Posts Tagged ‘workbench’

Completed Holtzapffel Workbench!

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Okay, well it’s 99% complete and since I started it almost exactly a year ago figured I’d post it (catching up blog posts to pdo – this was actually where I was around March 10/09)

Still have a few dog holes to do and need to trim the end without the vice but other than that we are in business :) The top has walnut strips, and the whole bench is done in maple, weighs a ton and is solid as a rock. I’ve already gotten a ton of use out of it, and I’m looking forward to it giving me many years of faithful use.

Front vise is the Veritas twin screw and the end vise is just a big metal jobby (same one Schwarz recommends) based on a suggestion from one of the other Popular Woodworking editors I just glued the pieces that the twin screw passes through, seeing just how strong these glues are (they are supposed to be stronger than the wood so I don’t really expect any issues) so far so good, but it’s early days.

Anyway, it was a great project and I’m really pleased with how it came out and that I didn’t settle for a store bought one (I was close).

Light at the end of the tunnel

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

So catching up some blog posts here at, this was my progress 10/18/08 getting closer at this point :)

Just need to add the vises, do some final flattening of the top once I flip it et voila :)

And a quick pic of my new pride and joy :)

— I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. – Pablo Picasso

Holtzapffel Workbench – Slow Going

Monday, May 5th, 2008

So it’s been pretty slow going as of late. The top is proving to be trickier than I’d anticipated. The main issue is being able to effectively mill such large pieces.

I got hung up trying to flatten the faces of the top; I’d been using my jointer to do this but the bed simply isn’t long enough to joint 7′ long boards.

I came to the realization that I didn’t need it perfectly flat along it’s length though, I just needed it flat enough whereby I could clamp it flat during the glue up. So my new tack is to just plane it so that both faces are flat-ish, and parallel to one another, then ‘joint’ it with a rip cut on my tablesaw. I’m using the tablesaw with a 9′ straight edge attached to the fence. Using this technique I’m slowly but surely getting the top built.

I do have the parts for the base milled though but I’d really like to get the top out of the way before doing any more work there.

Holtzapffel Workbench – Making Progress

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

I’ve been making slow but steady on my bench. After getting my jointer knives sharpened I set about milling the stock for the legs. I’d noticed my dust collector wasn’t running as well as it once did and wondered were all the dust I’d been collecting since I bought it had ended up…


Turns out it all goes into that big sack! So after getting that working I face and edge jointed all the parts for the base. Once that was done it was time to glue the two pieces that comprise the legs together. I’m not a man of many clamps so figured I’d crack open my vacuum press to do the job all in one shot.

This is my trusty vacuum press, built per joewoodworkers plans.

vacuum press

Here it is in action..

vacuum press legs

I could really do with some proper breather mesh for the top but I’ve found it works just as well if I throw some rags in there which is what you can see on top of the legs.

The vacuum pressing worked really well, producing a ton (literally) of nice even pressure on the legs. Which you can see at the bottom of this pile.

base components

So now I have all the bits for the base pretty much ready (and I’ve rough cut most of the pieces for the top too). I’m going to drum sand them to final thickness next week (I think) because my initial plan to use the planer was causing too much chip out in this crazy grained maple. After that I can get down to some joinery.

— I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. – Pablo Picasso

Building the Holtzapffel Workbench

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

So after looking at all the options I decided to just go ahead and build a bench. I really liked the look of Chris Schwarz’s Holtzapffel bench

Holtzapffel Bench

So that’s what I’m going to build, ordered the “24 Veritas Twin Screw vise from Lee Valley for the front and like Chris’ the large quick release steel vise for the tail

Twin Screw Vise

Steel Vise

Yesterday I went to PALS and picked up the lumber for the base which I’m going to build first. Building it all from maple, and it’s going to be a beast, just the 12’ x 5” 8/4 board I’ll be using for the stretches weighed a ton :)

Now for my question (I’ll post this as a forum topic too). Chris glued up the top using pieces that were 1 3/4 wide (so it was all 8/4 stock) to get the 24” width, but I saw that PALS had 12/4 stock, about 8” wide. Would I be better off using three of these huge chunks for the top, or will the smaller laminated strips be more stable (I’m guessing the latter)

Hopefully I’ll get some shop time this afternoon to start building the base :) Will keep you posted with pics a plenty.