Starting a new bench

A trunkful of poplar

I’ve been uphappy with my laminated plywood bench for a while now, so I’ve decided to build a new bench. It’s based on a Nicholson design, featured by Chris Schwarz in his original tome on benches, with an angled leg vise and wide apron sides. Unlike his depiction, I’m going with a soft hardwood, poplar, for the bench material and I’m going with 12/4 stock (~2.75″) for the top. I’m also going to add a split in the top, closer to the back of the bench, for planing stops and such. I’m hoping to get away without installing a tail vise of any sort, but we’ll see.