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D’oh! I shouldn’t have glued up that joint yet!

Hand tools allow us to work in way not possible with a machine. Have you ever glued up a part and then thought, “dang, I should have chamfered those edges at the router table first”. While you can’t run a carcase across a router table easily, you can very easily use a block plane. For that matter you can blend the corners and areas around joints much better with a plane than a router bit. Although not a new epiphany for me, this is still a fact that gives me pleasure every day in my own work.

I was putting the finishing touches on the leg vise to my workbench this past weekend and focusing solely on the functionality of it. I had installed the parallel guide with a through wedged tenon and backed it up by pegging the joint. I was very proud of this very strong and if I may very pretty joint and the vise was working great. I then realized that I still needed to chamfer the edges not only to allow room for working on the outside of the chop but to cut down on weight since the chop is a 2 inch thick piece of Ash. I also wanted to cut a taper on the chop toward the bottom. So much for running it through the table saw or band saw.

Imagine a thick board that is 2x8x35 with an 18″ board sticking out of the back at a right angle.

Now how am I going to cut the taper and the edge profile?

Clamp it to the bench front, and hit it with a frame saw or panel saw filed rip and you have a tapered edge, all the while working around the parallel guide sticking out the back.

Now onto the chamfer. I clamped the chop down to my bench with the parallel guide hanging off the back and held securely between two dogs.

Then it was time to make lots of shaving with my drawknife, spokeshave, and block plane to create perfect 1″ 45 degree chamfer all the way around the coffin shaped vise chop.

This is just one example of the work you can do after the glue up with hand tooling. Call it flexibility, but often it is just me realizing too late that I should have done something before putting glue on that tenon.

Any war stories out there where a hand tool has corrected your glue happy tendencies?

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