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Thread: More Bench Talk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Missouri
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    More Bench Talk

    After the last bench thread and all of the posts I just canít leave it alone. I view a bench as just a platform or a stage to get things to a more comfortable working height. Itís what you bring to it that makes it work.
    I thought about that and surprised myself with what I realized.
    I have 3 benches all different types but the same in the fact that they are all primarily woodworking benches. What really surprised me is I have 20 vises none of which are stored. They are all either attached to a bench or in a place ready for use right away. They all get used on most projects.
    What helpers do you have on or near your bench ready to go. Not talking tools here just fixtures or jigs for holding work on your bench?
    Jim

  2. #2
    I have 4 Grammercy holdfasts, several bench hooks, some birdsmouth-type fixtures, several planing stops (incl Lee Valley) and of course a couple vises (incl moxon type).
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    864
    Festool MFT and clamps, dogs, etc., WorkMate, sawhorses, saddle platform (one sawhorse mounted for cutting plywood and 1 bench mounted), holdfasts, planing stops, through doghole clamps fir the main bench. Also have an auxiliary bench used for grinding and piling stuff on. That said, I need a real primary bench.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Location
    Brooklyn NY
    Posts
    103
    I love a wooden hand screw. Those, holdfasts, and dogs just about get it all done for me. My bench is just 8/4 planks on trestle horses.

  5. #5
    My split-top Roubo has:
    Toothed planing stop (traditional style)
    Pair of Gramarcy holdfasts
    Ĺ” and ľ” thick doe’s feet / batons
    Twin screw end vise
    dogs
    Bench hook
    Shooting board (is that a work holding jig? I guess it kind of is)
    Sticking board

    My low Roman bench has:
    2 holdfasts
    3 dogs
    3 pegs
    a few wedges of different sizes.
    Last edited by chris carter; 12-05-2021 at 9:29 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Fairbanks AK
    Posts
    1,132
    I am getting by with two holdfasts, a leg vise, two bench hooks, a planing stop at the end of my bench, a homemade shooting board, 2 sizes of decks of cards to lessen vise wracking, and a collection of doe's feet that rotate back and forth between the shelf under my bench and the scrap bin. When I clean out the scrap bin doe'e feet usually stay in the shop a little longer. I do have a riving brake made out of 2x6 that can be held in my leg vise. I have some F clamps but only use them for workholding rarely.

    The idea of some kind of tail vise with a dog system is tempting, but once I can travel I want to take a class somewhere that has several styles of end vise and try them all out before I commit. I will end up with a Moxon for dovetailing, but I might build it as a freestanding vise rather than a heavy thing to move around and have shelf space for.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    591
    I've done a surprising amount of work with just an Atedai (Japanese planing board) -- that's just a board with a stop and very low feet to raise it a few inches off the floor.

    One of my Japanese planing boards has two adjustable planing stops that are mortised through, and you knock it up and down. That is quite nice to have.

    On my workbench, I generally have just used a stout screw for a planing stop, and a vise, clamps, and bench hooks / shooting boards. Had very mixed success with holdfasts, which turned out to be a bit too fussy for me (maybe I just needed to tinker with them more).

    A batton with a V-notch can be quite useful for a variety of tasks too.

    I just made a bench with an end vise and dog system, and I'm liking that a lot. I may try out more jigs and maybe even some kind of wedge vise. Also, home-made C clamps and pipe-style clamps, as featured in Roubo and such, are on my to-do list to make and try out.
    Last edited by Luke Dupont; 12-05-2021 at 10:32 PM.

  8. #8
    I have a bench hook, and also a deadman for holding long boards on edge for jointing. That is about it for hand tool jigs. The beauty of the Scandinavian bench is that is has most of the holding jigs built into the bench design; it is basically one big jig

    I have some power tool jigs that I use on it as well, like my router mortising jig that I clamp in the shoulder vise or the board I clamp along the long way of the bench to act as a stop for biscuit joining boards and panels.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Central TX
    Posts
    38
    Same as many others: leg vise, planing stop, two holdfasts, bench hook, peg/dog, doeís foot, couple of battons.

    Two things I havenít seen yet. One, Iíll often use hand screws to hold odd-shaped things, or ones that have to be at a weird spot on the bench. I hold the hand screws stationary with holdfasts.

