Free Video of the Month – How to Use a Bench Hook

Christopher Schwarz begins this classic, free and highly necessary instructional video by saying, “If you have a backsaw, you need a bench hook.” Take a few minutes to watch and learn the following details on using this basic hand-tool jig:

1. Make accurate crosscuts

2. Use the bench hook fence properly for western backsaws and Japanese pull saws

3. Align your body and eye correctly for crosscuts

4. Make repetitive cuts with a spring clamp for a stop

5. Use the bench hook as a miniature shooting board for your hand plane

6. Customize your bench hook for miter cuts and more!

Three quick plugs:

1. If you enjoyed this video and you enjoy Chris Schwarz, and especially if you are anywhere near Cincinnati next week, you ought to be at Woodworking in America 2013. It’s not too late to sign up, so do it today!

2. No chance of attending the conference? Spend next week building a custom backsaw with Matt Cianci. It will go great with your bench hook skills!

3. The Cianci video is one of our latest uploads to the ShopClass streaming video site. This site is really the place to be if you are into video instruction. We are continually updating it with the latest products from our line, so it’s an economical way to get access to all of those techniques and projects.

Dan Farnbach

Product Spotlight, Woodworking Daily Blog
Dan Farnbach

About Dan Farnbach

Dan apprenticed and worked in two professional shops during the years after college. But sweeping shop floors only goes so far toward learning woodworking. These days Dan is online editor for Popular Woodworking, and is learning new skills every day. He divides his time between Boston and Maine.

4 thoughts on “Free Video of the Month – How to Use a Bench Hook

  1. Mark Dorman

    I use a bench hook similar to this. The difference is that I made the cleat on the bottom the same as the one on top so there is no bottom or top. Same effort to build and twice the life span. No matter how you build it they’re a good thing to have.

  2. wilsonmv

    It appears incredibly simple, so I probably don’t need any such thing…however, he mentions that there are plans for a bench hook on the website and I can’t find them. Anyone know where they are? Can you post a link?


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