Workshop Tip: Pipe-Clamp Cradle Holds Long Boards for Planing

Workshop Tip: Pipe-Clamp Cradle Holds Long Boards for Planing

It’s difficult to control long boards when face planing. Benchdogs don’t always work, and a simple end stop doesn’t control long boards well, especially when you skew the plane. This jig uses a pipe clamp to hold boards and panels of all sizes, grabbing them securely, holding them flat, and releasing them quickly.

Click to enlarge.

I use it in my end vise, holding a pipe clamp perpendicular to the length of the bench, just high enough that the clamp jaws can grip the edges of the board while staying out of the way of my finely sharpened plane blades. The jig’s jaws are attached with sliding dovetails, unglued, so the vise can push them inward to grab the pipe securely. The jaws protrude beyond the width of the base plate so they can be squeezed by the vise.

I remove the plastic clamp pads to allow the jaws to grip more securely in a low position, but if you are concerned about the metal jaws marring workpieces, use epoxy to attach leather pads. The jig shown will work for vises whose jaws have at least 41/4 in. of space above their guide rods or vise screw. If your vise is smaller, adjust the dimensions accordingly.

—Larry Poore, Issaquah, Wash.

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