Inspired by the Torsion Box Assembly Table by Marc S, as well as The Not-So-Big Workbench, and Build Your First Workbench, I finally started work on a suitable vehicle for a vintage Richards-Wilcox quick-action vise. Last fall I picked up the vise on Craigslist after recognizing a value right away, and I’ve been working on a composite torsion box/my first bench/plywood bench mash-up for the design. When thinking about the design, I’ve been careful to consider the size and mass of the vise, so that I maximize it’s ability to hold work fast! A simple plywood top might sag under the weight, or distort over time. Full torsion box, and I’d have a lot of empty space to fill in to make dog holes. Solid hardwood is out of the budget, though I have access to some choice cherry for the edge banding and vise facing. Overall, I’m just glad to have started building!
As most documentation on torsion box related projects or funiture mentions, accurate planning, cut lists, and repeat measurements and minor adjustments are necessary to ensure that all core parts fit well and compliment the final exterior dimensions of the bench.
Stacked and ready for glue-up tomorrow afternoon. Borrowed heavily from the Dead Flat Assembly Table write-up and video to establish a flat and well supported glue-up surface. Inspired by the Dead Flat Assembly table, but designed around my space and a vintage Richards-Wilcox vise. Front 5 inches of the bench is a stack of 5 planks of 3/4" ply which will serve to support dog holes, a Lee Valley Inset vice in the right end, and the beast of a front vise.
Craigslist is great! If you do your homework in advance and are willing to pull the trigger on relatively short notice when you see something come up, great deals abound! Clean casting original condition quick-action vise, a perfect compliment to some big black cherry I have on hand for the edge banding and vise face.
Glue up complete, cleaning up edges, recess for Veritas Inset vise cut.
Not quite done yet, but putting it to work getting out parts for the base glue-ups. Eventually the 4 edges of the top will receive dovetailed edge banding. 5/4-6/4 or so in the front to bury the bench vise cheek.