My English workbench

This is my version of Chris Schwarz English workbench which can be found in his book Workbenches. I made a few changes based off of other designs I had seen. I loved Chris' bench but new I had to make it my own.

First, I doubled up the thickness on the top and aprons. In addition to the added weight and rigidity, it makes me less worried about the dog holes getting wallowed out. The added layer on the aprons also becomes a big dado for the legs.

Second, it is a split-top bench. I saw this on Mike Siamsen's benches and really liked it. This allows for an added planing stop as well as extra clamping options. The gap is 1", wide enough to fit a small F-style clamp through. Holdfasts are amazing, but I don't want the thing to be riddled with holes.

Third, the bearers and end caps are in sliding dovetails. Did I mention I wanted this thing to be beefy?

Fourth, I used a ratcheting system for the leg vice's parallel guide. Will Meyers used this on one of his Moravian benches (which is gorgeous by the way). Check it out here. This is exactly the kind of thing I like. I was planning to add a release lever like he did, but instead found that a magnet will hold the stop up hands free. No lever needed. 

All in all, I love the bench. I have been using it for several months now, and it is a champ. The aprons are great for work holding. The whole thing is rock solid. I know I will be using it for many years to come.