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Thread: Workbench Almost Done

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Workbench Almost Done

    Greetings to all,

    I've been picking away at my first proper workbench and I've got it about done. Ever since I saw Chris Schwarz and his Holtzapffel workbench at a local tool event I've had the bug to build one of my own (bench, not Chris).

    Behold - Son of Holtzapffel, with a little Roubo DNA as well. In keeping with the "Green" movement, most of the materials are recycled or reclaimed.

    The base is made from SYP off-cuts from work. the legs are 4 1/2 x 5 and the stringers are 3 1/2 x 5. The top is made from two maple butcher block benchtops salvaged from a local factory that closed. I laminated them together to form a solid 3 1/2" thick top 27" x 60". I bolted a 3 1/2" hard maple apron all the way around to make for a cleaner look.

    The front vise is hard maple with a curly maple cap, 3 1/2" thick x 8" tall x 36" wide, powered by a Veritas twin screw kit. The end vise is an old Wilton that I mortised into the top behind the apron with a big maple chop attached to the moving jaw.

    All in all I'm pleased with the results. This thing is pretty stout to be sure, and the workholding potential is fantastic. Tomorrow while the BBQ is slow cooking I'll be easing all the sharp edges and wiping on a coat of BLO to seal things up. Once it's done I'll post some glamor shots, cause it won't be pretty long, As my wife put it: "Now that your bench is done you can start making stuff, right?"
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Stanwood, WA
    You are going to love both the bench AND that vise. I may say that is the best vise (for what it does) on the market. Yes, I own one also.

    Now let see some projects... pics please !

    "Everything is better with Inlay or Marquetry!"

  3. #3
    Congratulations Rob. Having a solid bench with good work holding makes life so much easier than trying to do work arounds. As for the wife's comment..... like you didn't expect that man?
    Dave Anderson

    Chester, NH

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Thanks Dave.

    The workholding is going to be the best part of this. I cut a couple of dovetails this morning in the twin screw and it felt great. It's nice to have your workpiece held solid as a rock. Chopping the waste was a whole different deal too. The top is so massive there's zero deflection or bounce.

    I see the quality of my joinery going up a few notches just by virtue of the work being held properly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Atlanta , Ga.
    Very nice, Rob. You could use that puppy to re-build engines on if you need a break from WW. I will say that the twin set-up is the widest I have ever seen used with a LV and am curious to hear if you get any racking by going that wide?

    And I will join your wife in her stated sentiments. Unfortunately you can't argue with sound logic. I suppose you can.. but you won't win.

    Nicely done...


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    In the foothills of the NM Sandia Mountains
    A nice bench is a joy to use. It looks like you built a winner that'll last you for years to come.
    Please help support the Creek.

    "The older I get, the better I used to be."
    Lee Trevino

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    A couple more pics are attached. The BLO really warmed the wood up. I included a recent rust hunt find for scale (ok, and a minor gloat ).

    I still need to take care of a couple details: Leather lining for the moving vise jaws, anti-skid leveling pads, and a couple of holes bored in the right front leg for bench dog storage.

    John - No racking at all. I just set the screws at the 24" max and the chain is pretty much the perfect length. The screws were a little sticky at first, but I cleaned them up with WD40 and rubbed bees wax into the threads. It's smooooth now. It will be better when I add some UHMWPE rub blocks above the screws to take the load off the nuts when the jaw is extended way out.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Rob Luter; 05-26-2008 at 5:45 PM.

  8. #8
    So, how are you liking that bench a year later, Rob?
    “I don’t have a lot of tools because it doesn’t take many to make furniture.” - Rob Millard

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