Tool: Bench Paws
Manufacturer: Platte River
We’ve all heard of bench dogs—the devices that clamp the ends of a board to keep it from slipping—but have you heard of Bench Paws? They’re the latest addition to a growing family of products that elevate and grip a board for routing, sanding and finishing.
Bench Paws have five pads on both sides that resist slipping. You can place a board on a set of four Paws and have at it with a router or belt sander, but the board won’t budge an inch. The advantage of elevating your work above the bench, of course, is that you can rout all the way around the board with a profile bit or a flush-trim bit. You couldn’t do that if the board were sitting on a sanding mat, or clinched between bench dogs. The bit would dig into the benchtop or smack against a dog.
Bench Paws also have one new twist: a counterbored hole in the middle that accepts a screw or a 3/8″ dowel. You can screw the Bench Paws directly to your worktable (to keep them from slipping if your table has a finished surface) or use them as standoffs for finishing by inserting pointed dowels into the holes. Each Bench Paw has a chamber for storing its own screw and dowel.
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