3. February 2012 15:33
When it's time to go build in your workshop, the only thing more useful than your tools are your jigs. A jig can be anything to assist you in making your task of building easier. The jig in this episode of Wood Choppin' Time is one that any hand plane enthusiast will enjoy having in their collection. It's called a bench jack.
Sometimes when a woodworker is trying to plane a board, it might be awkward to hold the board in the bench vice. Or it can be a challenge to hold a long board so it doesn't flex or bow when planing. This is where a bench jack earns it's worth in gold. A bench jack is used to help you secure and hold your board in place while you plane it giving you better results with a straighter, smoother board.
The bench jack comes in a few different varieties. The first type of bench jack is great for planing the edges of long boards. It's two pieces of 'one by' joined at a 90 degree angle. The top piece is about 6" long, and the side piece is 12"-16" long. The top has a 3/4" hole in it to insert my bench dog and secure it to my bench. The side piece has series of holes in it to allow for different widths of boards. The boards are held in place with pegs that go into the holes.
A pair of these are best when planing the long boards. Place one at the opposite end of the vice on the work bench. Place the other in the middle of the bench. A spacer, the same thickness as the bench jack is needed to be placed in the vice to properly tighten the board. Once the vice is tight, the board has sufficient support for planing the long boards.
The other style of bench jack is sometimes called a ‘dead-man’. This bench jack extends all the way to the floor. It’s great for planing short wide boards. It is simply two 2” x 4” boards screwed together with a series of holes in it got the pegs to go into. It also has a hole on top, like the other style, to secure it in place with a bench dog.
You’ll quickly see that having these jigs, is like having a partner to help you in your workshop.
For other great videos and tips visit www.WoodChoppinTime.com or visit my business website, www.stantonfinefurniture.com.