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Workshop Appliances with Cecil Rogers


 
 

Planing Board - Workshop Appliances by Cecil Rogers

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You don't need a planing board.

But, if you have one, you will use it... a LOT!

Using battens, doe's feet, holdfasts, planing stops, and other appliances, a proper woodworking bench will perform every single task that a planing board will. So, what's the advantage? What could it possibly have to offer if one can use other methods of work? Why build one of these "space takers?"

The short answer is speed and ease of setup, combined with rock solid support.

Many of the boards we work are small. It's not hard to secure them to the bench, but depending on length and width, the process can be time consuming. Getting the right batten, figuring the position of the doe's foot, grabbing a padding board to put under a hold fast... none of it is hard, but it takes time.

Simple Planing Board.
It has a hook on the front edge to lock it up against the bench.

A planing board can be set up in seconds. It brings the work to within a few inches to the front of the bench. And, it holds the workpiece in two directions, like a batten and plane stop working in tandem.

What Is It...

Many of the boards we work with are small. It's not hard to secure them to the bench, but depending on length and width, the process can be time consuming. Getting the right batten, figuring the position of the doe's foot, grabbing a padding board to put under a hold fast... none of it is hard, but it takes time.

A planing board brings the work to within a few inches to the front of the bench. It holds the workpiece in two directions, like a batten and plane stop working in tandem. And, they do it in seconds. Finally, the stops can be adjusted up or down very quickly to accommodate relatively thick, or very thin stock.

Setup takes seconds... lift a dog, drop the hook in the face vise, clamp, work.

They really are a time saver for cleaning up a lot of stock. Of course, if you need to put a little more ham and taters into cleaning up a rough board, this thing is rock solid. Once the work is complete, it can be removed from the bench as quickly as it was put up.

What It Does...

Typically, I set the back stop (that acts as a batten), and the front stop (that acts as a plane stop) for about 1/4". That's fine for the majority of the work I do. But, if I have to reset them because of the thickness of the stock I'll be working, it is a quick and simple matter to do so.

Back stop and Plane stop raised. Typically, about 1/4" is adequate,
but it's easy to adjust them if needed.

In my shop, the hook is just a little wider than the face vise chop. It's secured to the planing board with a few wood screws, and the hook sits just below the top edge of the planing board. I drop that hook into the face vise, slide front of the planing board against one of the dogs, and cinch the face vise down. DONE! That's it. You're ready to work. In practice, it will take you longer to read this sentence than to set up a planing board.

After the work is complete, I give the hand wheel on the face vise a quick spin and the planing board is free to move out of the way.


 
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