    Second, I make many appliances out of cheap 3/4 plywood. I like having everything a consistent thickness; it makes it easy to add support under long pieces, etc. Something on the bench hook needs more support? Grab a piece of ply, throw it under, and itíll be the right height.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    The old pueblo in el norte.
    Posts
    1,109
    A couple "moxon" vises (because I don't like having to haul around one for 24"+ case sides for most work, I swap the hardware they both hang on the wall). A couple pair of holdfasts, 3 planing stops, still have dogs (and use those for workholding without the vise), two shooting boards, several bench hooks, I use hand screws all the time (both held by holdfasts and in the vise), sticking boards, does feet and a couple birds mouths for turning cuts. I'll also use clamps pretty frequently.

    What I discovered is that I really hate having to undo a vise to lift up a piece I'm working on. If it can simply be held in place, I'm happier.. and I work faster.
    ~mike

    life in a mud hut

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Posts
    1,333
    LV wonder pup, supply of F clamps and pistol-grip clamps are within an armís reach of the center of the bench which features round dog holes, leg vise, twin screw LV tail vise, two holdfast & batons. I also have a sacrificial piece of masonite at the ready when chopping or paring dove tails, and a small supply of shims, plus bench hook and shooting board.

    I view a bench as a tool, a vital tool that provides great work holding, and a sturdy platform for sawing, planing, drilling, sharpening, chopping and assembly work, as well as tool and or lumber and jig storage.
    Last edited by Joe A Faulkner; 12-06-2021 at 8:05 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Missouri
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    I enjoy hearing these things. You do need a bench to make things some easier. How itís made is individual choice. The choices can be financially driven, space driven, type if work etc. The bench can be plywood on saw horses, a full blown 6Ē thick Roubo, etc. The work holding can be shop made or purchased. The tools can be old, new, expensive or bargain. It is what you bring to the party that makes the difference. The things you make that please you and others is the objective. Many of the skills needed can be researched right here. If you develope a procedure that can help others please share it here. Iíve learned many things here and Iím grateful for that. Please share more of your bench fixtures, jigs, and work holding.
    Jim

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Missouri
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    Here is a simple but effective vise. When I moved here 20 or so years ago now I had left my bench and needed something so I broke out a skilsaw on a Saturday and went to work. Needed a vise too so built this one. The face vises were added years later. This wedge vise works very well and is still in use. It was made with construction lumber. It is adjustable, sometimes a spacer is needed. Even with no facings it holds tenaciously. It held and still holds for most joinery or planing operation either on top or on the face.
    Jim
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Location
    Brooklyn NY
    Posts
    103
    James, that’s pretty cool man. Looks like it gets it done!

    Here’s my current set up. When cutting on the downstroke the bench and a hand is all the work holding device you need. There are some who use a western saw held “backwards” to achieve the same thing.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by chuck van dyck; 12-07-2021 at 4:30 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
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    1
    What helpers do you have on or near your bench ready to go. Not talking tools here just fixtures or jigs for holding work on your bench?
    There are a few more helpers around the shop but here are the ones used most:

    Some Bench Accessories.jpg

    Starting at the upper left is a stick that runs across the back of the bench to keep things from being knocked off. It is held there by dogs along the back of the bench.

    Next is my anti-rack-spacer-stack, possibly one of my most used bench helpers. > https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?183743

    Below that is "the claw" for quick change of holding things on top of the bench:

    In To the Claw.jpg

    This has led to other cam type clamping devices.

    Next over on top of the pile is a dog accompanied by two pieces of wood the same thickness as the platform on the two small bench hooks. They help to support longer work when sawing. Below them are two longer bench hooks. They are made with Borg 1X so it is easy to find scrap around the shop for support. In a pinch bench hooks can be used for shooting. To avoid scratching the bench top use a piece of thin plywood underneath when sawing or shooting. There are various dogs scattered about on the small shooting board on top of the larger ambidextrous shooting board.

    The quick clamps have the rivets drilled out so the handle can come off allowing them to be run through a dog hole for bench top clamping. There are also a couple of holdfasts. The wedges are also used at times to help hold work in place.

    On the right side of the shooting boards is a brush for cleaning the bench top. Below the brush is one of the two racks for keeping chisels organized. Under the rack and holdfast are vise extenders. These were originally made to hold some small pieces on the bench top for mortising. They have been found helpful on other projects.

    There are also a couple sticking boards, some other shooting boards for shooting angles and a few more older bench hooks.

    jtk

    Below the
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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