LumberJocks

Building The Holtzapffel Workbench #1: Finding the lumber

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Mike Lingenfelter posted 01-24-2008 06:58 AM 7514 reads 17 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Building The Holtzapffel Workbench series Part 2: Starting the base »

Well I started the first step in building the Holtzapffel workbench. I went out last weekend and picked up some Douglas Fir for the bench and started to mill it up. I choose Douglas Fir for a couple reasons. First it was pretty cheap, I only spent about $150 on the lumber. Secondly, its a stable and stiff wood, which is good for a bench. It is also pretty hard for a “softwood”. I also used Douglas Fir on the small bench I built as a sharpening station. I like how it turned out. I think have some strategies for dealing with the tear-out I had on that project.

The big benefit of Douglas Fir was the price, but it is also one of it’s flaws. I did some digging through the lumber pile, but I still have to deal with some knots. I’m hoping I can bury most of them inside the top and legs. I may have to deal some knots on the top (hopefully small ones), but we will have to wait and see. I might also pick up a couple more boards, if I have some big knots to deal with. If they become a problem, I don’t have too much invested in the top.

One of the other benefits I listed, was that it is a stable wood. I think that showed itself when I was ripping the boards down. The top is going to be about 6 feet long. I was expecting to deal with the board pinching during the ripping cut. To my surprise the cut stayed straight and true. I have never seen that when ripping a board that long before. The kerf always seems to close up on me.

I didn’t take pictures of all of the lumber. Below is a sampling of some of the lumber for the stretchers. The smaller pieces were easy to find knot free sections.

This weekend I plan to laminated up the legs and stretchers and start on the base. I’ve rough cut the the pieces for the top, and I’m going to let them dry a little longer in my shop.


Photobucket



13 comments so far

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2735 days


#1 posted 01-24-2008 07:42 AM

Good start. I miss Douglas fir.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 2743 days


#2 posted 01-24-2008 09:56 AM

That’s great that you’ve started on this! Where did you end up getting the lumber?

Still going to do the wagon vise?

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

765 posts in 2920 days


#3 posted 01-24-2008 03:44 PM

Mike,

I’ll be interested in watching your blog, as I’m in the process of deciding what style of bench to build since I left my old bench in my old shop… (doesn’t make for a very productive woodworker, let me tell you).

Keep us in the know!

-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com

View rikkor's profile

rikkor

11295 posts in 2621 days


#4 posted 01-24-2008 04:05 PM

Great start. Thanks for chronicling the build.

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

502 posts in 2861 days


#5 posted 01-24-2008 05:00 PM

Call me a rebel, I’m still going with the wagon vise. If it doesn’t work out, I think I can patch the top easily and add a quick-release vise without any problems.

I was planning to go to a hand-cut dovetail class this weekend, but it was cancelled yesterday because only only 1.5 people signed up. I know I was the 1, because I prepaid. I’m very said, but now I can work on the bench which makes me feel a little better.

I ended up getting the Douglas Fir at Dunn Lumber over in Lynnwood. The other place I found near my house was too expensive and didn’t have much of a selection.

View johnjoiner's profile

johnjoiner

160 posts in 2640 days


#6 posted 01-24-2008 05:27 PM

If they’re on the small side you could look at knots in the bench top as opportunities for unique, unplanned dog holes! ;-)

-- johnjoiner

View Karson's profile

Karson

34912 posts in 3147 days


#7 posted 01-24-2008 06:04 PM

Great start Mike Good luck and th build and sorry about the class.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

502 posts in 2861 days


#8 posted 01-24-2008 06:04 PM

I hadn’t thought about drilling a knot out for a dog hole. It would need to small, otherwise it could be a pain drilling through a knot. I’ll have to see how that works out.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4438 posts in 2709 days


#9 posted 01-25-2008 01:43 AM

Got’er goin,’ Mike. It’ll be fun to watch.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View jcees's profile

jcees

953 posts in 2546 days


#10 posted 01-25-2008 02:29 AM

If you end up with knots on the face and you want to hide them you might think of using “dutchman” patches or take it a step further and check out the latest issue of Pop Wood magazine for an article titled Perfect Patching.

You picked a great design to follow too. If I weren’t already hip deep in my own design I probably would have opted for the Holtzapffel. I look forward to checking in on your progress.

always,
J.C.

-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

502 posts in 2861 days


#11 posted 01-25-2008 03:10 AM

J.C. – I’m not concern about seeing the knots, but planing through them when I have to flatten the top. Your idea of a dutchman might a solution, if I have a large knot. I might just go a little deeper than a normal patch. That way I will have room to flatten the top several times.

Thanks everyone, you have come through with some good ideas.

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 2743 days


#12 posted 01-25-2008 03:11 AM

Sorry about the class – too bad he couldn’t have given you a one to one class… (or would that be one to one and a half?)

That would’ve been great. I’m glad you have your hands full this weekend with the bench though!

We’ll be looking out for the next post in the series…

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13347 posts in 2420 days


#13 posted 04-04-2009 07:04 PM

This is going to be a great bench.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

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

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase