This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
A full-sized cabinet-makers' bench is generally 7 ft. long and 2 1/2 ft. wide, but a very convenient size is 6 ft. by 2 ft. Such a bench is illustrated in Fig. 683. The top is in 2 parts, the front portion a being 15 in. wide and of 2 1/2-in. red or yellow pine, sound and straight; the back portion b is only 9 in. wide and 1 1/2 in. thick. Both are supported by the cross rails c; and the back part has a fillet d, 1 in. thick, screwed to it in such a position that its top edge is flush with a. The rails c, 5 in. by 2 in., are screwed to the top ends of the 4 legs of good red pine, the 2 back ones e and right front one f measuring i in. by 2 in., •while the left front one g is 6 in. by 2 in. The back legs e diverge at foot to give greater steadiness to the bench. The top is secured to the rails c by screws put up from beneath. At bottom, the legs are joined by rails h, 3 in. by 2 in., dovetailed into them and held by screws; boards i are nailed to their under side, to form a capacious tray for holding tools. The bench stops k are let into holes which come clear outside the rail c. The bench vice I has its outer cheek working against the leg g by means of the screw m passing through both.
At the bottom is a "runner" or "sword" n, consisting of a strip of wood, 2 in. by 1/2 in., mortised into the foot of l and sliding in a corresponding groove in g, where it is pegged by an iron pin at suitable distances for keeping the jaws of the vice parallel. This is further aided by the supplementary side screw o. The holes in the leg f and central bar p hold strong pegs for supporting the ends of work while it is being manipulated in the vice. The space between the top a and the rail r may be made into a shelf only, or partially occupied by a drawer as at s.