Beyond The Vise: Workholding For Hand Tools

Why go beyond the vise? While most workbenches include a vise, it’s not always effective for all hand tool work. Things get even more difficult if you don’t have a good vise, or are working away from your regular workbench. A variety of work holding methods have evolved over the centuries to help out....

‘Bench Duck’ – New Workholding from Veritas

At the HandWorks show in Amana, Iowa, last month, Veritas introduced publicly its newest innovation in workholding – a cam-lever hold-down that to me, looks like a duck. So until I’m told the official name of the tool, I’m calling it a Bench Duck. (I’ll likely call it that even after I know the...

A Workholding Renaissance

After years of decline, the industry that makes vises and holdfasts for woodworkers has come roaring back. By Christopher Schwarz Pages 36-40 In my first book, “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use” (Popular Woodworking Books), I urged fellow woodworkers to “fight progress” and “invent nothing” when it came to designing their workbenches. Boy, am I...

Workholding Strategies

Your workbench’s vise isn’t the only way to secure your workpieces. By Lonnie Bird Pages: 40-44 From the June 2006 issue #155 Buy this issue now Learning to use hand tools opens a whole new realm of woodworking possibilities. Planes, saws and chisels give your work fine details that can’t be matched by any...

The Workbench X-Files

During the last decade I’ve amassed hundreds of images of early workbenches as part of my research into pre-industrial woodworking. Inevitably, some of the images don’t make a lot of sense and now populate a folder named: X-Files. These workbenches are from paintings and their features might be the result of a painter who...

riving brake

Give Me a Brake (How to Make a Riving Brake)

Get some splitting leverage with this simple contraption. by Peter Follansbee Reach for a froe, and you should immediately think, “Give me a brake.” The brake can be a constructed workholding device, or just a couple of logs. Its function is to trap your workpiece in such a way that you can exert leverage...

Devilishly Clever ‘Doe’s Foot’

These notched sticks simplify your workholding at the bench. by Christopher Schwarz pages 38-39 Workbenches didn’t always have vises. In fact, for most of human history, workbenches around the world were nothing more than a stoutly made table with a few holes. The woodworker kept the work stationary with a combination of pegs, battens, holdfasts, parts of...