Workbench Questions 53 & 54

53. Q: If I’m not mistaken, Chris has installed the Benchcrafted Retro Classic Vise in the new bench illustrated in the book (“The Anarchist’s Workbench“).  Why not the Solo, which I understand would be recommended for a new bench?

A: Chris finds the Retro (shown above) is easier to install. The Solo requires perfectly straight and deep holes, which for many people requires a drill press. So he chose the one that’s easier for beginners or for those without a drill press to install.

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54. Q: In Mr. Schwarz’s first workbench book, he states that the stock is cut to rough length and ripped oversize when the stock is first purchased. It is then stickered and allowed to dry for a time before starting the build.
In his latest book, Mr. Schwarz states on pg. 197 that he piles the latest purchase on top of the pile in the basement.  When he has a bench-sized pile, he makes a bench.

Is one method preferred over the other? Should the wood dry as full 2x12s and when ready to begin the build, cut the wood to length, rip it a bit oversized and the glue and clamp it up?

A: Both are correct. If he has a bench in mind and knows the rough sizes, he’ll go ahead and rough cut then sticker the stock, and it’ll dry faster. But if not, he’ll buy a pile and let those dry until he’s ready – it takes longer for them to dry that way. But both approaches work.

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