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Build a Bench, Help a Serviceman

One of the biggest obstacles to beginning woodworkers is carving out a space to work in, and building a bench to work on. Recently, I built a pair of portable workbenches that are closely based on a now-disappeared commercial bench from the 20th century. These small-scale benches clamp to almost any surface, from a...

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Make Your Own Hand tools

I’ve turned hollow mortise chisels into square punches, refashioned chisels and their handles, made a number of scratch stocks, ground steel bar stock into embossing punches and a made a few other quick tools. And I’ve built a few wooden, Krenov-style handplanes over the years – I had a fine time and wound up...

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More Wooden Vise Options: Evans Wood Screw Co.

I try to stay abreast of the world of workbenches and workholding. But sometimes a place like Evans Wood Screw Co. escapes my eye. For six years, this Franklin, Ind., enterprise has been cranking out wooden vise screws for workbench builders. You can find the company at TheTraditionalCarpenter.com. The small site offers a good...

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Gramercy Holdfasts-the Real Story

Way back in 2005, I wrote an article for issue #4 of Woodworking Magazine about holdfasts. At the time, very few woodworkers knew what a holdfast was, and the article reviewed available manufactured holdfasts, as well as a few blacksmith made ones. We recently put the original holdfast article online, and included a link...

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Kelly Mehler’s Land of Many Benches

If you ever want to try out a lot of different workbench designs before you settle on building one for your shop, you might want to take a class at Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking. During the last five years, Kelly and his students have been building different style benches with all manner of...

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That’s Not a Holdfast

Christopher Schwarz and Lucy May are pleased to announce the newest addition to their family. Length: 18”. Weight: 9 lbs., 4 oz. Birth date: Feb. 15, 2012. Delivered by: Peter Ross, blacksmith and white smith. After more than seven years of searching, I have finally found a bench holdfast that works effortlessly with a...

Innovative Toggle Clamps from Bessey

Convenient workholding is essential for every woodworking project, whether it’s a stout leg vise or a small spring clamp. Sometimes old methods, like using a holdfast are best and other times innovative new clamps come along. I’m thinking of the “K” body clamp Bessey introduced more than a decade ago that was a vast...

Wmsburg Conference Wrap up

My coverage of the conference was hampered by CW’s policy of photography for “Personal Use Only.” I understand why they are doing this. They don’t want the presenters, who may be working on books or videos, to complain about having their content raided by the woodworking paparazzi. On the flip side (my side), attendance...