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Benchtop Shaving Horse

2021-03-12 15:39:05.736846+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

I've been using the Festool MFT table as my primary workbench for a while now. At one point I had a big ol' block of bowling alley that I was using as a secondary bench, but it was taking up a little too much room in the shop.

For the most part it's fine. I love the holes that let me clamp anywhere and use stops anywhere. Obviously the hinged rail and fence are integral to using the track saw. But it's not really beefy enough for hand tools: get to planing something and there's just not enough mass to keep things in place. Even hand sawing is ... okay, I guess ... but.

I don't use hand tools much, but sometimes there's no other alternative. And I don't have room for a shaving horse, or a dedicated chevalet, but.

Anyway, I think I need to just figure out what compromises I'm willing to make in terms of clamping to get a big heavy frame in play, and set up a good vise (I actually have the bits to make that) and a benchtop shaving horse.

[ related topics: Trains Furniture Woodworking Festool ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: Benchtop Shaving Horse made: 2021-03-13 12:42:46.751365+00 by: DaveP

My bench is fairly lightweight construction (plastic legs, tubafor frame, and 3/4” plywood surfaces), but I made it heavy enough for hand tool use by simply loading up the lower shelves with “stuff.” Between that and having it pressed against the wall, I only find it moving on me once in a great while.

The other thing I’ve found is how handy a mechanics vise with wood inserts for the jaws can be. I use it for all sorts of workholding, including using a drawknife and spokeshave, as one normally would do with a shavehorse. It’s not as quick when I need to reposition the work, but it also gets used a lot when I’m working metal.

But the most common workholding device I have is my twin-screw face vise on my primary bench. It’s 22” or so between the screws, and I use it to hold pieces I’m planing, sawing, carving, drilling, etc.

The only holes in the top of my bench are temporary ones holding down a doe’s foot which I use for planing and carving a lot. That’s usually just held down with two #8 wood screws directly into the plywood bench top, and then every six months or so I’ll get out the bamboo bbq skewers and wood glue and fill in the screw holes.

Finally, I also use the wall behind my bench for workholding, often putting a piece on the bench, braced against the wall, and then planing into the wall. No clamping needed, and it works fine as long as I don’t need to traverse the piece too much.

#Comment Re: Benchtop Shaving Horse made: 2021-03-15 20:23:56.419258+00 by: DaveP

Here’s another bench-top shaving pony from MaFe on Lumberjocks.

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