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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Getting started

So after looking at all the options I decided to just go ahead and build a bench. I really liked the look of Chris Schwarz's Holtzapffel bench



So that's what I'm going to build, ordered the "24 Veritas Twin Screw vise from Lee Valley for the front and like Chris' the large quick release steel vise for the tail





Yesterday I went to PALS and picked up the lumber for the base which I'm going to build first. Building it all from maple, and it's going to be a beast, just the 12' x 5" 8/4 board I'll be using for the stretches weighed a ton :)

Now for my question (I'll post this as a forum topic too). Chris glued up the top using pieces that were 1 3/4 wide (so it was all 8/4 stock) to get the 24" width, but I saw that PALS had 12/4 stock, about 8" wide. Would I be better off using three of these huge chunks for the top, or will the smaller laminated strips be more stable (I'm guessing the latter)

Hopefully I'll get some shop time this afternoon to start building the base :) Will keep you posted with pics a plenty.
 

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Getting started

So after looking at all the options I decided to just go ahead and build a bench. I really liked the look of Chris Schwarz's Holtzapffel bench



So that's what I'm going to build, ordered the "24 Veritas Twin Screw vise from Lee Valley for the front and like Chris' the large quick release steel vise for the tail





Yesterday I went to PALS and picked up the lumber for the base which I'm going to build first. Building it all from maple, and it's going to be a beast, just the 12' x 5" 8/4 board I'll be using for the stretches weighed a ton :)

Now for my question (I'll post this as a forum topic too). Chris glued up the top using pieces that were 1 3/4 wide (so it was all 8/4 stock) to get the 24" width, but I saw that PALS had 12/4 stock, about 8" wide. Would I be better off using three of these huge chunks for the top, or will the smaller laminated strips be more stable (I'm guessing the latter)

Hopefully I'll get some shop time this afternoon to start building the base :) Will keep you posted with pics a plenty.
I think that is a great idea to build your own and you will certainly appreciate it a lot more this way.Yes as you stated the narrow boards will be more stable.I can't wait to see pics
 

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Getting started

So after looking at all the options I decided to just go ahead and build a bench. I really liked the look of Chris Schwarz's Holtzapffel bench



So that's what I'm going to build, ordered the "24 Veritas Twin Screw vise from Lee Valley for the front and like Chris' the large quick release steel vise for the tail





Yesterday I went to PALS and picked up the lumber for the base which I'm going to build first. Building it all from maple, and it's going to be a beast, just the 12' x 5" 8/4 board I'll be using for the stretches weighed a ton :)

Now for my question (I'll post this as a forum topic too). Chris glued up the top using pieces that were 1 3/4 wide (so it was all 8/4 stock) to get the 24" width, but I saw that PALS had 12/4 stock, about 8" wide. Would I be better off using three of these huge chunks for the top, or will the smaller laminated strips be more stable (I'm guessing the latter)

Hopefully I'll get some shop time this afternoon to start building the base :) Will keep you posted with pics a plenty.
Great! This will be a fun series to read.
 

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Getting started

So after looking at all the options I decided to just go ahead and build a bench. I really liked the look of Chris Schwarz's Holtzapffel bench



So that's what I'm going to build, ordered the "24 Veritas Twin Screw vise from Lee Valley for the front and like Chris' the large quick release steel vise for the tail





Yesterday I went to PALS and picked up the lumber for the base which I'm going to build first. Building it all from maple, and it's going to be a beast, just the 12' x 5" 8/4 board I'll be using for the stretches weighed a ton :)

Now for my question (I'll post this as a forum topic too). Chris glued up the top using pieces that were 1 3/4 wide (so it was all 8/4 stock) to get the 24" width, but I saw that PALS had 12/4 stock, about 8" wide. Would I be better off using three of these huge chunks for the top, or will the smaller laminated strips be more stable (I'm guessing the latter)

Hopefully I'll get some shop time this afternoon to start building the base :) Will keep you posted with pics a plenty.
This should be intresting!
 

