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Perhaps the most important instrument for the hand-tool oriented woodworker is a sturdy workbench. The Moxon Vise (Benchcrafted, Lie Nielsen, Texas Heritage, Tools for Working Wood, Lake Erie Toolworks…or make your own) is a good examples of an auxiliary clamping platform.
Last year I built yet another “Bench on Bench” contraption that helped us tremendously with our 9th-grade box-making project. Without holdfast capabilities, it is difficult to clamp a thin and narrow workpiece from the edge of a bench for wide chamfering, grooving and rabbeting.
In this entry I will show how to make use of a simple Bench Bull, and in following entries, I will show how to build a deluxe version that incorporates two pipe clamps or holdfasts. The simplest way to build one is to cut a 2×4 board into a few segments and sandwich them together (see the drawings below). See the pictures below to understand the Bench Bull’s full scope of advantages – and stay tuned. The Bench Bull allows you to clamp narrow pieces by positioning two clamps from the jig’s inner face to facilitate effectively grooving, dadoing and rabbeting.
Yoav teaches woodworking at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan, and also frequently guest teaches in craft schools across the country.  Between 2003 and 2011 Yoav  headed the woodworking program at Harvard University's Eliot House. Yoav has a degree in architecture and later held two competitive residency programs: at The Worcester Center for Crafts in Massachusetts, and the Windgate Foundation Fellowship at Purchase College, New York.
Thanks so much for your comment and good luck exploring and expanding the Bench Bull possibilities. The plow plane in the picture is an esoteric and not that handy Stanley # 13-030 (Made in England). Sketch two shows an optional edge planing plate to be mounted via a few holes and dowels onto the Bench bull top. If one uses hanger bolts (lag screw on one end, machine thread on the other), wing nuts can be used to clamp the stop in the desired position, avoiding the need for a tool for this. It is a nice idea that opens the door to even more expansive thought when it comes to making bench jigs! Christopher Schwarz has helped many of us solve some pretty frustrating problems over the years. American Woodturner is the official publication of the American Association of Woodturners.
In the December 2007 issue of Popular Woodworking, Senior Editor Glen Huey builds a 21st-century version of a classic Shaker Workbench. It’s time for our annual picks of the best new tools of the year, and we present our list of 15 favorites.


Marc Adams continues his new series about working smarter and safer with Woodworking Essentials: Practical Safety Devices. Online Extras from the December 2007 issue include a drawing showing the location of the workbench dog holes, full-size drawings of the Gustav Stickley Poppy Table for $3.00, download instructions from Shaker Workshops for weaving the Mission Chair seat, and more. A reliable bench is fundamental for the success of sawing, chiseling, planing, grooving, drilling and more. So is the “Portable Workbench” that I built and wrote about for American Woodworker in 2014. But I think it’s more than for just boxes – it can become your bench to take on a journey, a bench for the space-deprived woodworker (such as in a one-bedroom apartment or a college dorm), and is an inexpensive gateway bench to be gifted to friends and the children in your life. It can be clamped onto any flat surface such as a tabletop or a countertop, or you can put it in a  bench vise to serve as a platform to work on other objects.
It allows you to comfortably clamp small workpieces for planing, ripping and crosscutting in a vertical or horizontal configuration.
It allows you to clamp narrow pieces by positioning two clamps from the jig’s inner face to facilitate grooving, dadoing and rabbeting. The clamps that hold the piece down will be in your way and the workpiece will hang too far out in space and might break or flex. This can be done with a handsaw – and it’s a good activity to teach kids so that each of them will end up with a jig.
This is particularly important in cases where your bench does not have holdfast holes drilled into it.
Made from laminated white oak stair newel post blanks, it’s 34 inches long x 3 ? inches wide by 12 inches high with 1 ? x 2 ? inch mortise and tenon joints and it weighs a ton. Made a number of dog holes for Veritas surface clamps, also added two anchors for Leigh cam-action clamps. What attracted me to it was the clamp’s fascinating cam mechanism — so I had no choice but to buy it. One easy way to do this is to screw a plate of wood onto the front vertical edge of the horn.
I too use a plane in the upside down configuration (clamped in a vise or held in my hand) to plane stuff and to sharpen pencils — the kids love watching me do this. ?ano?n i?aainoaaeyao aicii?iinou iciaeiieouny n eeoa?aoo?ie ?acee?iie iai?aaeaiiinoe, aee??ay e ia?aoiua ecaaiey. By Jeff Skiver Page: 96 From the December 2007 issue #166 Buy this issue now A woodworking club offers countless rewards to the aspiring craftsman. By Bob Flexner Pages: 90-92 From the December 2007 issue #166 Buy this issue now Unless you’ve been doing wood finishing for quite a while, I imagine the shelves of solvents in home centers and paint stores look pretty much like Greek to you.


If you have more time and lumber, and access to heavier tools, you can build the Bench Bull from hardwood, or cut it out from a massive beam.
His pieces have been featured in several woodworking books, most recently in Robin Wood’s CORES Recycled. The screws should pass through elongated holes in the plate which will allow you to raze or retrieve the plate up or down as needed. Yet I think that you will find that using the Bench bull as a planning platform can be advantages. A ?acaaea «» au eaaei nii?aoa iaeoe eioa?ano?uaa ecaaiea aeaaiaa?y aiiioaoeyi e ea?aiio iiia?o. Senior Editor Robert Lang builds a magnificent mahogany reproduction of the little-known Gustav Stickley poppy table. By Adam Cherubini Pages: 34-37 From the  February 2006 issue #153 Buy this issue now One of the first things any beginning woodworker must do is set up a workshop. Lang Pages: 76-78 From the December 2007 issue #166 Buy this issue now When woodworking throws you a curve, how do you respond? But there are many situations where you will benefit from a small elevated clamping platform installed over your workbench – mainly when you need to have a workpiece closer to your shoulders and eyes. I added the t-track today which were the only things I bought besides the two 44 inch long newel posts and I got them almost next to nothing from my local millwright.
I believe that the Colt clamp company stopped making them decades ago but I am sure that some would pop up from time to time on eBay and in flea markets.
It’s easy to become locked into one solution because it’s familiar and miss an easy alternative.
It’s also useful to have a “bench on bench” for clamping small workpieces that are too cumbersome to clamp on the main bench using a stationary vise or holdfasts. Its achilles heel, literally, is a small heel at the top of a moving piston that presses down on the swivel head.
There is a lot of pressure on that small surface and I am afraid it is prone to faster erosion than a good quality acme screw such as the one found in quality clamps. That said, I love my Colt clamps and I will show and write about them in a near future blog.



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