In the last picture the two dowels in the end of the bench could be used to hold a stick being worked to a round section by a draw knife. The stick being held at right angles to the long side of the bench, one end is then passed through the space between them. The other end can then be held back by the action of the tool. Come to think of it the recesses at the end of the other benches could be used in a similar way.
My Grandfather bench had an arrangement of two planks one behind the other and held 3 or 4″ apart, both having a large hole bored through. It was used in the same way as above.
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