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Getting started

So after looking at all the options I decided to just go ahead and build a bench. I really liked the look of Chris Schwarz's Holtzapffel bench



So that's what I'm going to build, ordered the "24 Veritas Twin Screw vise from Lee Valley for the front and like Chris' the large quick release steel vise for the tail





Yesterday I went to PALS and picked up the lumber for the base which I'm going to build first. Building it all from maple, and it's going to be a beast, just the 12' x 5" 8/4 board I'll be using for the stretches weighed a ton :)

Now for my question (I'll post this as a forum topic too). Chris glued up the top using pieces that were 1 3/4 wide (so it was all 8/4 stock) to get the 24" width, but I saw that PALS had 12/4 stock, about 8" wide. Would I be better off using three of these huge chunks for the top, or will the smaller laminated strips be more stable (I'm guessing the latter)

Hopefully I'll get some shop time this afternoon to start building the base :) Will keep you posted with pics a plenty.
either will work but I would think that the thinner ones would be less expensive to use.

Keep us posted as it progresses.
 

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Getting started

So after looking at all the options I decided to just go ahead and build a bench. I really liked the look of Chris Schwarz's Holtzapffel bench



So that's what I'm going to build, ordered the "24 Veritas Twin Screw vise from Lee Valley for the front and like Chris' the large quick release steel vise for the tail





Yesterday I went to PALS and picked up the lumber for the base which I'm going to build first. Building it all from maple, and it's going to be a beast, just the 12' x 5" 8/4 board I'll be using for the stretches weighed a ton :)

Now for my question (I'll post this as a forum topic too). Chris glued up the top using pieces that were 1 3/4 wide (so it was all 8/4 stock) to get the 24" width, but I saw that PALS had 12/4 stock, about 8" wide. Would I be better off using three of these huge chunks for the top, or will the smaller laminated strips be more stable (I'm guessing the latter)

Hopefully I'll get some shop time this afternoon to start building the base :) Will keep you posted with pics a plenty.
Hi Damian,

I have been thinking about what to do for my bench as well…Whether to buy or build and found your previous post very interesting. It prompted me to start my own research. Although I would love to have a Lie Nielsen custom built workbench I also don't want to drop 2k + shipping charges to CA. And like yourself would rather spend the time building furniture then building things for the shop, however, the notion of building one's own bench, the heart of any shop, is a hard one to pass up. In some respects building a workbench is the ultimate furniture project, it must be built to the same tolerences and exactness. And like any furniture project you want to build something that is useful and will last a lifetime. What a great sense of satisfaction it will it be to know every future project you build will be built on a bench that you made. Seeing your previous projects this bench will be AWESOME!
The bench you have chosen is beautiful. Are there detailed plans that you are working off of? Please keep us posted on the progress as I want to learn as much from your experience as possible before I embark on my own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Getting started

So after looking at all the options I decided to just go ahead and build a bench. I really liked the look of Chris Schwarz's Holtzapffel bench



So that's what I'm going to build, ordered the "24 Veritas Twin Screw vise from Lee Valley for the front and like Chris' the large quick release steel vise for the tail





Yesterday I went to PALS and picked up the lumber for the base which I'm going to build first. Building it all from maple, and it's going to be a beast, just the 12' x 5" 8/4 board I'll be using for the stretches weighed a ton :)

Now for my question (I'll post this as a forum topic too). Chris glued up the top using pieces that were 1 3/4 wide (so it was all 8/4 stock) to get the 24" width, but I saw that PALS had 12/4 stock, about 8" wide. Would I be better off using three of these huge chunks for the top, or will the smaller laminated strips be more stable (I'm guessing the latter)

Hopefully I'll get some shop time this afternoon to start building the base :) Will keep you posted with pics a plenty.
At the end of the day it wasn't that hard of a decision; twice the bench for the money and the satisfaction of having built it myself :)

I'm working from the plans in Woodworking Magazine #8 and the only difference will be using the Lee Valley Twin Screw instead of the wooden screws Chris used.
 

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Getting started

So after looking at all the options I decided to just go ahead and build a bench. I really liked the look of Chris Schwarz's Holtzapffel bench



So that's what I'm going to build, ordered the "24 Veritas Twin Screw vise from Lee Valley for the front and like Chris' the large quick release steel vise for the tail





Yesterday I went to PALS and picked up the lumber for the base which I'm going to build first. Building it all from maple, and it's going to be a beast, just the 12' x 5" 8/4 board I'll be using for the stretches weighed a ton :)

Now for my question (I'll post this as a forum topic too). Chris glued up the top using pieces that were 1 3/4 wide (so it was all 8/4 stock) to get the 24" width, but I saw that PALS had 12/4 stock, about 8" wide. Would I be better off using three of these huge chunks for the top, or will the smaller laminated strips be more stable (I'm guessing the latter)

Hopefully I'll get some shop time this afternoon to start building the base :) Will keep you posted with pics a plenty.
Looks like you have a good start. Please keep us informed.
 

