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PurpleHeart and Hard Maple Workbench

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Project by SkanWoods posted 08-08-2018 05:40 PM 3176 views 13 times favorited 47 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi, this is my first post and I thought I would share my PurpleHeart and Maple workbench I built. It’s been a long tough project working with that much PurpleHeart, I wanted to build it using almost hand tools besides using my planer to flatten one side post hand jointing all the boards as well as using my table saw to rip the boards to width. I never planned on using PurpleHeart on any part of the bench but when I went to the mill they had 8/4 PurpleHeart on sale for $3.66 a bf and knowing I would dread working it well I bought it anyways. I modeled this bench off Charles Shwartz’s Holtzapffel workbench in his Workbench and Design book, except I used a leg vise instead of a twin screw. The leg vise is Benchcrafted, and all the details were hand carved. The end vise is an Old Sheldon quick release vise that I restored and brought back to excellent working condition and the chop was all hand carved as well. My bench also features a sliding deadman which I will use in conjunction with some old Stanley no.203 bench brackets, I also added a Benchcrafted plane stop to have available for more hold down options while hand planing. All the profiles on all the benches edges are hand cut stopped chamfers with hand carved lambs tongues going up the ramps. The bench stands 31.5” tall and the top is 5.75” thick, I estimate the bench to weigh somewhere around 750-800lbs. I hope you enjoy it!

-- Ryan





47 comments so far

View mel52's profile

mel52

586 posts in 466 days


#1 posted 08-08-2018 06:23 PM

Beautiful and sturdy looking. I would be afraid to scratch or ding it. Great job !!!

-- MEL, Kansas

View builtinbkyn's profile (online now)

builtinbkyn

2653 posts in 1142 days


#2 posted 08-08-2018 06:27 PM

Wow that’s an awesome bench. I can see why you had reservations about the PH because of the workability issues, but it turned out amazingly well. I bet it does weigh every bit as much ads you estimate it to weigh. Yeah that’s a bench for a lifetime. Nice work. I’m sure I don’t have to tel you to enjoy working on it ;)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

10170 posts in 2652 days


#3 posted 08-08-2018 06:36 PM

That’s an impressive bench Ryan. I thought mine was heavy but it’s a lightweight compared to yours! What did you have to do to the Sheldon to bring it back to life? I have one on the end of my bench and it gets used a lot. I also like the 203’s and have a couple on my deadman.

You should post a pic on the workbench smackdown thread. And sooner or later someone is going too tell you to do a Bondo! I’ll let you research that on the workbench thread. :-)

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

15701 posts in 2819 days


#4 posted 08-08-2018 06:52 PM

Wow. Absolutely Wow.
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.
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So nice to look at, and must be a dream to work on. Very nice indeed, I second everything that’s been said above. Congrats on a great build and thanks for sharing. Oh, and a ‘double-ditto’ on 203s and the sliding deadman.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Dutchy's profile

Dutchy

3149 posts in 2369 days


#5 posted 08-08-2018 07:00 PM

A beauty and a beast.

-- https://dutchypatterns.com/

View pottz's profile (online now)

pottz

3562 posts in 1185 days


#6 posted 08-08-2018 07:28 PM

wow what a beautiful bench.i think thats the first ive ever seen made out of purple heart,but for that price why not.it looks great with the maple.that is a bench you will hand down to your son and to his and beyond.hey at 800lbs it aint goin anywhere fast.welcome to lumber jocks,i hope you enjoy it here.
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p-s thank you for your service,i am greatfull sir.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View mikeacg's profile

mikeacg

722 posts in 1258 days


#7 posted 08-08-2018 07:43 PM

Absolutely stunning! You did well on the wood purchase too! Thanks for setting the bar higher for all our shops!!!

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl, http://www.artcentergraphics.com

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

5981 posts in 2467 days


#8 posted 08-08-2018 07:50 PM

Outstanding. What a lucky break getting that lumber at that price. Truly an amazing bench.

View McaroJCC's profile

McaroJCC

35 posts in 128 days


#9 posted 08-08-2018 08:04 PM

LJ needs a ‘Like’ button. This is freaking awesome!

-- MCaro, St. Charles, MO

View Joe's profile

Joe

482 posts in 1288 days


#10 posted 08-08-2018 08:20 PM

You did a great job on your bench. Love the contrasting woods, first bench I have ever seen made of PurpleHeart, looks beautiful. Congratulations on a job well done. Thanks for inspiring

-- CurleyJoe, "You only learn from your mistakes"

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

602 posts in 1695 days


#11 posted 08-08-2018 08:22 PM

OMG – Too pretty to use.

Purpleheart for that price. Where do I sign up?


LJ needs a Like button. This is freaking awesome!

- McaroJCC

Add to Favorite button is as close as we get to having a like button.
Added…..

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View SkanWoods's profile

SkanWoods

17 posts in 128 days


#12 posted 08-08-2018 09:44 PM



That s an impressive bench Ryan. I thought mine was heavy but it s a lightweight compared to yours! What did you have to do to the Sheldon to bring it back to life? I have one on the end of my bench and it gets used a lot. I also like the 203 s and have a couple on my deadman.

You should post a pic on the workbench smackdown thread. And sooner or later someone is going too tell you to do a Bondo! I ll let you research that on the workbench thread. :-)

- theoldfart

Hi, thank you first off! On the old Sheldon I dissembled the entire thing, then pin on the end of the handle can be tough to get out- the trick that finally made it budge was heating it with a torch then a few pounds with a hammer and pin knocked it free, once you get that off the handle can come off as well as the toothed bar. I then brought everything down to bare metal, filed any burrs on the teeth, then sanded any pitting off the sliding parts that would receive friction and waxed it. That made it operate a lot more smoothly, I had a bit of play in the tooth bar that grabs the top teeth and that’s because it was pretty worn out in spots so I welded in some spots and filed them back to the original shape. Works great now.

-- Ryan

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

10170 posts in 2652 days


#13 posted 08-08-2018 09:54 PM

I have some play in the teeth but not enough to warrant rebuilding them. I did clean mine up and then waxed it. It is easy to use and quick to adjust, not bad for a hundred plus year old design! I put a dog in the chop so it can be used as a classic tail vise.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View SkanWoods's profile

SkanWoods

17 posts in 128 days


#14 posted 08-08-2018 09:54 PM

A few more pictures, Thank you everyone for your comments! I look forward to enjoying this bench for the rest of my life and to be able to pass it along.

-- Ryan

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

10170 posts in 2652 days


#15 posted 08-08-2018 09:57 PM

Looks like you have a crisscross in there ?

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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