The "What am I doing?" Holtzapffel Workbench #1: Actually Part 2-Cutting to rough length

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by DragonLady posted 03-09-2010 02:33 AM 1523 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of The "What am I doing?" Holtzapffel Workbench series Part 2: Foray into Four-Square »

I guess this would technically be the second part of the workbench build, but I’m new to LumberJocks and didn’t know about the series thing. So my first blog post should serve as the intro to the bench.

It’s the Holtzapffel workbench (why do I have to spell that a few times before I get it right, every time!) without the giant twin screw face vise. Instead, I’m just using a Lee Valley regular front vise on the face, and a large front vise on the end. Made to my own dimensions, of course, because I can NEVER build anything exactly to plan. I have to fiddle with things, it’s my nature.

Took me forever to decide on a length for it. Finally came down to “pick something so you can actually CUT the damn wood, woman!” Aiming for a 5 1/2 ft long, 30” deep, 32” high, 3” thick top bench.

So here’s the set up:
rough cut 002
I love that little Workmate, even with it’s limitations. Has come in very handy many times in the past year.

Trying to find the best 6 ft length out of the 8 ft boards I have. I probably could have picked some better wood, but I was a little limited. Overall, I don’t think I did too badly on the wood choice.
Nearly had heart failure when I turned one board over and found this evil thing staring at me:
rough cut 003
yeah, you can be sure that bit didn’t make it into the bench!

So I managed to cut 14 boards out of 20 to rough length before I encountered a problem:
rough cut 004
Do you see the problem? :P No more room on the sawhorses!! Oh, darn…that just means I’ll have to stop at the store tomorrow on the way home from work and get more…what a shame…

I did break my favorite tape measure tonight, though. :( I’ll have to get another one tomorrow, too. And, knowing me, I’ll manage to walk out of the store with more tools than I intended. Why is collecting tools so addictive?!?

So that’s progress for today. More than I thought I’d make, actually. Means I’ll have time to set up my new grinder that just came today and maybe get some sharpening done.

Gotta go make dinner! A woman’s work is never done :)

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

8 comments so far

View Will Stokes's profile

Will Stokes

267 posts in 3350 days

#1 posted 03-09-2010 03:14 AM

Instead of getting more sawhorses, why not attach a long length of wood to the top of each sawhorse, thus making them wide enough to handle your project.

View DragonLady's profile


298 posts in 3003 days

#2 posted 03-09-2010 03:17 AM

Because the only wood I have long enough is destined to go into the bench! I don’t have any scraps that are longer than 24”.

And these are cheapie plastic sawhorses. Not sure I’d trust them to hold a board screwed into them.

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

View Dave Pearce's profile

Dave Pearce

108 posts in 3668 days

#3 posted 03-09-2010 04:51 AM

Go get a cheap 4×8 foot piece of plywood, lay it across those saw horses. Plenty of space and a table for when company comes over to boot!


View Tim29's profile


307 posts in 3146 days

#4 posted 03-09-2010 08:36 AM

looks like you have a good start to a great bench. I put 2 of my benchtops together the same way with the same wood. You also invested maybe the best money in the shop in getting that exact yellow and black power strip for your workbench in the background. I have the same one and I dont know what I would do without it. keep us updated.

-- Tim, Nevada MO

View CaptainSkully's profile


1596 posts in 3554 days

#5 posted 03-09-2010 05:07 PM

You go girl! I did the same thing on my first serialized blog and I’m a techie.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3330 days

#6 posted 03-10-2010 01:18 AM

I don’t want to be spoil sport, but I see a lot of knots on those boards. Have you considered overlaying it with a nice flat MDF panel that could be changed out from time to time. The first time you would just have to flip it over to get a fresh surface (providing it is screwed down and not glued). Of course you would want to install it on a relatively flat surface so you would still have to plane the wood top, but maybe with a hand planing machine followed up with a belt sander (your own or borrowed if you don’t have one and you don’t want to buy one). You might also consider flattening it with a router.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View DragonLady's profile


298 posts in 3003 days

#7 posted 03-10-2010 02:52 AM

Oh, trust me, I see the knots, and dread them :)

Learning experience!!

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 3564 days

#8 posted 03-21-2010 04:39 PM

You can go back and edit that first blog entry and add it to the series…

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics