Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Work holding

When I built my bench, I deliberately chose to defer workholding decisions to a phase II.  I was so impressed by Bob Rozaieski's podcast on this subject that I began to question whether I wanted a vise on my bench at all, especially since I consider a Moxon vise to be an absolute necessity.  The remainder of his workholding accessories are easy to add later.

Today, I began a series of experiments to see what I like best.  This is part of the fun for me and I don't care that most of my ideas don't pan out, as long as they are reversible.  The side planing stop is easy:  a board that fits in the split top and protrudes above the bench top.  Bob made a nice one that is flush to the bench top when turned one direction and protrudes above the bench top when turned over.  For now, I decided I want to make the board just under one-half inch taller than the top and remove it when I am not using it.  I like the split open when I work and, with no shelf below it, I don't care about, even prefer, shavings falling through.

The planing stop is another matter.  I just can't bring myself, yet anyway, to cut a big square hole in the top of my bench for the traditional planing stop like Bob made.  So I decided to try an invention.  Here it is:

The finger on the bottom of the planing stop extends below the transverse bearer on the end and rests against the top stretcher on the legs, as you can see from the last picture.  I've tried it a bit and it seems very secure.

I'm going to use it this way for a while and see what I think.  If I do decide to install a vise, it will either be a leg vise or a twin screw vise on this end of the bench, which you probably guessed from the last picture.

I'm now at work on the crochet.


  1. Great idea! I built a planing stop for my roubo out of 4x4 and it worked great for a while, but now I cant keep one in there without it gradually sliding down, even with a fresh 4x4. Are you left handed? I noticed the planing stop on the right side of your bench.

    kelton Gooold

  2. Kelton,

    Thanks. Yes, I am left-handed, so my bench is "backwards." I think I recall reading that Mike Siemsen sets up his Nicholson benches left-handed on one side and right-handed on the other. Nice touch for his students.

    Incidentally, I just bought my first left-handed plane, the Veritas plow plane. LV is coming out with a tongue and groove accessory for it, which should work extremely well with the board held on the sideboard in a crochet.

    1. very cool. I was always curious how the left handed woodworker adapted to hand tools, and woodworking in general.