So, there are a lot of ways to skin a cat, or in this case a lot of ways to build a woodworking bench. Over the last 6 months I have read way more than anyone should about the subject. I simply wanted to get all the info I could to make an educated plan on building this bench. I got a lot of ideas from Workbench design site and many others.
I finally decided on the types of vises, length and wood. I was able to obtain an "Emmert knock off" locally and I am just now finished with the install. I also wanted a hard wood top. I went to a friends commercial cabinet shop and found that he had a lot of rough 2" hickory. The top also has a lot of maple as well. Legs and stretchers were also a concern. Like a lot of my woodworking projects I try to incorporate some used materials. I got to looking around my shop and zeroed in on a set of antique bed posts. These are hard maple from around the late 1800's. My mother, and antique dealer, and I were at an estate sale when I was about 11 years old. Approximately 40 years ago. A bed and a vanity to match was leaning up against this house and the birdseye maple caught my attention even at this early age. I had a lot of re-mortising to do and cutting to length was the easy part.
The picture shows the mortising in progress. The rough-out of the bench top is pictured below. Each hickory board is divided by a strip of maple on its quarter-sawn edge.