Building The Holtzapffel Workbench #8: Top and Base Come Together

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Blog entry by Mike Lingenfelter posted 03-24-2008 04:07 AM 5054 reads 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Final Top Glue Up Part 8 of Building The Holtzapffel Workbench series Part 9: Wagons Ho! »

I wasn’t expecting to have another update this weekend, but I made some good progress today.
I started the day by squaring up the ends of the top. I used a straight edge and my circular saw to do this.



My circular saw couldn’t cut all the way through with one pass. I had to flip the top over and do a second cut. I’ve always had problems getting the two cuts to line up perfectly, but this time I got it dead on. I must be getting better at this.


I didn’t have my base fully assemble yet, because I was trying to keep small and storable until the top was done. With draw bores, it was a quick process to add the large stretches to complete the base. The other nice thing about draw bores, you don’t have to wait for any glue to dry. Once the dowel pins are in, it’s ready to go.
I flipped the base up onto the top and marked the locations of the mortises. No Picture of that.
Once I had the mortises laid out I set up my router with a ¾” spiral cut bit and a fence.


You will see I used a couple clamps as stops, for the router. It took multiple passes to get to full depth, but it went pretty fast.


I then reset the fence and made a second pass to complete the mortise.


Then it was pretty quick work to finish the mortise with a chisel.


After finishing all the mortises it was time to test fit base. I thought I would have a push and pound the base around to get it to fit in all 4 of the mortise, but the base slipped right in. No tweaking needed!



I will use dowels and draw bores to attach the base and top. I would have finished that step today but I didn’t have the dowels ready. Next weekend I hope to have the time to attach the top and base. I think I should also have time to install the wagon vise and make the parts I’ll need for the face vise.
I’m so looking forward to having the bench done, so that I can start some of the other projects that have been waiting for the bench to be finished.

10 comments so far

View grumpycarp's profile


257 posts in 3887 days

#1 posted 03-24-2008 04:26 AM

Mike that’s looking awesome. Quick question, where’d ya get the 3/4” upcut bit? The only ones I can find are for CNC machines and cost over a buck fifty each.

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 4255 days

#2 posted 03-24-2008 04:37 AM

I picked mine up at Woodcraft. It’s a nice bit, I really like it. This bit was about $38. It’s HSS not carbide.

View Joe Brumley's profile

Joe Brumley

70 posts in 3923 days

#3 posted 03-24-2008 04:52 AM

That looks great. This is totally getting me motivated. I have been wanting to build this bench ever since I saw it on Chris’s blog and now that warm weather is upon me I will have to get on it. I can’t wait to see the face vise come together.

-- Joe, Indiana,

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4104 days

#4 posted 03-24-2008 05:14 AM

Dandy, dandy

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4130 days

#5 posted 03-24-2008 05:25 AM

Looks like you’re doing a great job.

About that lining up that second circular cut. I would have flipped it over and used a router with a
flush trim bit just to be safe.

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

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 4255 days

#6 posted 03-24-2008 06:15 AM


Great idea, why didn’t I think of that! That’s why I love LJ, lots of great people and great ideas here.

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4138 days

#7 posted 03-24-2008 06:49 AM

Wow Mike – This is Super!

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

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3963 days

#8 posted 03-24-2008 12:30 PM


This is coming together nicely. I hope you have some help getting in off your saw. That is one massive bench.

Very nice.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Coz's profile


5 posts in 3869 days

#9 posted 03-24-2008 08:19 PM

Looks really good. Impressive mortises – nice and clean.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3909 days

#10 posted 03-24-2008 11:58 PM

wow you are doing a great job and I’m impressed. this is the first workbench i have ever seen built and i love following it step by step. its coming out great too. i wish i had the room for one because if i did I’d be starting tomorrow. well great job, keep up the great work, and i can’t wait until the next installment!!!

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