The workbench is not really considered at woodworking tool, but it is probably the most used article in the workshop. Imagine trying to do woodworking without a workbench or table or other similar assembly station. It's no wonder that workbenches have so many designs and so many accessories. I'm sure there must be thousands of different workbenches out there and every woodworker does some modifications to their own workbench to make it work better for them.

Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/McO3AdPilTE

Right Angle Frame
This workbench accessory was born from the need to assemble picture frames. I needed something that would ensure the picture frames corners were square so that the frames would come together with nice tight corners ...

Right Angle Frame Jig

To ensure that the sides would always be flush with the frame sides, I made the 2 sides slightly higher than the base of the frame so that sawdust could not get between the angle frame and the sides of the picture frames I was making. I have used this jig a lot over the years for assembly of many, many smaller projects.

 

Mini Mitre Box
Cutting smaller pieces of wood seems to be something I am always doing, and when they are smaller pieces it seems that it's more critical that they are have nice even cuts. Doweling is especially hard to cut by hand because it often wants to roll. This mini mitre box when clamped in vice gives a good solid base to cut smaller pieces of wood safely and accurately.
Mini Mitre Box

Mitre boxes are hany, easy to make and if they get damaged or worn out ... which they will over time, they are super easy to make with little more than off cuts and scrap wood that most of have lying around our shops.

Extended Bench Rest
How many times to I have long piece of wood that I need to drill holes in ... plane, cut mortises in or ??? The most solid place to do this work is clamping the wood in the wood vice, but now how do you support the other end. The poor wood vice can't do it, I sometimes use a clamp with a piece of wood, but most of the time the little flip-out bench rest works great for supporting longer pieces, and it flips back against the workbench when not in use ... you never no it's there.
Extended Bench Rest

Bench rests can even be installed a different distances depending on what you are doing and that way you will always have something that will fit between your bench vice and workbench rest.

Vice in a Vice
Quite some time ago, I inherited a machinist vice, and I don't even remember where it came from, I attached it to my workbench top then found it always seemed to be in the way, and I seldom used it, so I took it off and put it under the bench. Then, just days later I needed it to for some reason and didn't want to re-attach it to the workbench just for one small job.
Vice in a Vice jig

I decided the quickest solution was to attach a chunk of 2 inch Oak cut-off I had in the shop at the time and attach it to the machinist vice, then clamp that in my wood vice. I works fine for the few times I need it but I keep thinking their must be a better solution that will make it a bit steadier in the wood clamp ... and I have an idea, but that's in the next version of 5 More Workbench Hacks ....

 

Machinist Vice Soft Jaws
One of the problems with machinist vices is that because they can be clamped so tightly, they can easily leave marks in wood. This is easily solved by making some custom made wooden insert jaws. A great way to get even more life out of your machinist vice.

Copyright
Colin Knecht

 

workbench hacks

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