Building The Holtzapffel Workbench

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Blog series by Mike Lingenfelter updated 07-29-2008 04:47 AM 15 parts 101811 reads 188 comments total

Part 1: Finding the lumber

01-24-2008 06:58 AM by Mike Lingenfelter | 13 comments »

Well I started the first step in building the Holtzapffel workbench. I went out last weekend and picked up some Douglas Fir for the bench and started to mill it up. I choose Douglas Fir for a couple reasons. First it was pretty cheap, I only spent about $150 on the lumber. Secondly, its a stable and stiff wood, which is good for a bench. It is also pretty hard for a “softwood”. I also used Douglas Fir on the small bench I built as a sharpening station. I like how it turned ...

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Part 2: Starting the base

02-03-2008 04:19 AM by Mike Lingenfelter | 11 comments »

This weekend I have a little time to work in the shop. I have plans for the next couple of weekends, so it might be a little while before I can work on the bench again. Today, I cut all of the legs and stretchers to size and cut the tenons on the legs and stretchers. The Legs The stretchers I also had time to start to hog out the mortises. The first step was to mark out the mortises. I just used a combination square and the stretchers themselves to layout the mortises. The str...

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Part 3: Update on the base

02-04-2008 01:52 AM by Mike Lingenfelter | 11 comments »

I had a few hours to work in the shop before the Super Bowl started. I was able to hog out all of the mortises. The router and drill press combination worked out really nice. I had time to clean out the mortises in two of legs and fit one of the small stretches into the mortises. So far the fit is working out pretty well. I still have a little more tweaking to do on some of the shoulders, but over all not too bad.

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Part 4: Update on the bench

03-07-2008 10:28 PM by Mike Lingenfelter | 14 comments »

There’s nothing like a pile of shavings on your shop floor.I’ve been busy these last several weekends and haven’t had much time to work on the bench. This last weekend Dorje came by to help out. My plan was to start the glue-up of the top. After milling up the lumber and trying to cut around the knots, I wasn’t happy with how many knots were still showing through the top. I should have spent more time picking through the lumber the first time, lesson learned. At least the lumber is pret...

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Part 5: Gluing up the top

03-13-2008 03:56 AM by Mike Lingenfelter | 10 comments »

This last weekend I was able to get all of the lumber milled up and I started to glue-up the top. Dorje and I did a pretty good job picking out the lumber. There were very few knots I had to deal with. The small ones you might see in the photo are very close to the surface. It’s likely they will be milled out when I flatten the top.Here is the first glue-up. It’s the front of the bench with the dog holes. I also got 2 other sections glued up.You might be asking what that whole is at the ...

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Part 6: Update on large wooden screws

03-17-2008 08:24 PM by Mike Lingenfelter | 3 comments »

Many of you have asked me where I was getting my large wooden screws, for the large face vise on my bench. Well a new source has just come up. Over at Christopher Schwarz's blog, he just posted a new source for the wooden screws. Joe, the new guy making the screws, is having a sale on the wooden screws. They are $99/each through the end of March. This is a great deal if you are in the market for these large wooden screws. I’m still waiting on the ones I’ve ordered and will...

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Part 7: Final Top Glue Up

03-23-2008 04:10 AM by Mike Lingenfelter | 14 comments »

Well I found the time to do the final glue up of the top today. Man the top it getting heavy and difficult to manage on my own. I was just able to send the last couple of sections through the planer, on my own. For those of you doing a large glue up like this, you might want to get a second set of hands when you get to this stage. Here are the last couple of sections that will go through the planer. There are two large sections and 1 last board I needed to add to make it a full 24”...

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Part 8: Top and Base Come Together

03-24-2008 04:07 AM by Mike Lingenfelter | 10 comments »

I wasn’t expecting to have another update this weekend, but I made some good progress today.I started the day by squaring up the ends of the top. I used a straight edge and my circular saw to do this.My circular saw couldn’t cut all the way through with one pass. I had to flip the top over and do a second cut. I’ve always had problems getting the two cuts to line up perfectly, but this time I got it dead on. I must be getting better at this.I didn’t have my base fully assemble yet, becaus...

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Part 9: Wagons Ho!

03-31-2008 03:45 AM by Mike Lingenfelter | 11 comments »

This weekend I had time to work on the Wagon Vise. Overall it came out really nice. I also attached the top to the base, so it’s all one piece now. I’m using a standard veneer press screw for the Wagon Vise, nothing special and it’s cheap. The first step was to bore a hole for the thread bracket, that the screw runs through. I have to tell you boring through end-grain is a bit of a pain. I should have bored the hole using my drill press, before I glued the piece in place. Next ...

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Part 10: Flattening The Top

04-21-2008 01:20 AM by Mike Lingenfelter | 11 comments »

This weekend I only had a few hours I could spend in the shop. My next task was to work on the top and get it flat. I had a few areas that were misaligned slightly during the glue up, so I spent a few minutes working on those areas, to bring everything to the same level. Next I wanted to see if there was any wind in the top. To check this I used some winding sticks. The winding sticks I have are for much smaller scale projects, so I had to come up with something else. I had seen Chris...

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Part 11: Planing Stop

04-28-2008 08:36 PM by Mike Lingenfelter | 9 comments »

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 ...

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Part 12: Big screws, no wait HUGE screws.

05-01-2008 01:57 AM by Mike Lingenfelter | 9 comments »

Well the day finally came and large wooden screws I ordered came in yesterday ☺. I wasn’t quite prepared for how big these guys were going to be. Tim Allen would be grunting his approval, if he had seen these big guys. The pictures really don’t do them justice.The over length is about 25”. The threaded area is 2.25” in diameter. The head or cap is 3.25” in diameter and there are about 3 threads per inch. The head of the screw is made from Ash and the rest of the pieces are Maple. The ...

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Part 13: Mockup of the Face Vise

05-07-2008 04:59 AM by Mike Lingenfelter | 14 comments »

Here is a quick update on attaching the face vise. This last weekend I worked on a mockup of the face vise. I thought it best to practice on some cheap lumber instead of the nicer wood I’m planning to use. I didn’t take any pictures of the mockup process, but I will do some detailed pictures when I do the final assembly. I picked up a standard 2×10 “construction” grade stud at my local Lowe’s and started to lay things out. It was good I decided to mock this up, because there were a...

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Part 14: Final Vise Assembly

05-31-2008 03:01 AM by Mike Lingenfelter | 21 comments »

After finishing the mockup of the face vise, I was now ready to do it for real. I started by gluing up a couple piece of oak for the main chop. You saw me use my new planer sled to mill the two large faces flat. I used the mockup to locate and cut the 2 main holes for the screws.I used a regular hole saw on my drill press to cut the holes. It was slow going through the hard oak, but I made it through. Next I wanted to dress up and round over the ends of the chop. I layout a small reveal...

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Part 15: The Finished Bench!

07-29-2008 04:47 AM by Mike Lingenfelter | 27 comments »

Well it was a longtime coming but I have finished the bench. I’ve been having an issue getting the main face vise to operate smoothly. It worked just fine when I had it mocked up, but once I added the final chop it was grabbing and binding. It took some trouble shooting to find the problem, but in the end the problem was me trusting that power tools can do an accurate finish job. More on that later. First I thought the problem was that the new chop was bigger and heavier. I thought th...

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