Showing posts with label classic workbench. Show all posts
Showing posts with label classic workbench. Show all posts

Sunday, December 16, 2018

"Building The Holtzapffel Workbench"

Recently one of my favorite sites WKFineTools.com shut down and has disappeared (except for on the wayback machine). Loved the submitted articles and there cleaned up old tech books. It's a big loss.

David Pearce submitted a number of articles documenting a number of projects. David started out a relative newbe learning the craft of woodworking. One of his first documented projects was a Holtzapffel workbench back in 2008. Without alot of experience he produced a nice solid bench that would provide long service.

In David's words "In my attempt to learn the craft of woodworking, I have discovered that one of the most valuable tools a woodworker needs is a good workbench. Rather than delve into the details of my journey from doing general carpentry with power tools to learning the more traditional woodworkers methods using hand tools (which drove my reasoning to build a good, solid workbench), I want to take the approach of showing the process of building the bench using limited resources and relatively basic knowledge and skill of woodworking."

I made up many pdf's of the articles on WK Fine tools over the years, so it feels good to know not everything is lost. I have a few other of Davids projects. David if you see this and object to being reposted, message me and I will remove it.

To download the 54 page build document click Building The Holtzapffel Workbench - 2.5 MB - pdf.



"Building A Roubo-Workbench"

Every workshop needs a workbench, and every workbench is the most used piece of equipment in a workshop. I have posted plans for benches before and of course I documented my most resent workbench build here Classic Inspired Workbench. My workbench adopted aspects of both the classic Roubo and Holtzapffel designs in addition to a few ideas of my own, such as a built in clamp storage rack. Over a lifetime I have built at least half a dozen workbenches, small and large. I paid the most attention to building this one, and it has turned out to be the most used piece of equipment in all of my shops.

So In the following four posts I am going to present a number of different workbench designs, starting with a dream of a top end Roubo bench that will make anyone salivate with envy, and finishing with an easy, portable, solid, plywood and MDF bench.

The first is a reproduction of a classic Roubo bench built and documented by Guido Henn a German Master Craftsman. www.fine-tools.com (an online German fine tool seller) has its name all over the documentation and may have sponsored this build to promote the "Benchcrafted" hardware used, which they sell. No two ways about it, this bench is high end, from the hard maple used, to the top quality hardware, this bench takes your breath away.

To download the 42 page build document click Building A Roubo-Workbench - 6 MB - pdf. 


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Classic Workbench Revisited

Well after putting my workbench to work and being very happy with it's performance, I should get some finish coats on it now that it is well normalized to my shop conditions. When I assembled the bench I painted the underside of the top with a baby blue oil paint that I had left over from the planer rebuild. The last couple of days I finished the rest of the bench with 3 coats (4 on the top) of urethane, sanding lightly between coats.

My old bench, which I built on top of my former mobile radial arm saw stand was no longer needed, so I cut it in half and turned the mobile stand into another tool stand. I placed the new stand against my built in benches, and then placed the new workbench up against it. This creates a new work center. In my shop reorganization I also created two other work centers, a planer and jointer grouping and a table saw-router stand grouping. The rest of my machines and tool boxes are arranged around the wall perimeter. The result is lots of room to access machines and benches and all machines that require large in-feeds and out-feeds have at least 8 ft. of clearance.

A tip that some may not be aware of, when building tool stands and benches keep the height the same or slightly lower than your table saw. This will prevent interference for large work on the table saw and provide extra support for over size pieces.

Here is the new tool stand against the built in bench.


And here is the new workbench against the reworked tool stand.


The finished classic inspired workbench.


And here is the other half of the old bench. Its 1 3/4" thick laminated popular plywood and very solid. I decided to use it as a work surface for rough work and preserve that nice new bench top a little longer.


So here are a few pictures of some of the work holding abilities of this bench. First jointing a long white pine board with the leg vise and outboard support.


Next is the two end vises, in use here as a small capacity moxon vise. This is only a small example of what these two vises can do, working together or individually and in combination with the bench dogs, and hold fasts, there are many glue-up and work holding functions they can perform. For frame glue-ups they can eliminate  the need for clamps in a wide variety of sizes.


And here is the moxon vise, ideal for working the ends of panels. Turned the flash on, and the picture is darker,go figure. This moxon will clamp a 20" wide panel, solidly across its full width for dovetailing, moulding, planing, edge banding etc.


The bench is very large, solid and heavy. The clamp rack will be loaded with clamps as soon as the finish cures adding lots more weight to the bench and keeping my clamp collection very handy,close to where it will be used.

The full build document for this workbench is at this link:



Sunday, April 30, 2017

Classic Inspired Workbench

I began playing around with ideas for this bench a couple of years ago. I researched many books and web articles on old time bench styles and some of the benches being made on the web today. I liked the old work holding vises, the double screw (Moxon) and leg vises, but I also liked the quick adjust more modern woodworking vise. I liked the idea of lots of different clamping options, for muscle powered tool woodworking and patternmaking and all the other uses workbenches are put to. I have a good collection of F and C clamps, the idea of wall mounted clamp racks never really appealed to me and my shop space is not suited to a mobile rack. I decided a clamp rack incorporated into the bench instead of cabinetry would be a good alternative and having lots of smaller clamps close at hand appealed to me. Eventually I settled on a design I was happy with. Just before starting the build I reduced the length from 84" to 78", after taking some measurements of the space available for comfortable work around the bench and shop.

This is a picture of the finished workbench minus a durable finish.



My working design sketch for the workbench.

For the full build document please click the link below.