LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner
  • Please post in our Community Feedback thread for help with the new forum software! If you are having trouble logging in, please Contact Us for assistance.

Project Information

This is a workbench project that was based on Christopher Schwarz's design for the Holtzapffel Workbench. I followed it loosely, making the following more major changes to it:
-Made the stretchers closer to the floor. They are about 3" away from the floor. In another of Schwarz's designs, he mentioned that having the stretchers that close to the floor enables you to hook your foot under them when you're planing. Sounded like a good idea.
-Added a shelf
-Made the end vise the width of the entire bench.

Wood species used:
-Reclaimed Douglas fir (top, legs, stretchers)
-Red maple for vise jaws (8/4, not reclaimed)
-Some kind of softwood for the shelf, probably douglas fir (reclaimed siding from an old house)

Vises used:
-Veritas Twin-Screw chain drive vise, 24" between screws
-Veritas Large front vise, used as an end vise

Approximate dimensions:
-Top: 7' 3" long x 21" wide x 4" thick
-Floor to benchtop height: 34.5"
-Legs: 5×3.75"
-Stretchers: 5×2.75"

This is my first major project. I'm a novice woodworker, having done a few minor projects around my parents' house without a proper workbench. This project was extremely challenging because I had to make this workbench without a workbench. I was also using reclaimed wood from the construction of my parents' house. I used the 2×12 form boards that were used to form the concrete foundation. They were extremely knotty, twisty, and had concrete embedded into them. I tried to find the clearest sections, cut them out, used an aggressive jack plane to remove the concrete-embedded surface (the poor blade), and removed the twist with the jack and jointer planes. (We don't have a thickness planer) For workholding, I would put the boards between two posts on the front porch, put some scraps on either end to wedge the board between the posts, and then used two wedge shaped scraps that I would hammer between the post and the scraps to hold the board tight. It became a lot easier after the top was laminated because I could just set it on some sawhorses and hold boards down with clamps/makeshift planing stops. You can imagine how glad I am to have a functional workbench now!

Gallery

Comments

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Awesome job! I hope I do as well on my first bench. How are the vises working for you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
790 Posts
What a challenging project! I admire your tenacity and craftsmanship!.
and BTW…Welcome to Lumberjocks!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Thank you and thank you! I forgot to mention that I started this last summer and gave up because it was a crazy amount of work. I was also afraid that the grueling work would make me hate woodworking. But I picked it back up this summer and managed to finish it.

SirGareth, I haven't done many projects yet, but the vises are good so far. I like the twin screw; when it is adjusted to be directly parallel to the rear jaw (or benchtop side, in my case), it holds an extremely firm grip. It does sag a bit when it's cranked out more than a few inches, and it shudders when screwing it back in because of the sagging. I just finished installing some oak runners between the screws and the bottom of the benchtop to prevent the sagging and the shuddering, and it did the job. As for the end vise, it's done a fine job, but it does skew (not sure if that's the right word… rack?) if you try to close something on just one side, since the jaws are so wide. In these situations I just put a piece of scrap in the empty side and it works fine. It works fine without using a scrap when I'm just clamping work between bench dogs, partly because the vise carriage is not centered in the width of the bench but is closer to the left where the bench dog is. I would recommend both vises. Installing them took maybe two to three days overall for me. The twin screw was actually simpler to install, I think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,930 Posts
Nice work. Love that you re-purposed so much fine old material. I am jealous
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Excellent work! Nice to see you stuck it out, I find that once you complete a challenging project it is even more rewarding. The way you overcame the challenges of milling the stock shows you got the woodworking bug and I am sure it will help as you develop your skills. Keep it up!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,891 Posts
Nice project! Sticking with it pays off in the end - you have a great bench that will serve you for many years to come.

Welcome to LJs!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
435 Posts
Well done. Having a good workbench (and yours looks great) is the key to open the door to the rest of your woodworking journey. Go forth and make big pieces of wood smaller, and stick them together!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,103 Posts
Very impressive work for a novice woodworker (or any other woodworker). I know how much work is involve and I admire your tenacity. Now you have a great bench to use for the rest of your life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,185 Posts
That is really cool. Love the design. Great job
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Sweet! I need to seriously upgrade my "Reader's Digest" version…you have inspired me to do so. Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,326 Posts
Jake this turned out real nice! With all the work you put into it it will be a favorite bench in your shop for years to come. Now let's see some projects roll out!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
Very nice. Love that you did this all (pretty much) with reclaimed wood.

If you're anything like me, you'll get tired of all the wood shavings getting clogged on the shelf and build a set of drawers for your tools.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,469 Posts
Good job! I remember building my first bench without a bench. It was tough. I remember thinking, "Man if I only had a bench…oh wait"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,345 Posts
excellent work! - i'm sure many more great projects will be done here
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
684 Posts
Very nice work. Absolutely nothing wrong with re-claimed materials. That's what my whole shop's made of!

You will get a lifetime of enjoyment out of this bench.
 
Top