New Bench Hooks for the New Bench
I spent so much time building and perfecting my Roubo workbench that it seemed only fitting that I retire my cobbled together shooting board and bench hook for newer, smarter, and faster models. In the digital age we are blessed with a plethora of information when you embark on a new project. In this case it was more curse than blessing. The sheer volume of great data on bench hooks and shooting boards is astounding. Hardwood, softwood, or plywood? Length, width? Fence height, fence material? Jeesh so many opinions and so much talking about what are supposed to be simple appliances.
I guess I shouldn’t really complain because I am one the masses contributing content and opinions to the whirlpool. I just didn’t want to spend a bunch of time considering how to make them when I had some high quality scrap baltic birch ply sitting in the corner of the shop. It’s flat and already cut in sizes that make sense.
The low profile hook has a fence that is only 1/4″ tall and I will be using it for small parts work. This is a quick way to plane small parts by butting them up against the fence and still being able to plane across them. I made the bed of the hook 12″ wide and 18″ long to give me plenty of space the work. I may end up using it as a backer board when chopping dovetails too.
The miter hook is really just a normal bench hook but I made the fence 1.5″ tall and cut two 45 degree and one 90 degree kerf in it. I also stopped the fence short of the left side of the hook to allow cutting there too. With the taller fence I can register a back saw in the kerf and make very accurate cuts. Like the low profile hook the fence is attached to the base using Miller dowels.
Finally I made a new shooting board. My old board was no longer flat and I can never get the fence right. I had screwed the fence in place and with years of unscrewing and screwing the holes don’t keep the fence steady. So here I made the shooting platform out of 1/2″ ply set on 3/4″ ply for the chute. I can shoot wider stock now as more of the plane blade is exposed. The board is 18 by 15 with plane chutes on either side of the board. I am a lefty but my Philly skew miter is made for right handed use. (my oversight, I should have told Philly my gaucheness) No matter and it is still easy to use and works like a dream. I added the left hand chute in case I wanted to square up another end of the board and could keep my same 2 reference faces against the fence. Thanks for the tip Bob Rozaieski!
In use the board works great. I was a little concerned that the fence might shift but so far it is rock solid. I guess if it becomes a problem I can add some sandpaper to the bottom.
So those are my new appliances and I have already gotten a lot of use out of them since I started my end table for The Wood Whisperer Guild Build. I’m sure you will be seeing these boards a lot in the future.