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I've always wanted a proper woodwork bench, one with a front vise and an end vise. A good bench should be sturdy enough and heavy enough not to vibrate or scoot around the floor when hand working hard woods. It also had to be extra tall (I decided on 39") to go with my 6'4" stature, so even if I wanted to spend the money on the top-of-the-line bench, that wouldn't be a good solution.

The other parameter in my quest is the fact that I have too much stuff. I already have too many benches, so I needed to aim at having less stuff, not more, or at least achieve stuff equilibrium.

In the "before" picture at right is the basic mechanic's bench I started with. the before photo
I'd acquired two good vises, one given to me, and the other at a garage sale for $15.
front vise end vise
With a little rehab and paint they were ready to go.
I needed a greater thickness, at least in the front, to hold the two vises, and to provide a place for bench dog holes. The first thing I did was run the top through the table saw to take off three pieces of 3-1/8". The piece here is being recessed for the front vise. In the background is the second piece, with blocks glued to it to form the square holes needed.
shaping the pieces of the top
Glue-up took about every long clamp I had.
For legs, I went to a local salvage yard, where I lucked into some 6x6 redwood timbers for a total of $20. I didn't even know my planer went as high as 6" until I ran these though it.

I had some 5/8" bolts the power company discarded when they replaced a line of poles near my house recently. A little overkill, but they add a solid look.

boltiing up the legs
The 2-1/2 x 4-1/2 maple cross timbers came from a heavy duty forklift skid. They're screwed in place, but not glued.
finished bench
The finished bench is 72 x 30-1/2" (without the vises) and 39" high. It weighs in at 296 pounds. Yes, someday I will have to take it apart to get it up the basement stairs. It definitely does NOT creep around the floor when hand planing hard wood!
finished bench
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