Holtzapffel Workbench

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Project by Mark Briley posted 01-15-2010 06:29 AM 7400 views 10 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s my bench I completed last fall. Overall I think it turned out decent for my first woodworking project. Maple top, Ash base, Jorgensen tail vise, and wood screws from

-- Mark, Utah

16 comments so far

View cannondale's profile


54 posts in 3061 days

#1 posted 01-15-2010 06:36 AM

Well done. That is an awsome bench. I bet you’re pleased with it!

Now you have to keep making projects.

View dorran's profile


140 posts in 3232 days

#2 posted 01-15-2010 07:03 AM


-- Life is about choices. You can spend a lot of money on furniture and have really nice furniture; Or you can spend a lot on tools and have even more expensive, crappy furniture. I made my choice.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3671 days

#3 posted 01-15-2010 07:04 AM

Beautiful bench.

View Dez's profile


1166 posts in 4075 days

#4 posted 01-15-2010 07:06 AM

You will get a lot of work out of that fine piece of work!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3575 days

#5 posted 01-15-2010 07:22 AM

Super benck Mark

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 3988 days

#6 posted 01-15-2010 08:56 AM

I can’t believe you haven’t had any experience with woodworking? Talk about aptitude. There must be some complimentary skills that helped or something. I’ve been plugging along for about three years now and I’m still afraid to put the legs and top to the bench I’ve already got the wood for together! lol It must be me. Very impressive Mark.

-- Jim

View obi999's profile


213 posts in 3405 days

#7 posted 01-15-2010 09:42 AM

Wow, great job! As Jim does, i also could hardly believe this is your first project, it seems all perfect. Go on and do as much projects you can, woodworking seems to be your passion.
Thanks for sharing, Uli

-- *** the german lumberjock ***

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4083 days

#8 posted 01-15-2010 09:59 AM

They say a homemade workbench is a woodworker’s Right of Passage, and I haven’t done mine yet. Yours is wonderful…congratulations!


View hunter71's profile


3178 posts in 3184 days

#9 posted 01-15-2010 01:47 PM

very nice, I like the big vise on the side, end too.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3646 days

#10 posted 01-15-2010 02:17 PM

great looking bench. I would never suspect this to be your first woodworking project… unless you mean the first project you POSTED ;o)

looking forward for more.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3820 days

#11 posted 01-15-2010 02:48 PM

Mark, this is a nice bench. It would be a welcome addition to any of our shops. This one looks to be solid and well built and should be a joy to use.

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

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 3784 days

#12 posted 01-15-2010 03:07 PM

Very nice! Love that mortise pic.
Thanks for sharing.

View Mark Briley's profile

Mark Briley

25 posts in 3251 days

#13 posted 01-15-2010 07:45 PM

Thanks for all the kind words.

PurpLev – Ok, I did build a birdhouse made out of 1/4” ply when I was 10, so I guess this wasn’t the absolute first project I’ve built ;-).

I was a bit disappointed with the top, since with the way I glued it up some of the grain reversed and it was hard to get it flat without a some nasty tearout in a few places. I almost took it to a cabinet shop and had the top run through a belt sander, but they would have charged me $50 so I ended up using it as-is. It is flat though, and maybe when I eventually have to re-flatten in the future I can use a toothed handplane to eliminate the tearout issues.

For anyone deciding to build one of these, here’s a few considerations:

If I built this bench again I would make the top at least 7’ as oppsed to 6’. 8’ would be more ideal. For me the 6’ top seems a bit short, and I find myself running out of real estate rather quickly while I’m working.

I attached to the top to the base “dry”, using only the drawbored pegs to hold it in place. That way if for some crazy reason I needed to remove the top I could do so without too much hassle.

Also, I drilled out the holes for the large face vice a bit larger so that I could angle the block in the screws. That was a mistake- in doing so the whole things racks terribly (from top to bottom), because the screws are mounted so close to the bottom of the vice block. Even with the garters I built to insert underneath the block and lock into the screws. I still need to plug them and re-drill the holes to a tighter fitting size to hopefully eliminate or greatly reduce the flex.

-- Mark, Utah

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3284 days

#14 posted 01-15-2010 10:16 PM

Excellent work. You’ll enjoy it for years to come

Thanks for sharing


View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3286 days

#15 posted 01-16-2010 06:27 AM

good job

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

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