For many years I spent nights in my garage after work with no
heat or A/C, always working on furniture projects. Armed only
with the famous B&D Workmate (which I've found to be quite
useful in many situations, but a poor primary worktable) I
dreamed of a proper place to firmly place a large cabinet base
for glue-up while I could simultaneously saw dovetails and work
on drawers without that horrible racking that goes on during the
The Scandanavian design is certainly not new>>>>>>>>>>>
but I added some extra touches - Why? Because I didn't have
kids at the time and, because of which, 'free-time' did not come
at such a high price. Coincidentally, the bench was essentially
finished on the day my first child was born, so it is also symbolic
to me of so many things.
The entire structure is of oak, which was a helluva lot cheaper
10 years ago. I recall using a jigsaw to cut out several rounds
out of 1 1/2" thick planks, laminating them together then rasping
& filing the outer sides to finish to make the cylindrical shoulder
vise handle core - all of which seems superfluous now, but does
still look kinda cool.
The tail vise was the most difficult to build because it must
engage with the main table on runners at all times in order to run
smoothly and clamp solidly without twisting or slop, which it does
beautifully. The clamping end of the vise is essentially a wooden
box built onto the vise hardware (which is available from any
woodworking specialty store...Rockler, etc). The box top was
made of laminated slats of oak which were individually dovetailed
and eventually fit into the box ends>>>>>>>>>>>>
My favorite wood finish, Watco, was used to add depth to the
wood. I did, however, wait a few weeks before waxing due to the
oak's rebellious nature: it does not accept oils as nicely as most
woods and therefore tends to leak it back out for several days.
Some woodworkers would use sealant to cover the pores before
oiling, though I have not had any problems since.