If I were to built the bench again, I would have not added a decorated finials to the wooden nuts that anchors the lag screws. The finials allowed me to easily rotate the nuts right or left, and in and out in order to align them with the lag screws, but they are prone to breakage and might be just that obstacle you bang your knee or toe into. In hindsight the nut should have had a protrusion to help me align it to the lag screw, but definitely less conspicuous than the one I made. The best way to transform a wooden dowel into a leg screw nut is by pre-tapping the dowel hole with a makeshift lag bolt tap. Using a rectangle file I formed a tapered groove in the end of a lag bolt– starting at the tip and going back to about 3/4” long. The teeth formed on the sides of the groove thread the hole, so once you screw in the actual connecting lag-bolts, they easily anchor themselves in the wooden nuts.
I equipped my new American workbench with a Record Marple Hold Down clamp (Model #145), a quick release bench-vise, three rows of 3/4" diameter holes to accommodate the Veritas system of bench dogs. The street-found workbench served me well. For eight years it stood in my living room enabling me to do small scale projects in the comfort of my home. Because I had to relocate and knew that a close friend would probably make best use of the bench, I decided to give it to Jake, knowing he could put it to good use in his and his girlfriend's cabin in New Hampshire. Last weekend I took the bus and visited my friends in Tamworth N.H. Their cabin is nice and cozy, built twenty years ago by Karl, Caitlin's father; no running water, no electricity, but with a working stove and lots of character.