I was joking (sort of) a few days ago that I was getting bench fatigue. Time in the shop has been hard to find lately and with parts and pieces of the bench around there is not much room for much other work. So with the long weekend, I made it my goal to get the bench top mounted and put the bench in its place.
I spent the weekend completing the last minute steps before attaching the tops to the base. The mortices were cut to recieve the base and I also cut the slot for the sliding deadman.
I also had one other final step to make, one that I have been thinking of for a while. We often talk about how we mark our work, we put some sort of signature that someone later can use to see who the builder was. I thought why stop with a signature, we can store loads of information flash drives so why not leave the entire build behind? I decided to route a hidden compartment on the bottom side of the bench that I will put a flash drive that documents the build and whatever other information I want to pass on to some future woodworker. The compartment has an outer flange to hold the cover that is screwed into place. After dry fitting the cover, I planed the top off to make it flush with the underside of the bench.
After prepping the tops I set them in place on the base and tightened the hardware down. The bench is now solid and ready to use. I still have work to finish such as installing the leg vice and the deadman but the bench is in working form now.
The only problem after putting the bench together is that afterwards I had two benches now side by side in the shop. So today was spent rearranging the shop to have the new bench in its final spot and the old bench up against the wall where it now belongs.