, or does it want to scoot around on you?
Anyway, you executed that beautifully!
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