Dad's Benchtop Bench: Part III

With the vise nuts installed and the bench milled to accept the vise, it was time to work on the outer jaw.

The benchtop, ready for the vise.

Miller’s original features a 45° bevel on the top, outside face of the outer vise jaw. I’ve seen the bevel before on many Moxon Vises. It provides clearance to hold a saw and chisel at an angle. To cut my bevel, I eyed about how big I thought it should be, set my table saw to 45° and cut away.

Unfortunately, Once I put the vise jaw in place, I quickly realized that the big bevel I’d cut did not leave enough flat surface on the top for a bench dog hole. Rather than have the awkward hole which would have resulted, I flipped the front vise jaw around, and cut a much smaller bevel on the new top edge. This left the big bevel on the bottom, which I’ve grown to like the look of.

If I'd left the big bevel on the top, I wouldn't have been able to drill (route) for dog.

To attach the vise I took the back jaw of the vise and set it upside down on my table saw. I also set the bench top upside down on my table saw. I used the saw as a reference surface to ensure that they were aligned, and then I clamped them together with parallel clamps. To fasten them, I simply used screws. I pre-drilled the holes and staggered the pattern to prevent splitting.

Fastening the rear vise jaw.

I installed the legs in a similar manner. I held them in place with parallel clamps and then screwed them to the top. Since the legs were slightly out of square, I was sure they were clamped extra tight to the top before I screwed them on.

Once I took the clamps off and flipped the bench over, I found that that screwing the legs to the perfectly flat 3” thick top was all it took to pull them into alignment. The feet sit perfectly flat on my tablesaw.

Assembling the legs to the top.

All that was left was to assembly the vise.