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Getting started

So after looking at all the options I decided to just go ahead and build a bench. I really liked the look of Chris Schwarz's Holtzapffel bench



So that's what I'm going to build, ordered the "24 Veritas Twin Screw vise from Lee Valley for the front and like Chris' the large quick release steel vise for the tail





Yesterday I went to PALS and picked up the lumber for the base which I'm going to build first. Building it all from maple, and it's going to be a beast, just the 12' x 5" 8/4 board I'll be using for the stretches weighed a ton :)

Now for my question (I'll post this as a forum topic too). Chris glued up the top using pieces that were 1 3/4 wide (so it was all 8/4 stock) to get the 24" width, but I saw that PALS had 12/4 stock, about 8" wide. Would I be better off using three of these huge chunks for the top, or will the smaller laminated strips be more stable (I'm guessing the latter)

Hopefully I'll get some shop time this afternoon to start building the base :) Will keep you posted with pics a plenty.
Damien,
I think I'd use the 8/4 for the top and the rip to 1 3/4 wide is probably a good idea as well. it will be more stable and you get to have all that fun getting it flat. Remember, you're building a tool, not something to impress your fellow Lumber Jocks. LOL
 

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Getting started

So after looking at all the options I decided to just go ahead and build a bench. I really liked the look of Chris Schwarz's Holtzapffel bench



So that's what I'm going to build, ordered the "24 Veritas Twin Screw vise from Lee Valley for the front and like Chris' the large quick release steel vise for the tail





Yesterday I went to PALS and picked up the lumber for the base which I'm going to build first. Building it all from maple, and it's going to be a beast, just the 12' x 5" 8/4 board I'll be using for the stretches weighed a ton :)

Now for my question (I'll post this as a forum topic too). Chris glued up the top using pieces that were 1 3/4 wide (so it was all 8/4 stock) to get the 24" width, but I saw that PALS had 12/4 stock, about 8" wide. Would I be better off using three of these huge chunks for the top, or will the smaller laminated strips be more stable (I'm guessing the latter)

Hopefully I'll get some shop time this afternoon to start building the base :) Will keep you posted with pics a plenty.
And aaaawaaaay he goes….this is great that you're going on this!

If Mike Lingenfelter doesn't run across this - you may want to contact him re: the top. He's in the process of building this bench now too.
 

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Getting started

So after looking at all the options I decided to just go ahead and build a bench. I really liked the look of Chris Schwarz's Holtzapffel bench



So that's what I'm going to build, ordered the "24 Veritas Twin Screw vise from Lee Valley for the front and like Chris' the large quick release steel vise for the tail





Yesterday I went to PALS and picked up the lumber for the base which I'm going to build first. Building it all from maple, and it's going to be a beast, just the 12' x 5" 8/4 board I'll be using for the stretches weighed a ton :)

Now for my question (I'll post this as a forum topic too). Chris glued up the top using pieces that were 1 3/4 wide (so it was all 8/4 stock) to get the 24" width, but I saw that PALS had 12/4 stock, about 8" wide. Would I be better off using three of these huge chunks for the top, or will the smaller laminated strips be more stable (I'm guessing the latter)

Hopefully I'll get some shop time this afternoon to start building the base :) Will keep you posted with pics a plenty.
I love shopping at PALS…so does my dog. It's nice to see someone who knows a place I go to.
 

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Getting started

So after looking at all the options I decided to just go ahead and build a bench. I really liked the look of Chris Schwarz's Holtzapffel bench



So that's what I'm going to build, ordered the "24 Veritas Twin Screw vise from Lee Valley for the front and like Chris' the large quick release steel vise for the tail





Yesterday I went to PALS and picked up the lumber for the base which I'm going to build first. Building it all from maple, and it's going to be a beast, just the 12' x 5" 8/4 board I'll be using for the stretches weighed a ton :)

Now for my question (I'll post this as a forum topic too). Chris glued up the top using pieces that were 1 3/4 wide (so it was all 8/4 stock) to get the 24" width, but I saw that PALS had 12/4 stock, about 8" wide. Would I be better off using three of these huge chunks for the top, or will the smaller laminated strips be more stable (I'm guessing the latter)

Hopefully I'll get some shop time this afternoon to start building the base :) Will keep you posted with pics a plenty.
There ya go man:) I Can't wait to see it finished
 

