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$200 Knockdown Workbench

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Project by JayT posted 07-28-2013 02:45 AM 4303 views 33 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.

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835





21 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5419 posts in 1322 days


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

Turned out great. Congratulations on the new bench.

View Airframer's profile (online now)

Airframer

2658 posts in 677 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

2114 posts in 975 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 (online now)

BigRedKnothead

5581 posts in 706 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.

-- Red-- "I hope my furniture has a soul to it.”" -Sam Maloof

View aussiedave's profile

aussiedave

3014 posts in 548 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

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1300 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

steliart

1808 posts in 1412 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 - http://www.steliart.com --

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11349 posts in 1730 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

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10219 posts in 1342 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

15430 posts in 1291 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. - http://timetestedtools.com

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

4641 posts in 1175 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

terryR

3394 posts in 1032 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

Oldtool

1888 posts in 914 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

JayT

2534 posts in 935 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.

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

4888 posts in 1346 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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