After reading Christopher Schwarz’s excellent “Workbenches” book, I was inspired to build a bench. I am a novice woodworker with only a couple of big projects under my belt: a mobile clamp cabinet and a 4’ x 4’ outfeed table. I used a workmate for those projects and am completely dissatisfied with its workholding abilities. But being a little more seasoned, I’m ready to take on a workbench.
I was originally all set to build the Roubo bench in the book, but after discovering Schwarz’s blog and his third design, the Holtzapffel, I immediately knew this was the one for me. I love its minimalist aesthetic! I bought the digital 8th issue of Woodworking Magazine with the article describing the bench and started scribbling modifications to the design drawings. My friend turned me on to SketchUp and I’m now using it for my design.
I’ve made some modifications to the article’s design based upon some of the construction techniques in the “Workbenches” book. Since I’ll be using 2×12s and 2×8s of Douglas fir from the local Home Depot, I dimensioned the legs and stretchers for 1 1/4” thick stock. I also liked the ready-made tenons in the book, so I decided to use those for the legs and long stretchers. I also added ledgers for a shelf in the bottom.
Here’s a look at the joints in the legs. I’m new to designing so if I’m making a terrible design decision here, please let me know!