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Cushion Your Work

I’m always looking for ways to protect my pieces as I work on them at the bench. Simple things such as a moving blanket (see my entry on that here) can save you a day of clean-up on a project before you apply the finish.

Now I have an additional defensive weapon. Earlier this year I did a collaborative project with Jameel Abraham of Benchcrafted. I built the tool chest carcase, and he made the incredible lid (details on that chest are here).

When Jameel shipped the completed lid to me for installation, he was a bit freaked that I would scuff the finish when I leveled all the joints for the lid. So in the box with the lid he also included two sticks of wood that each had one face covered in suede.

I didn’t use the leather-lined battens when working on the lid (I didn’t need them), but I have been using them on every project since.

They are fantastic for protecting assembled carcases and panels when you are working on them at the bench. Today I had to drive in some Japanese dome-head drum nails into a box and these battens protected the carcase from dings as I hammered them.

I have lots of leather scraps (thank you, Roorkee chairs) so I’m going to glue them to some more scraps of wood so I have several sizes of battens on hand.

(Technical note: You can use almost any adhesive to glue leather to wood. I use hide glue – it seems karmic – but contact cement is another good choice.)

— Christopher Schwarz

Cushion Your Work


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Showing 4 comments
  • BLZeebub

    Ditto on the scrap leather use. I’m adding this to the “must make” list too. Good one.

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