I did it, the bench is glued up. It’s down to just a few details (flattening, bench dog holes and finish) and the bench will be DONE.
I wanted to take care of as many details as I could before gluing up. I got the threaded block for the vise screw installed. I used blue tape to center the screw in the hole, then threaded the nut block on the back, marked and drilled holes for lag bolts to attach it. While I had it all assembled, I fit the brass garter and drilled the mounting holed for that.
I decided it would be easier to install the end vise now, while the bench top was upside down. I got new lag bolts, and added some shims behind the face so that the inner face was perfectly flush with the end of the bench. It was about 1/16″ shy on one side and maybe 3/32″ on the other. It’s just right now.
I glued up and pegged the short stretchers, and then I was ready to put the top on. The big question was how was I going to get the glue applied and the bench top in place by myself? It’s HEAVY. I decided to position it on top on top of the legs, slather glue on and then scoot it over so it would drop onto the tenons. It worked OK. The fit (read “sloppy fit”) on the through mortises worked to my advantage here.
Once the top was on I drove in wedges in all the gaps to close them up. I’ll let this dry for a few hours and then saw the wedges off and flatten the bench top.
On your mark, get set, GO! Getting glue onto 8 mortises and 8 tenons (and not everywhere else) by yourself isn’t a relaxing process.
Time for a lunch break now, I should probably leave this to dry over night before I do anything else to it.