I think anyone who uses hand tools on a regular basis would benefit from some simple work bench appliances. Whether you build your own or purchase them, they really make a difference in the wood shop.
A shooting board. The most effective way to trim the ends of stock, 1-in. and under. You can sneak up on a fit that is almost unachievable for any power tool. 1/1000th of an inch if that is what’s required. A simple jig that will elevate the precision of your work.
A shop made miter box. In recent years there has been a lot of wood workers seeking out antique miter boxes on the inter-webs. Reclaiming and refurbishing vintage models when really, a basic miter box can be made with three pieces of wood. Another invaluable tool for the wood shop.
A bench hook in all its simplicity is probably the first appliance you should have. For holding work or again for small miters, the bench hook is never far from my bench top.
A miter-shooting board. A luxury? Not at all. Again, an accurate way of trimming cabinet parts and fine tuning moldings.
I spent the last few days making the four mentioned appliances for a gentleman in the Ottawa area and thought I’d share the results. Nothing fancy, no special attachments or Space age materials. Just some cabinet grade cherry plywood for the bases with some quarter sawn cherry for all of the hardwood parts. A shooting board with miter attachment, a miter-shooting board, a miter box and finally a bench hook.
I’m packaging them up this afternoon and they’ll be en route to their new home where I hope they’ll assist a hand tool wood worker in his journey through working wood. Cheers!