Adding a flush bench stop
Over the weekend I installed a new bench stop to my workbench. We had these on the benches when I was a youngster and they worked well. I was glad to see they were still being made though and so I thought I might use one from time to time.
They are quick and easy to install although on the package they say they are to be used in conjunction with a vise dog, but though they can, that wasn’t they way they were intended for use. Bench stops were always placed somewhere near the corner of the bench according to left or right handed use. I installed mine to the left of my vise when I am standing facing the vice. That means as a right-hand dominant person the planing hand is over the bench pushing from my right hand and I have the full length of my bench for supporting the material on the benchtop.
I laid out the outline on the benchtop with knifewall and chisel.
I bored out the centre to receive the height adjuster.
and then recessed the various depths by using the square to guide me after setting the depth to the two different levels.
I refined the recess with the router plane to make it solid and a hair below flush with the benchtop.
The stop allows access inside for screwing it down into the recess.
Once installed it’s a solid stop to plane against but make an allowance for removing any indents in the end grain where it matters.
Oh, I bought the stop from C W Tyzak via eBay for £10.
For those of use who have a line of bench dogs/holes already in the bench, can you address why this should be considered? Or put another way, if a bench has neither, why do this vs bench dogs?
Oh, I haven’t ever said one shouldn’t have bench dogs or that they should. In fact, it’s been very much the other way around really. People tell me I should have them and get quite offended because I don’t or don’t necessarily agree. I mean, after 50 years living dog free I quite like it still. I think people should be allowed to choose for themselves. It’s all a matter of personal preference. Some people like holes all over their bench top and I never found much use for them. I wouldn’t ever say anyone should pick a bench stop over a dog hole. I just think this was a neat addition for me that I might use now and then, I think. I like the fact that it’s flush, well made and so that’s what I was saying really.
Lee Valley has a mortised bench stop available for less than $10
I’ve been thinking of getting one of these. Never noticed them in the Lee Valley catalogue before. Thanks to Paul and thanks to George for pointing them out.
I was going to point that out too. It looks 100% identical to the one Paul shows. Mine is ordered and on the way.
I remember these well – My school work bench (back in the UK) had them and my father’s bench also had one – it would fascinate me. If you already have dog holes, an alternative is a toothed piece of metal screwed to the top of a bench dog. Just remember to remove it when not in use – this type of bench dog really does bite. Paul, thanks for the trip down memory lane
I like your style! LOL!
In the US Woodworker Supply, http://www.woodworker.com, has them, Catalog No. 934-679 $6.99.
For those in the UK who don’t like ebay: http://www.axminster.co.uk/morticed-bench-stop
Shipping with Axminster is £4.95 so that doubles the price pretty much, plus an extra £1. Just worth mentioning. So the end price is around the same; for those who do prefer eBay I suppose.
Ah yes, I forget that every time!
That’s a coincidence. I bought a second-hand one on ebay a couple of weeks ago and never thought to look for new. It’s a bit beaten up, but I did save 76 pence over the new price!
Interestingly it too came from Tyzack, stamped ‘Tyzack & Son Ltd, Old Street’ ‘Zyto’ brand. I assume it was made in the UK while it still had a manufacturing industry.
Tyzack goes back about 80 years I think. They are one of the oldest tool suppliers in the UK now.
I have a 14″ tenon saw that has Tyzack’s name, but Sheffield that I think is much older. It was the first saw (of quite a few now) that your sharpening video gave me the confidence to buy and refurbish. Just one of many, many things to thank you for.
There were about twelve Sheffield firms with the Tyzack name, and about six London sawmakers and tool retailers. One of the longest-lived Sheffield makers was Tyzack, Sons and Turner, who were still making saws until about 1990. They used an elephant as their trademark, and the word ‘Nonpareil’, a trademark first used by the firm of William Tyzack in 1825.
I’m not sure if all the Tyzacks hailed from the same family, but as it’s a fairly unusual name that could be the case; there were other Sheffield ‘dynasties’ such as Sorby and Marples.
It is an unusual name, and some research finds http://www.tyzack.net/ which has a family history. It seems they have been making and selling tools in England for over 400 years after a French family of glass workers emigrated there.
