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Workshop Appliances with Cecil Rogers


 
 

Battens - Workshop Appliances by Cecil Rogers

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Battens are sticks.
Just sticks.

That's it... nothing more.

If woodworking benches are about work holding, then battens are about work positioning. Laying a plank on the workbench isn't enough... one needs a way to constrain the plank's movement against the force applied while planing.

Although there is information available, oddly, it's obscure and doesn't seem to pop up readily.

A simple batten. This one will traverse the bench. It anchors in the face vise.

Short offset batten. Drops into the slot in the center divider.

A simple batten. Fits in behind the work and anchors with a couple of holdfasts.

What it does...

There are myriad ways to constrain a workpiece. Some are even incorporated right into the bench's design. For example, a planing stop is often incorporated as a large dog that's friction fit into one end of a bench.

The general idea is that a workpiece butts up against it and the planing stop acts as a counter to the force applied. I envy those woodworkers that can make effective use of a planing stop. For me, it acts as a pivot point that allows the other end of the board I'm working on to scoot to the back edge of the bench. My fix is a batten traversing the bench and anchored in the face vise.

Set up and ready. It only takes seconds!


 
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Stanley Planes



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