$200 Knockdown Workbench

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Project by JayT posted 07-28-2013 02:45 AM 5505 views 39 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally finished a dedicated woodworking bench. I had looked at several different designs for benches to base mine on and wasn’t enamored with any of them. Then I saw Christopher Schwarz’s Knockdown Holtzapffel and knew what style to build for my needs.

The bench is mostly construction lumber, with hardwood on some of the surfaces that will get a bit more abuse. Ash for the endcaps, planing stops, vise chops and front of the top and oak on the front of the legs. As a result of this combination of materials and refurbing a couple of vises, the total cost for bench materials was under $200.

The bench breaks down or sets up in about 5 minutes with two people, a bit longer if doing it alone—I don’t recommend alone. The top is heavy enough to cause problems trying to manhandle it by myself and has been dropped a couple times. Luckily no toes were in the way, but I will be needing to make a new front vise handle.

I have been using the mostly complete bench for a few weeks already before finally getting the finishing touches done today. (Trying to overcome my natural inclination to be a 90%’er) It is rock solid and there is so much more flexibility on workholding versus the wall mounted utility bench I had been using for the past couple of years. I need to get holdfasts ordered and may drill some holes in the legs at some future date, but didn’t want to start out with swiss cheese.

Overall size is 6ft long by 2ft wide and 35-1/2 inches tall. I made sure to leave enough space below the stretchers to be able to cut it down a bit if necessary. I’ll use it for a while before making that decision. Strechers have rabbets so that 1×6 slats can just set in for a shelf. Finish is simple, easy to refresh BLO & Mineral Spirits.

Thanks for looking and hope you enjoy.

-- "My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right." Abraham Lincoln

21 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


5756 posts in 1595 days

#1 posted 07-28-2013 03:04 AM

Turned out great. Congratulations on the new bench.

View Airframer's profile


2997 posts in 949 days

#2 posted 07-28-2013 03:30 AM

Nice job! And congrats on breaking the 90%er mold!

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

2544 posts in 1248 days

#3 posted 07-28-2013 03:47 AM

Nice, Jay! I figure your bench was about $12.50 per sq. ft. of plan area—very economical. I like the fact that it breaks down, so you can bring it on vacation with you if you wanted to do some woodworking during your travels.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View BigRedKnothead's profile


6990 posts in 978 days

#4 posted 07-28-2013 03:58 AM

Very cool man. Congrats on the bench. I’ve never seen an end-cap with planing stops like that.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View aussiedave's profile


3090 posts in 820 days

#5 posted 07-28-2013 06:09 AM

Very nice bench, you will get a lot of use out of it I am sure…Excellent job.

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View NiteWalker's profile


2728 posts in 1573 days

#6 posted 07-28-2013 08:15 AM

Great job. The knockdown capability is a definite plus.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View steliart's profile


1816 posts in 1684 days

#7 posted 07-28-2013 11:19 AM

Very nice bench, i like it allot

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - --

View chrisstef's profile


12970 posts in 2003 days

#8 posted 07-28-2013 11:42 AM

Congrats buddy. Itll serve ya well on many adventures for years to come.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


11934 posts in 1615 days

#9 posted 07-28-2013 12:03 PM

Nice job on the Bench, JayT. Resisting the swiss cheese effect is a good thing, too. :-)

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

16473 posts in 1564 days

#10 posted 07-28-2013 12:15 PM

It just goes to show you don’t always have to spend alot to get alot. Well done.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View theoldfart's profile (online now)


5896 posts in 1447 days

#11 posted 07-28-2013 12:35 PM

Outstanding bench, and I also like the end cap stops. Should give you many years of service.

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

View terryR's profile


4367 posts in 1305 days

#12 posted 07-28-2013 01:11 PM

Like the bench, JayT, Congrats!
+1 to the end caps…maybe an idea to add on my bench?

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Oldtool's profile


2106 posts in 1187 days

#13 posted 07-28-2013 01:16 PM

SWEEEEEEEEEET!!!! Great work on this, its one beautiful bench. Have fun using it.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View JayT's profile


3600 posts in 1207 days

#14 posted 07-28-2013 01:21 PM

Thanks for the comments & compliments, guys. Like most woodworkers and their projects, there are things I would do differently if doing it again, but overall am happy with the result and glad to finally have a decent bench.

-- "My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right." Abraham Lincoln

View lysdexic's profile


4943 posts in 1619 days

#15 posted 07-28-2013 03:18 PM

Congrats JayT,

Amazing how hard that last 10% is.

I like the tool holder on the end caps. Handsome bench.

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

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