Workbench - Holtzapffel?

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Project by topspin posted 03-29-2009 07:12 AM 3142 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This workbench is a hodge-podge of several designs I’ve seen out there over the last few years. Once I put the twin screw face vice on it will most closely look like a Holtzapffel. It’s 80 inches long, about 35 inches tall, 30 inches deep.

I’m inherently cheap and hate making newbie mistakes with expensive wood so… the base is big box hem/fir and the top is 4 layers of MDF trimmed with poplar.

To give you an idea of how much of a Frankenstein bench it is I’ll give a list of all the sources for the parts of the design:
- Wagon vise / top joinery – Woodsmith Magazine
- Basic Base Set-up / setting top flush with legs – The Schwarz/Roubo
- Knock-down base idea – Roy Underhill’s show
- Rear tool holder slots – Woodsmith Magazine
- Leg Holes / twin screw dimensions – The Schwarz/Holtzapffel
- Square holes – Frank Klaus
- the boy in the 3rd picture… that’s me and his momma :D – Note that he’s got his plastic drill ready to help me finish up the work.

So far, I’m pretty happy with it. The bench does have a bit of a dip in the center of the MDF that i will have to take out (I planned for removing it when I added the trim – it sits a little lower so I can plane the field down). It’s a result of the MDF not being well supported while it was being glued together… I now know why all the books talk about making a dead flat level surface to build your top on.

The front 5 inches (the poplar part) are dead flat.

There were many happy accidents in the design and build of this bench. Eventually, I’ll add a tool cabinet to help manage some of the shop clutter.

It was cheap enough that I won’t feel bad about building another bench with much nicer materials in another few years (after I get through the honey do list… of course).

-- Seems that talent only gets you so far... effort makes you successful.

8 comments so far

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 5218 days

#1 posted 03-29-2009 08:17 AM

Not a bad bench!!! I’ve looked at your other projects and you are doing great!!!

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View king's profile


71 posts in 5280 days

#2 posted 03-29-2009 10:53 AM

It looks like a good workable bench to me,good luck with it.

-- [email protected]

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4924 days

#3 posted 03-29-2009 03:50 PM

Great bench.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View firecaster's profile


574 posts in 4751 days

#4 posted 03-29-2009 05:11 PM

I’ll bet you get a lot of help in the shop. Always take time to let him help, when safe. It wil bring rewards.

Great job.

-- Father of two sons. Both Eagle Scouts.

View a1Jim's profile


118309 posts in 4910 days

#5 posted 03-29-2009 05:22 PM

Nice bench lots of projects to come on that baby.



View Chris's profile


340 posts in 4691 days

#6 posted 03-30-2009 05:15 AM

It’s a great bench. Nothing wrong with being a little cost concious, either.

-- Chris

View Woodfix's profile


354 posts in 4633 days

#7 posted 03-12-2010 01:36 PM

Great bench and looks like you are not the only one justifiably proud of it in your household.

-- I would rather have the most memories, than the most money.

View Stephen Mines's profile

Stephen Mines

226 posts in 4023 days

#8 posted 03-06-2011 09:48 PM

Yup, that’s good!


-- Stephen Mines ([email protected])

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