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Install the handscrew. Shim its moveable right jaw for a perfect sliding fit.You can easily raise or lower the height of the jaw to hold even the thinnest board on your bench.

Rout the handscrew jaws so they're just a bit thinner than the opening of the front rail. Clamp a guide board to the handscrew and support the router with a T-shaped ledge and bridges of uncut wood.

Install the handscrew. Shim its moveable right jaw for a perfect sliding fit.You can easily raise or lower the height of the jaw to hold even the thinnest board on your bench.

Tilt the front vise by adding washers as shims to compensate for racking.To securely hold any board, a vise should first close at the top.As you tighten the screw, the face of the vise straightens out. applying even pressure over the entire surface of the board.

to do this is to use a combination bit made for a ยป10 screw (see Sources, page 43). It will counterbore a 3/8-in.-diameter hole for the plugs and drill a pilot hole at the same time.

2. Nail the frame together, but leave off the back stretcher (C3) and all of the spacers (C6 and C7). Tack the top (CI) to the frame with Id nails at each corner. Note that the front of the top overhangs the front of the frame by about 1/8 in.

3. Glue and screw the bottom panel to the frame. Make sure it overhangs the front of the frame just like the top panel. Then turn the frame over and glue and screw the top.

4. Attach the back rail and spacer with deck screws. The spacers bring the back rail up to the same height as the top, making a large, level surface.

5. Trim the front overhang with a router and a flush-cutting bit (Photo 7). Glue wood plugs in the screw holes and sand them flush.

Building the Front

The front of the bench is a sandwich of 1x6s and 2x6s that can be ripped individually on a tablesaw to match the thickness of the benchtop. This sawing removes the rounded edges on the top of the construction lumber, so your sandwich will have square edges on top and look like one gigantic solid piece when glued together. If you can't get at a tablesaw, this isn't absolutely necessary, but a flush front makes mounting the vise hardware much easier.

1. Cut one 1 x6 and two 2x6s 6-ft. long (the length of the bench). Rip all three boards about 1/8-in. wider than the thickness of your benchtop.

2. Choose the best 2x6 as the outer board. Cut the spacers that form the dog holes (D2, D3 and D4) from the other 2x6. Drill two pilot holes for the deck screws in each spacer (Fig. A. Detail 1, page 38).

3. Starting at the right end of the bench, glue and screw the first spacer (D2), then clamp the handscrew around it to position the second spacer (Photo 8). Glue a small block (D8) on the left side of the handscrew to fill the void below the second spacer. Continue on down the line and cut the last spacer (D5) to fit.

4. Glue and screw the 1x6 (D1 > along the top of all the spacers, completing the three-part sandwich. Drill pilot holes for the lag screws with an extra-long bit (see Sources, page 43) and install the front rail on the bench (Photo 9). Clamp it in place so the top edge is proud of the benchtop. Level the front rail with a belt sander.

5. The iaws of the handscrew are too fat to fit in between the boards of the front rail. Use your router to make the jaws thinner, working from both sides (Photo 10). The final thickness of the jaws should be about 1 /32 in. narrower than the opening in the front rail. The area you must remove is larger than the base of the router, so don't take it all off at once. Leave some areas uncut to support the router, then knock these bridges off with a chisel after you're done. Finish leveling the jaws with a block plane. Bevel the end of the right jaw with a small saw and chisel (same as the bench dog, Fig. E, page 43). This bevel improves the holding power of the handscrew, especially when the jaw is tilted backward at its maximum capacity.

6. Shim the right jaw of the handscrew with several layers of foil tape (the kind

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