A bench hook, also known as a bracing table, will help you stabilize a piece of wood while you carve; it’s especially useful when you need to push a gouge across the wood’s surface to make designs like ridges and rivers. You can buy an inexpensive version on Amazon (or you can use an F-style clamp), but since you need to source wood for your projects anyway, why not make your own bench hook?
- 1 piece of pine that measures at least 8 x 13 x 1 inches
- Wood glue
- Soft 100% cotton cloth
- Cut the pine to the following dimensions one 8 x 10-inch piece (A) and two 8 x 1½-inch pieces (B and C).
- Lay piece A on a work surface with a short side facing you. Use wood glue to attach the long side of piece B to the end of piece A to make an L shape.
- Use wood glue to attach the long side of piece C to the other end of piece A to make what resembles a stair step.
- Clamp each end together with two F-style clamps until the glue oozes out. Use a wet cloth to wipe away excess glue. Set the bench hook aside to dry for 12 hours until secure. Remove the clamps before using.