Workbench Helpers: Tips on Holding Work
Holdfasts and hand screws make your workbench more versatile.
Synopsis: Vises are a fundamental tool for holding work securely at the bench, but they can’t do everything. These techniques from Chris Gochnour incorporate holdfasts and hand screws to extend the grip of your vise and enable it to hold wide or long stock without racking. Planing drawers is made easier through the use of two simple workholding jigs.
Every piece of furniture I make begins at my workbench and ends there, too. It’s where I lay out, cut, and fit joinery, plane surfaces, and glue it all together. At the end of the project, it’s where I do things like break edges and look for small defects in the surface. Because the bench is such an important tool, it’s critical that it be set up for effective and efficient work. This means it must be able to hold work reliably and securely, while still being flexible enough to…