It's amazing what kind
of service one can get out of just one scrap stick
A doe's foot is nothing more
than a specialized batten; a stick with a notch cut into the
end of it. Just one scrap stick of wood!
What It Does...
A doe's foot is designed to
capture a corner (or more) of a piece of lumber. Traversing
a piece of timber for initial flattening or scooting a
workpiece to the front of the bench for detail work is
always one of those woodworking necessities. This is where a
doe's foot shines.
It can be as long or short as
it needs to be... It only has three real requirements.
First, it has to be long enough to reach the corner and
still sit back far enough to be engaged by a holdfast
without getting in the way. Second, it has to be thinner
than the piece being worked. Finally, it has to have a
How to build it...
I start with a blank that's
about 5" wide, 15" long, and about 3/8" thick. There is no
hard and fast rule, but if your back space is constrained by
a wall, or it doesn't fit your work, just cut it down or
make it longer.
In practice, rough lumber is
rarely, if ever, square. As nice as it is to dream, it just
doesn't happen. And yet, when we're getting to "the end,"
it's nice for that timber to nestle into the doe's foot and
So, to build this version, I
cut a notch at both ends and mark them. One is 90°, and the
other is a little over 90°. For rough lumber, I set the
doe's foot to the >90° end. It just seems to get a better
bite. When getting towards the end, I flip it over... if
that end isn't dead on 90°, it shows up really quick.
Grab your scrap blank and a
combination square and lay out the 90° notch on each end.