Operation Holtzapffel #8: Building the top

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Blog entry by Damian Penney posted 05-09-2008 02:33 AM 1251 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Slow Going Part 8 of Operation Holtzapffel series Part 9: Base almost done »

This post is just to share some top building pics

I’m using a 9’ straight edge to joint the boards for the top. I usually use this for cutting sheet goods to size as I have a jig that locks a circular saw to it but it’s come in real handy for handling these long pieces.

Here you can see how big and unwieldly the straight edge is, as well as my super high end Taiwanese saw…

The blade is a new 12” Freud combo blade, doesn’t leave an edge like my Woodworker II that usually lives on the saw but it gets it smooth enough whereby I can finish off on the jointer.

Slowly but surely…. :)

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

12 comments so far

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 4722 days

#1 posted 05-09-2008 02:55 AM

Looking good. The top seemed to take the most work for me. It was a lot of ripping and gluing. I felt good when it was all done :).

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4596 days

#2 posted 05-09-2008 03:09 AM

I remember building the top on mine. Little by little!

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

View gizmodyne's profile


1784 posts in 4698 days

#3 posted 05-09-2008 04:19 AM

I just worked with a neighbor and we chose a first coat of the Washcoat and Minwax Mahogany gel stain and a second coat of General Finishes Java gel stain.

Note that we also carefully sanded from 80 – 220 grit. In between coats we vacuumed or blew off the dust. Before the stain we tack clothed.

How did you prep the wood?

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 4599 days

#4 posted 05-09-2008 04:21 AM

12” Blade??? What kind of saw is that?

BTW, I have enjoyed watching you build this bench. I am planning on the same style and have learned a lot so far.

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

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4599 days

#5 posted 05-09-2008 07:33 AM

I got the saw when I first started woodworking from some guy on Craigslist. Had I known then what I know now I probably never would have bought it but it’s worked out pretty well all in all.

It’s some oddball import from Taiwan. The top is all cast iron, and it came with a Vega fence on it, there is another extension wing for the left hand-side that’s also cast iron that I recently removed for better access. Cost me about $300 I think, and the shop-built rolling base came with it.

It takes two hands to raise the blade or change the angle, the arbor has a bunch of run-out that I counteract with a Veritas blade straightening thing (it’s like a stabilizer plate with setscrews to push the blade a smidge) and the top isn’t exactly flat.. But apart from that it’s great! It also takes a 12” blade but has a 5/8 arbor, suffice to say it has lots of character :)

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

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4605 days

#6 posted 05-09-2008 08:28 AM

Here comes the top!!! Looks like a lot of work!

Is John in the right post – or is he just losing it? You didn’t dare ask him how you should stain (aaaghh!!) the bench did you? No smileys needed…or would that be smilies?

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

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4054 posts in 4672 days

#7 posted 05-09-2008 08:47 AM

Damian, you are a master. Sepia duotone project posts. Dudeā€¦

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4708 days

#8 posted 05-09-2008 03:20 PM

It’s great following this journey!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4599 days

#9 posted 05-09-2008 09:17 PM

Stain it? You crazy Dorje? I’m going the traditional route whereby I paint it and then followup with a few coats of poly.

Glad you like the sepia Doug, figured I’d play around with some camera settings I never get to use :)

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

View johnjoiner's profile


160 posts in 4501 days

#10 posted 05-09-2008 10:30 PM

Thanks for the post Damian.

That top looks like tough work. How long are you making yours?

After you paint and poly that, breaking it in will be some work too. I’m guessing Dorje might be willing to drive down and help put some gouges in it for you. ;-)

-- johnjoiner

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4605 days

#11 posted 05-11-2008 09:51 AM

I can do that! (break it in!) – Paint and poly? Are you crazy Damien? You should go the more conventional route and wrap it in stainless steel…or you could tack a sheet of plywood on top to protect the good wood…

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

View Kipster's profile


1076 posts in 4361 days

#12 posted 05-13-2008 02:44 AM

Great start on the top, step by step ans then it’s done.

-- Kip Northern Illinois ( If you don't know where your goin any road will take you there) George Harrison

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