After looking around the internet and reading a couple of books, I decided to go with a modification of the benchcrafted split top roubo. Here is a, very basic, sketchup rendering of where I am headed.
I didn’t go with the leg vise because I have the face vise hardware from the old bench, so we’ll try a hybrid approach. The benchcrafted design has the long stretcher bolts going through the side tenons. I moved the long stretchers up because boring a hole through the tenon made me feel like I was removing too much wood in the leg. The arrangement above gives me about 6 inches of clear space under the long stretchers and 3 inches under the short stretchers. Having the short stretchers lower should allow me to store my lathe under the bench.
I started out by gluing up and then squaring up the legs
That’s nearly every clamp I own. One observation from this process, cheap bar clamps are horrible. They twist when you clamp down and you spend an enormous amount of time shifting everything around. I am putting some quality parallel clamps on my christmas list this year.
I squared up the legs by first traversing the reference side of the legs using a jack plane and then followed up with a jointer plane. Incidentally, Chris Schwarz described the same traversing process that I used on the legs just a day or two later on his blog here when starting his roman workbench build. I then ran the legs through my surface planer to get the other side level and to make all the legs the same thickness (height?). I left the legs long.
That part was actually kinda fun. Mortising the stretchers has not been fun.
I am currently augering out most of the mortise and then chopping the waste. This is sweaty work, but it is coming out ok. I have found that it’s better to drill a couple of smaller holes and start chopping rather than trying to drill the biggest hole possible. I tend to not keep the far edge of the mortise square when chopping. Hopefully I’ll get better. One side and 4 mortises done. 12 more to go.