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Getting started

So after looking at all the options I decided to just go ahead and build a bench. I really liked the look of Chris Schwarz's Holtzapffel bench



So that's what I'm going to build, ordered the "24 Veritas Twin Screw vise from Lee Valley for the front and like Chris' the large quick release steel vise for the tail





Yesterday I went to PALS and picked up the lumber for the base which I'm going to build first. Building it all from maple, and it's going to be a beast, just the 12' x 5" 8/4 board I'll be using for the stretches weighed a ton :)

Now for my question (I'll post this as a forum topic too). Chris glued up the top using pieces that were 1 3/4 wide (so it was all 8/4 stock) to get the 24" width, but I saw that PALS had 12/4 stock, about 8" wide. Would I be better off using three of these huge chunks for the top, or will the smaller laminated strips be more stable (I'm guessing the latter)

Hopefully I'll get some shop time this afternoon to start building the base :) Will keep you posted with pics a plenty.
This is the same type of bench that I am leaning towards right now. Mine will be Ash top and Pine base (reclaimed lumber). I am looking forward to watching your progress as I will not be able to start mine until I get the lumber reclaimed.
 

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Getting started

So after looking at all the options I decided to just go ahead and build a bench. I really liked the look of Chris Schwarz's Holtzapffel bench



So that's what I'm going to build, ordered the "24 Veritas Twin Screw vise from Lee Valley for the front and like Chris' the large quick release steel vise for the tail





Yesterday I went to PALS and picked up the lumber for the base which I'm going to build first. Building it all from maple, and it's going to be a beast, just the 12' x 5" 8/4 board I'll be using for the stretches weighed a ton :)

Now for my question (I'll post this as a forum topic too). Chris glued up the top using pieces that were 1 3/4 wide (so it was all 8/4 stock) to get the 24" width, but I saw that PALS had 12/4 stock, about 8" wide. Would I be better off using three of these huge chunks for the top, or will the smaller laminated strips be more stable (I'm guessing the latter)

Hopefully I'll get some shop time this afternoon to start building the base :) Will keep you posted with pics a plenty.
You are going to need about ten people to help you move it into place. Looking forward to the pictures.
 

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Getting started

So after looking at all the options I decided to just go ahead and build a bench. I really liked the look of Chris Schwarz's Holtzapffel bench



So that's what I'm going to build, ordered the "24 Veritas Twin Screw vise from Lee Valley for the front and like Chris' the large quick release steel vise for the tail





Yesterday I went to PALS and picked up the lumber for the base which I'm going to build first. Building it all from maple, and it's going to be a beast, just the 12' x 5" 8/4 board I'll be using for the stretches weighed a ton :)

Now for my question (I'll post this as a forum topic too). Chris glued up the top using pieces that were 1 3/4 wide (so it was all 8/4 stock) to get the 24" width, but I saw that PALS had 12/4 stock, about 8" wide. Would I be better off using three of these huge chunks for the top, or will the smaller laminated strips be more stable (I'm guessing the latter)

Hopefully I'll get some shop time this afternoon to start building the base :) Will keep you posted with pics a plenty.
Damien;

You're very fortunate to have the opportunity to do this. Many of us lumber jocks would love to be able to build this project, and especially the bench you chose to build. That's a beauty all right.

Makes mine look like a toy. (well almost)

It's quite an undertaking, as those pieces will get very heavy, very quickly!

8/4" is probably the way I would go.

Have a great time building this, as it will be with you forever so enjoy the process.

Lee
 

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Getting started

So after looking at all the options I decided to just go ahead and build a bench. I really liked the look of Chris Schwarz's Holtzapffel bench



So that's what I'm going to build, ordered the "24 Veritas Twin Screw vise from Lee Valley for the front and like Chris' the large quick release steel vise for the tail





Yesterday I went to PALS and picked up the lumber for the base which I'm going to build first. Building it all from maple, and it's going to be a beast, just the 12' x 5" 8/4 board I'll be using for the stretches weighed a ton :)

Now for my question (I'll post this as a forum topic too). Chris glued up the top using pieces that were 1 3/4 wide (so it was all 8/4 stock) to get the 24" width, but I saw that PALS had 12/4 stock, about 8" wide. Would I be better off using three of these huge chunks for the top, or will the smaller laminated strips be more stable (I'm guessing the latter)

