To top off a really productive day, I decided it was time to make me some bench hooks. I have been putting it off out of sheer laziness, but the last couple days I’ve had to do some random work out in the shop and thought to myself, “Self, you sure could use some damn bench hooks right about now…”. I thought that one too many times and decided today was the day I made sure I didn’t need to think that thought again!
Confused yet? I think I am.
So, I looked around decided I had enough scrap to proceed with plans drawn up in the Schwarz’s Workbenches book. He called for a bench hook 5/8″ x 5″ x 12″. I decided my scraps would suffice for a 1/2″ x 6″ x 12″ with minimal cutting. Instead of ash, I used birch plywood with poplar cleats.
I measureed where I wanted the screws to go on the cleat (the underside is showing in the picture above, the other side has a much nicer finish) then drilled pilot holes, applied glue and screws and clamps. Following Chris Schwarz’s advice, I made a second hook of the same dimensions but left off the upper cleat, so I could use it as a uspport piece for longer stock.
The above picture shows the scrap wood that has been made into the hook has 3 large holes in it—this is a piece of plywood I had attached my metal vise to last year. I figure if it’s just supporting a piece of wood, it don’t have to be the prettiest girl at the dance. That and I haven’t been able to find any other use for the piece of wood with those three holes yet.
On the upper side of the main hook, just like the Schwarz, I shorted the cleat (he used 1/2″, I used 3/4″ just to be onery) to allow me to cut stuff and not worry about damaging my bench. Another couple pilot holes, some more glue and screws and clamps and there you have it! My bench hooks:
I have undertaken my first commission—to construct mounting plates for some garage lights for my father-in-law—-and these hooks will be invaluable to me in the coming days! Can’t wait to start using them! When the glue dries, just for giggles, I’m going to use my block plane on the main hook to even out the edges on the cleats just to make things all ship-shape and proper. I purposely left the edges a little off because the scrap (being scrap) wasn’t exactly cut…straight.
However, that said, I am very pleased with the handsaw cut I made on the 1/2″ plywood, straight as I can get it!
Oh, you may notice that the notch on the main hook is backwards—that’s because I’m left handed. Ha!