I bought an adze from CW Tyzack a few years ago. They are a hardware business based in London but confirmed that they were related to/originally part of the same family of companies as the old Sheffield-based tool maker. My father’s old drawknife is a Tyzack, I read that its raised back is softer metal holding the hardened steel cutting edge – a type of forged, laminated construction 🙂
many thanks – My school bench way back in 1970 had theses and my father’s also – it would fascinate me as a child. For those of you that do not want to cut into your bench and have dog holes, you can simply screw a bit of scrap metal with teeth files into it to the top of a dog (aluminium is kinder on planes and chisels) – but do be careful and remove when not in use – this is a dog of a different breed and will bite.
I wonder if two of them space 6″ or so apart (perpendicular to front rail) might be a good option for wider planks?
Yes, you can do lots with these, and you can use them opposite say a tail vise if you have a size of wood you regularly plane.
A similar device is available in Belgium here :
(bottom of the web page)
for 9.35 EUR
Fine if you like dog holes I suppose. Very different application though because they rely on a vise. The bench stop is a different animal.
They’re a bit ‘marmite’ those metal bench-stops. Some people love them, and some hate them. Some prefer to have no metal fittings on the benchtop, to avoid risk of damage to edge tools.
However, used with due care, there’s no doubt that they work, and work well.
They wouldn’t damage edge tools unless you were careless I suppose. I just upgraded this blog with an update showing my additional wooden cover block that works great.
I’ve seen them in books before, never in the flesh, and thought they seemed like an unnecessary risk. A moment of neglect in a busy day, maybe you plane a board further down than you expected or switch to a thinner board without re-adjusting, and you could easily take a lump out of your blade. Having skimmed the top of my wooden stop a couple of times I can see how it would happen. Plus there’s the marks they leave, so I must honestly say I struggle to see the logic behind them.
I do like Marmite though.
The old Roubo benches used a simple long rectangle-section piece of wood in a snug fitting hole in the (often 4″ deep) bench top as a planing stop. But they typically topped the wooden stop with a jagged-edged piece of metal:
I added one of these to my work bench, about a month after Paul’s post. I’ve been using it now for quite a while, and at first I thought “this is great”. Now though, the honeymoon is over and it is starting to annoy me. To screw it down out of the way, you have to clear out ALL of the chips and sawdust/shavings (it is a shavings magnet) and the only viable way is to use the vacuum cleaner. I’ve tried blowing them out – that drives them further into the works, and brushing them which clears the visible ones but not those clogging up the closing action. Vacuum is the only way, and if you are having to do that several times a day it becomes tedious, at best.
I am going to modify the bench as best I can to take a sliding square post on wing nuts against the leg, and grave in a piece where the metal bench stop was.
It works well though, and together with a cleft stick and a holdfast I’ve had some very good work holding!
I still like mine but only use it a little.
I’ve seen solutions to your shaving problem, where a hole is drilled below the recess that lets any trapped shavings fall through to the floor.
I had one of those that I got from Lee Valley. When I would plane against it the wood would walk up the teeth and then slide over the top. 🙁 Finally I hit it with plane one time and it broke. I will not be getting another, Probably operator error, but it never worked properly for me.
Do you have any considerations after being using one of this after 3 years. Best regards from Perth Australia.
They come in occasionally but I am not altogether sure I would install another. I don’t use bench dogs or holdfasts which others swear they can’t live without so perhaps I am not the one to follow.
Thank you very much for your comment. Best regards
They’re great, but the mortise is sits in may have to be deepened a few times in a woodworker’s life when the bench is resurfaced. Not a big deal.
You should only have to screw it down flush once in a blue moon if it’s positioned correctly and your work to the size of your bench makes sense. If you need to alternate flush to exposed several times a day, something sounds amiss. Just leave it up and position workpieces elsewhere. These things only take up a few square inches, if even that. It’s hard to imagine that you’d have to have this tiny bit of area unobstructed several times a day.
In fact, most vintage ones are frozen in the up position for just this reason.
Comments are closed.