Hopefully I'll get some shop time this afternoon to start building the base :) Will keep you posted with pics a plenty.
I have the greatest respect for the Hotlzapffel bench - I'm building one myself. Maybe we can start our own club of other European fusion bench builders! I'm using Ash - a local tree and probably Green Ash as opposed to a Northern White. I look forward to seeing how your progress goes. Mine is slow-going as I have a lot of cart-before-the-horse issues to work out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Getting started

So after looking at all the options I decided to just go ahead and build a bench. I really liked the look of Chris Schwarz's Holtzapffel bench



So that's what I'm going to build, ordered the "24 Veritas Twin Screw vise from Lee Valley for the front and like Chris' the large quick release steel vise for the tail





Yesterday I went to PALS and picked up the lumber for the base which I'm going to build first. Building it all from maple, and it's going to be a beast, just the 12' x 5" 8/4 board I'll be using for the stretches weighed a ton :)

Now for my question (I'll post this as a forum topic too). Chris glued up the top using pieces that were 1 3/4 wide (so it was all 8/4 stock) to get the 24" width, but I saw that PALS had 12/4 stock, about 8" wide. Would I be better off using three of these huge chunks for the top, or will the smaller laminated strips be more stable (I'm guessing the latter)

Hopefully I'll get some shop time this afternoon to start building the base :) Will keep you posted with pics a plenty.
Olaf, I liked your description of man handling the rough cut ash. I don't think pictures really convey just how heavy one of these benches truly is. Hopefully I can get to the lumberyard either tonight or early next week for the remaining lumber and then construction will begin in earnest. I just got my shipping confirmation from Lee Valley for the two vises, most exciting.
 

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Getting started

So after looking at all the options I decided to just go ahead and build a bench. I really liked the look of Chris Schwarz's Holtzapffel bench



So that's what I'm going to build, ordered the "24 Veritas Twin Screw vise from Lee Valley for the front and like Chris' the large quick release steel vise for the tail





Yesterday I went to PALS and picked up the lumber for the base which I'm going to build first. Building it all from maple, and it's going to be a beast, just the 12' x 5" 8/4 board I'll be using for the stretches weighed a ton :)

Now for my question (I'll post this as a forum topic too). Chris glued up the top using pieces that were 1 3/4 wide (so it was all 8/4 stock) to get the 24" width, but I saw that PALS had 12/4 stock, about 8" wide. Would I be better off using three of these huge chunks for the top, or will the smaller laminated strips be more stable (I'm guessing the latter)

Hopefully I'll get some shop time this afternoon to start building the base :) Will keep you posted with pics a plenty.
Great project. I'll be watching closely to see how it progresses - good luck.
 

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Getting started

So after looking at all the options I decided to just go ahead and build a bench. I really liked the look of Chris Schwarz's Holtzapffel bench



So that's what I'm going to build, ordered the "24 Veritas Twin Screw vise from Lee Valley for the front and like Chris' the large quick release steel vise for the tail





Yesterday I went to PALS and picked up the lumber for the base which I'm going to build first. Building it all from maple, and it's going to be a beast, just the 12' x 5" 8/4 board I'll be using for the stretches weighed a ton :)

Now for my question (I'll post this as a forum topic too). Chris glued up the top using pieces that were 1 3/4 wide (so it was all 8/4 stock) to get the 24" width, but I saw that PALS had 12/4 stock, about 8" wide. Would I be better off using three of these huge chunks for the top, or will the smaller laminated strips be more stable (I'm guessing the latter)

Hopefully I'll get some shop time this afternoon to start building the base :) Will keep you posted with pics a plenty.
Awesome Damian! Can't wait to see it develop and get a glimpse into your experience. I've been busy with shop projects myself lately. They are totally satisfying in a way furniture isn't….. I think it's the function and customization and how in touch with ourselves and our own workflow we have to get to perfect the nuances. Anyway, good luck man!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Cutlists

One thing I'm awful at is taking a cutlist to the lumberyard and figuring out which boards to buy, I either end up with too little or too much. Yesterday I'd picked up the boards for the base, figuring I'd build that first then swing by and get the stock for the top.

I'd heard some good things about Cutlist Plus so figured I'd use it to see how best to cut the pieces for the base from the stock I'd bought. Turns out if I use the pieces I bought for the base, and then go and get the stock for the top I'll end up wasting about $200 worth of wood! So looks like I'll be making my second trip to the lumberyard sooner than I thought… It really does go to show just how important optimizing your cuts is though, and I thoroughly recommend Cutlist Plus.
 
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