Workbench Advice

IMG_0265_LVClampA couple of weeks ago, a woodworking friend stop in to talk about a new workbench he intended to build. His design included a twin screw as his front vise. As we talked, I pointed out that I do most of my work on my front vise, and I didn’t want to wheel in and out a twin screw each time I used my vise. I opted to install a quick-release vise.

I do like, however, the idea of holding wide panels as I layout and work with dovetails. My solution was to drill dog holes into the front edge of my bench, and use a Veritas surface clamp – just watch the placement so you don’t get crosswise of the top-surface dog holes.

The more holes along the top’s length, the wider the panel you can hold. In fact, with two of the clamps I can hold a panel to the right of the vise, freeing the vise for other work at the same time. This setup has worked great for me throughout the years I’ve worked on this bench. I highly recommend it.

One thing that I would most definitely change is the drawer depth. On my Shaker-style workbench, I think all the drawers are too deep. It would be better to add at least another row of drawers to the plan. And when I get the time, I’ll add a sliding tray to the deeper drawers to make the best use of the space.

— Glen D. Huey

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3 thoughts on “Workbench Advice

  1. That’s a cool idea using those surface clamps on the edge of the workbench.
    I think that would be a good set up on my bench.
    And the price of those surface clamps would be offset by the savings from buying an expensive twin screw vise.

    Thanks Glen.

  2. Is the rear jaw of your vise inset so it’s co-planer with the front edge of your bench top? If not do you use a space of sorts to make sure the work piece is not damaged by the vise’s front jaw?

    1. My vise is set flush with the front edge of the bench’s top (and with the top, too). That’s a great point to make because having to use a spacer each time would be frustrating.

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