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Any tips & tricks for securing a small workpiece for hand planing?

521 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  BigCountry79
So I have relatively thin strips of oak (multiple sizes but let's use an example of 2 inches wide, 12 inches long, and 1/2 inch thick). I need to shave maybe a third off their thickness and don't have any of the fancy machinery that would make this an easy 15-minute job.

I will be hand planing them with my Stanley #4 and can't really use a vice or clamps without them getting in the way. Any old school tricks that will hold them well enough to allow some shavings to be removed? Thinking the masking tape and superglue trick that the internet loves probably won't provide enough strength here? Or maybe I'm wrong?
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I think you can probably fasten down a 1/4" stop to your work bench and just place one end of the 12" workpiece against it as you plane it. That should be sufficient. However, you could also fasten 1/4" stops on each side if you have trouble keeping it aligned. Make sure your plane blade is sharp and don't try taking a too thick of a shaving with each stroke.
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Agree with Bill in the concept. Try making a "bench hook" with the same principle. The cleat underneath will hook onto the end of your workbench (or kitchen table) with a stop of the appropriate size on the end. There are many designs of this tool that can make a lot of jobs less difficult.
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very clever, the end piece both stops the workpiece from moving and stops my plane when I've reached the desired thickness.

Thanks guys!
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Notice that the part on the right that catches the table has a slight angle to it - this helps it from not climbing up when the force reaches the end of the board. (Roy Underhill taught me that). Of course, YouTube has many more designs that aren't so complicated to make.
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Notice that the part on the right that catches the table has a slight angle to it - this helps it from not climbing up when the force reaches the end of the board. (Roy Underhill taught me that).
perfect, thanks for the video John. I have some leftover sapele that should work nicely for some bench hooks. Roy's Irish accent needs work though ;)
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I have several of the wood twist Jorgenson clamps that will hold odd shaped pieces for hand work and clamp any shape material for gluing:
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Harbor Freight has them at 1/2 the price of the real "Jorgensons" but they worked just fine:
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My favorite solution is a bench stop.

You can make them various ways:

Either a flat piece of wood you fasten to the bench with some holdfasts...

Or a flat piece with a block screwed to the end that will clamp in your face vise...

Or a strip screwed to the end of your bench that can raise up and get tightened down with a tee knob.
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Yes, a bench stop. It can simply be thinner material clamped down or you can install one into your benchtop 👍. There is a little flip up device that would work.

To illustrate what @BigCountry79 said, here are two methods, the cross bar is used is for wider boards.

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Another simple solution
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Bench stops and dog holes are great IF YOU have a bench.
If you don't have a bench or a decent woodworker's vise with an extendable dog, then you will need to use clamps on what ever surface you have.
The forces you need to hand plane can be significant and may lift up any workpiece and it's attached surface, so that will discourage any nebie woodworker.
The plane won't work correctly and catch, so it will be frustrating.
Then the old adage "You need a bench to make a bench" comes into play:

May favorite work benches are a 1 3/4" slab door with a 3/4" piece of MDF covering it. It is dead flat, heavy and I use 2 legal size file cabinets with built in roller drawers for storage as supports. This photo shows my torsion box assembly and out feed table also on the file cabinet supports:
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This shows the metal bench vise and the Parrot woodworking vise clamped to the torsion box. This is so I don't drill holes in to it or mount them permanently and in the way of feeding wood out:

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So I have relatively thin strips of oak (multiple sizes but let's use an example of 2 inches wide, 12 inches long, and 1/2 inch thick). I need to shave maybe a third off their thickness and don't have any of the fancy machinery that would make this an easy 15-minute job.
I will be hand planing them with my Stanley #4 and can't really use a vice or clamps without them getting in the way. Any old school tricks that will hold them well enough to allow some shavings to be removed? Thinking the masking tape and superglue trick that the internet loves probably won't provide enough strength here? Or maybe I'm wrong?
Hot melt glue is stronger than you may think!
Be cautious with its application amount, starting out with the "less is more" approach.
Same with double sided tape or carpet tape which is very aggressive .
Prying off thin strips may break them if you're not careful. Been there, done that myself.
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Try using a sticking board. I designed and built this adjustable one. Link: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ShopMadeTools/AdjustableStickingBoard2.html










Use a stop on the end of the bench ...



Use a Doe's Foot ...



Regards from Perth

Derek
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Try using a sticking board. I designed and built this adjustable one. Link: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ShopMadeTools/AdjustableStickingBoard2.html










Use a stop on the end of the bench ...



Use a Doe's Foot ...



Regards from Perth

Derek
I see you went with some mechanical holdfasts. Why'd you go that way and how do you like them?
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