Building The Holtzapffel Workbench #11: Planing Stop

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Blog entry by Mike Lingenfelter posted 04-28-2008 08:36 PM 6477 reads 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Flattening The Top Part 11 of Building The Holtzapffel Workbench series Part 12: Big screws, no wait HUGE screws. »

This weekend I worked on a couple small projects, the first was a planing stop across the end of my bench. The planing stop is a piece ½” Oak with 2 threaded star knobs.

I had these 2 threaded star knobs leftover from another project and they looked like they would work well.


I gave some thought to where I wanted the knobs to be positioned. To give me a little more support while planing, I positioned the right knob (near the front of the bench) so that I would plane up against it. For me that was about 6” in from the front of the bench. I also took into account the radius of the knob. I put them about 1/8” below the surface of the bench. For now that will work, but I didn’t take into account that I will have to flatten the top a few times over it’s life. I think I may have to move knobs down at some point.

I used some threaded inserts in the end of the bench for the knobs.


I then sized the board I was going to as the stop and laid out the slots the threaded knobs would travel in.


I used the drill press to rough out the slots and cleaned them up with a chisel and file. You can just see the holdfasts I used while chiseling out the waste in the slots. I have to say they worked great. I purchase them from Tools For Woodworking/Gramercy. The pair of them were only $30. After I have had a chance to work with them a little more, I’ll post a review. First impressions they are well worth the little amount of money they cost.

After cleaning up the slots it was just a matter of attaching the stop.


The stop can be move anywhere from flush to about 1” above the bench top. Here are a couple pictures of some thin and think stock up against the stop.



I have planed up against the stop and it’s pretty solid. It was very easy to add this planing stop to the bench and it should be a very useful feature.

This next weekend I should have a whole weekend to spend in the shop. I have the tracking number for the large wooden screws and they should be delivered tomorrow ☺. So this coming weekend will be spent adding the large face vise, and if there is time put a finish on the bench.

9 comments so far

View Partridge's profile


296 posts in 5297 days

#1 posted 04-28-2008 09:01 PM

this is all ready looking like a good addition to the shop.

-- I get out in the shop when I can

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 5109 days

#2 posted 04-28-2008 09:30 PM

wow i’ve never seen that before. looks like a really good helper too. thanks for the post.

View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 5332 days

#3 posted 04-28-2008 11:38 PM

I’ve always wondered how the planing stops like this one hold up over time. Please keep us updated on what you find.

BTW The Bench looks great!

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 5455 days

#4 posted 04-29-2008 01:30 AM


I’m curious about how it will hold up to. I thought about embedding a planing stop into the bench top when I was building the top. It would have taken a little more work and I like the idea of a really wide planing stop like this. I think the type of planing I will do against this type of stop will be “light” in nature. Any heavy-duty planing will be up against a different stop.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5329 days

#5 posted 04-29-2008 04:41 AM

I kind of have mixed thoughts about how well it will hold up over time. One way I’m thinking it will and another that it won’t. Time will tell.

Great job so far!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 5337 days

#6 posted 04-29-2008 08:48 AM

Great addition to the bench!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View jcees's profile


1079 posts in 5140 days

#7 posted 04-29-2008 06:45 PM

I’m excited for you almost as much as I am for finishing mine. You’re a lot closer to it than I am. Beautiful execution. Imagine how it will look in about twenty years… sweeeet!


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View johnjoiner's profile


160 posts in 5234 days

#8 posted 04-29-2008 06:51 PM

Thanks for the post Mike.

As to how the stop holds up: Seems to me it doesn’t matter much. The board itself is easily replaceable.

Your bench looks great.

-- johnjoiner

View kem's profile


56 posts in 5059 days

#9 posted 04-29-2008 09:13 PM

The planing stop is a very interesting idea and looks very useful.

The Gramercy holdfasts look like a great value. I look forward to your review! I may order a pair of these.

Keep the updates coming! Sadly, I’m still waiting for my wood to dry before starting on my bench. I’m itching to get started after watching all of your progress.

-- Kevin

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