An unexpected surprise

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Established Member
21 Aug 2013
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I have begun to butcher my workbench :shock: well actually it WAS in a pretty rough state. It needs tidying up, reduce the length by 2 feet to 8 feet. I inherited it when I moved to Bournemouth (now living in Suffolk), it was built around 40 or 50 years ago using 10 x 2 pitch pine for the 2 top boards and smaller 5 x 1's for the well boards. The legs are a bit ropey, the council joiner who owned it previously seems to have used various bits of corporation door and window frames (some of them pink lead primed!) to patch them together. It has a good record 53 vice, which does need an overhaul. Anyway I will post some pictures of the job when its finished, I plan to replace the legs with 3 inch square solid redwood posts and 6 x 2 braces. I was going to take off the top surface with scrub/jack etc & etc, then thought :idea: why not simply turn the boards over as the pitch pine is still in good condition. So I have been removing the nice little plugs that cover the screws. Those slotted steel screws are very nice, in fact I might well reuse them....
Anyway, what I didnt notice until today was a good planing stop right there in my bench. At one time there was a vice on the other side of the bench, but I never paid any attention to it, or the planing stop, which had been almost completely hidden, pressed down and filled with crud/dust/plaster/cement etc. When I tapped it out this is what appeared:-

It looks to be shop made from carefully shaped and filed angle iron, screwed into a 2 inch square oak post that is height adjustable with a large bolt and wingnut, and it looks like the teeth are angled so that when the board to be planed is pushed up to it, it gets pressed down to the bench.

Anyway thanks for looking, Jonathan :D
These are set to be very fashionable- benchcrafted were talking about selling them in a recent blog post.
Well, they would wouldnt they...! I wonder what the industry will charge? :D From looking at this humble version, which I like, I would guess a £1 or £2 to make this, an afternoons efforts maybe to cut a piece of angle iron, file the teeth, drill a few screw holes, plane up and shape the oak, form the slot, chop a square mortice hole in the bench etc...
cheers, Jonathan
LOL I dont know if I care to be ahead of any crowd, dont want to get crushed in a stampede if it goes pear shaped up.... :D
And thanks for the link. It seems like the bench industry has come a long way since The Workbench Book...!

Apparently P Follansbee uses one as well, only (confusingly) he refers to it as a "bench hook" :idea: . ... ook-again/

Anyway, I am really pleased to have made this doscovery. It was simply buried on the opposite corner to wheere the 53 record vice sits, and as that other end tended to be a "tool & timber store" :wink: so to speak, never often saw the light of day! And the refurb is progressing well. Yesterday got the 2 leg assemblies chopped, tennoned and pegged, and fitted into the aprons. Those leg housings that Paul Selllers recommends really do the biz to keep the thing solid with no creaking squeaking or racking. I might post pictures when the job is complete. Still deciding wether to retain the tool well....
Cheers Jonathan
phil.p":1gbmz3bk said:
Now that we can buy really sharp woodscrews, I don't really see the need for the bolt in the Follansbee one - there's no reason why a 3" or even 4" screw couldn't be used. It wouldn't go anywhere.

Yes you could, although Alexander does tend to improvise/adapt/reuse with whatever material happens to be at hand at any particular time
The one that came out of my bench

uses a piece of hacksawed angle iron rebated in, with the screws (3 of them) going into the side of the oak stop, not end grain as in Alexanders design-which I think is a bit weak actually.
Anyway, once the bench top is re-done (to be fixed with through wedged ash pegs-or oak if I can find some good oak this week...) I intend to refurb the planing stop, clean it up, derust the metal, refine and sharpen the teeth etc.
Cheers Jonathan :D