Good news. The threaded screws for the face vise on the Holy Roman Workbench are a couple inches below the danger zone. I’ve been working on the bench these last couple days and have found that my boyhood is well out of danger.
So today I started making the giant slot for the end vise. I began by sawing two shallow kerfs with my circular saw to help guide my ripsaw. A sharp ripsaw can destroy 4”-thick oak with little effort. This is why it’s a good idea to learn to sharpen your own saws.
After sawing out the two kerfs for the end vise, I used an auger to waste away as much wood as possible at the end of the slot. Three holes with a 1-1/8” auger did the trick. The waste block came out with only finger pressure.
Then I cleaned up things with a mortise chisel. Just like with any mortise, it’s best to clean it up from both faces to avoid splintering out the backside badly. Of course, flipping over a 300-pound bench to get to the backside is always fun (but not too difficult if you know about a little thing called leverage).
With the slot cleaned up, I called it a day. This weekend I hope to get the threaded nuts installed in the slot.
— Christopher Schwarz