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The "What am I doing?" Holtzapffel Workbench

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Blog series by DragonLady updated 04-01-2010 04:10 AM 10 parts 15428 reads 60 comments total

Part 1: Actually Part 2-Cutting to rough length

03-09-2010 02:33 AM by DragonLady | 8 comments »

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 ow...

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Part 2: Foray into Four-Square

03-10-2010 05:08 AM by DragonLady | 3 comments »

All the pieces are rough cut to length for the top now. I’m seriously thinking that it is going to be too wide. My original plan was for 30” but now that I see it, it looks awfully big. I think I may just start gluing up, and stop when I think it looks good. I can adjust the base to the correct dimensions after the top is finished. And a first for me: I flattened a face, and squared an edge to it! I’m so excited! I squealed like a little girl when the try square ca...

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Part 3: The glue up

03-14-2010 04:23 AM by DragonLady | 8 comments »

Started gluing up tonight. Doing one or two at a time, depending on how the pieces look. Going pretty smoothly so far. Spread some glue, position and clamp, set the timer for 35 mins. Rinse and repeat. I filed some notches in a cheap 3” plastic scraper I had laying around and I’m using that to spread the glue with. Works really well. Got nine done tonight. Will do the rest tomorrow, and then comes the really hard part of flattening and smoothing the surface. With on...

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Part 4: Final glue up of top

03-14-2010 11:26 PM by DragonLady | 6 comments »

I ended up discarding one piece of the top as too rough to deal with. So I’ve got 19 pieces glued up, at a width of 28 1/4”. I think that will work very well. My first glue up (of any size!) and I think I did ok. Did it piecemeal, adding a board or two every 30 mins or so. Just got the final pieces on, and I am going to leave it clamped over night to cure. This is my first time ever using pipe clamps. Holy cow do those things exert some pressure!! I didn’t use...

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Part 5: Call 911-Fat lady down!

03-16-2010 02:27 AM by DragonLady | 3 comments »

I’m going to give myself a heart attack! But wow! Flattening a roughly glued bench top is a workout. Feels good! Had to stop and catch my breath after my first round. DL vs the bench! And surprisingly, I’m doing pretty good. I can see actual progress in taking the high boards down. I’m using my Veritas scrub plane, and that thing is worth it’s weight in gold. Took me a while to find just the right amount of cut to take, though. Too little, and I’m ju...

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Part 6: Serious Question-When to switch planes?

03-16-2010 03:55 AM by DragonLady | 3 comments »

I’ve made MUCH more progress on this top than I thought I would. Especially in one night. My question is this: When do I switch from the scrub plane to the #5? I only have a scrub, a #5 and a #4 smoother. My plan was scrub, jack with aggressive cut, jack with lighter cut, then finish with #4. I know I SHOULD be using a jointer, but I don’t have one, so it’s not an option. My straightedge is just about riding on the tops of the grooves left by the scrub plane all th...

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Part 7: Dealing with tear out

03-20-2010 02:50 AM by DragonLady | 18 comments »

I’m in the process of flattening my new bench top, made out of #2 construction grade doug fir. I am really new to woodworking, and didn’t pay enough attention to grain direction when I glued up the top. I’m getting some pretty bad tear out with my #5 plane. I don’t have a scraper and can’t afford one right now (plus, that’s another thing I’d have to learn to sharpen, and I’m not doing so great with the regular tools). How can I reduce tear...

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Part 8: Leg lamination lament

03-21-2010 04:58 AM by DragonLady | 0 comments »

Made good progress on my bench today, despite the ache in my hands (whole body, really) from this nasty return of winter. Did a light sanding of the top, and filled the tearouts with wood filler. If someone asks me what my bench top is made of, I’d have to answer “wood putty, mostly!” :) hahaha! Nah, not that bad. Had my boyfriend help me flip it over (definitely not a one person job!). Then I did a quick job on it with the scrub plane. Not looking to get this fancy...

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Part 9: One Leg down!

03-24-2010 04:36 AM by DragonLady | 7 comments »

For those of you that are actually following along with me on this project (as deranged as you must be…) you may remember my last post, wherein I managed to crack one of the leg boards right down the middle: I was initially going to scrap that, but a few messages got me thinking. It probably won’t really affect the structural strength all that much, especially if I orient the cracked face so it doesn’t hold a mortise. So I decided to go ahead with that leg. Four-square...

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Part 10: Back on track

04-01-2010 04:10 AM by DragonLady | 4 comments »

I haven’t gotten a lot of work done on my bench the last couple of weeks, because I’ve been futzing with the new tools I bought. I found a cheap little table saw, a nice bench sander, and a craptastic router and semi-decent router table on craigslist. So instead of working on the actual project, I’ve been trying to get the tools in decent working order so I can use them. Gave up on the router and bought a decent Craftsman with dual bases. I love that thing. Why have I...

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