It has all of the basics I like in a bench, front and side vises, a good row of bench dog holes and a tool tray in the back. The only real complaint I have is that it's lighter than I would like, I can see it easily moving when planing on it. But, there are several ways we can remedy that over time. I suppose worst case we just bolt it to the floor right?
The other part that annoys me a bit is that all the dog holes are square instead of 3/4" round like my other benches. I realize these are popular in european style benches and from what I've read the more traditional sort of bench catch. In fact, if you watch any amount of Roy Underhill you'll notice all of his benches are built with the square style. It only came with 2 dogs as well but we can take care of that easily enough.
A couple views of the front vise, I'm going to add some dog holes in it so it can be used to secure work pieces and other accessories. Not sure if I'll do that on the original front piece or make a new one. Keep them square or go round? Guess we'll see in a future post!
And the side one... I think it needs another dog hole or two as well. And again, hmm... Square or round?
Decent size tool tray in the back, plenty of room to store my stuff. There are many people out there that are REALLY against having a tool tray in their bench, they say it promotes being disorganized. Not me, I like it.
And some underneath storage that's just begging for drawers or cabinets. There's one little drawer under there in the middle but I think that one's going to go away for a couple down lower. I don't want to lose the clamping space where that drawer currently is.
Now we must remedy the dog situation... On the left is the original one (plastic), in the middle is a hardboard template I made from it and on the left is my shop made version. I had some spare 3/4" beech around which should be hard enough to not break under pressure. Trace the template on the stock then cut it out on the bandsaw. A little work on the orbital and belt sanders and it's good to go. Finish up by gluing a bit of leather to it to help hold the material against it.
Now I just need to make another dozen of them...
I think I'm going to add another row of dog holes in the rear near the tool tray, I'm debating if I should drill 3/4" round ones like my other benches or mortise out additional square ones to match what's already there. Drilling 3/4" holes is certainly the easier solution but the square style would match. Since I want to add another dog hole to the side vise I think I'll try adding a square mortised one there first just to see how it goes. If it doesn't work out that's easy enough to either drill out or just replace.
All in all it's a decent addition to the shop, I'm going to start using it for our upcoming projects so I can see what it's good (and not good) for. That'll probably also help guide where and how those new dog holes will be made.