I’ve just found two posts I wrote but never published so here they are. This one’s a step by step on building the most basic of all workshop jigs, a bench hook.
The primary job of the bench hook is to hold a piece of wood steady while you crosscut it. It’s made of three pieces, one base piece and two cross pieces. I made a second one at the same time as this one, as it helps to steady long pieces being cut if you have a second one to use at the opposite end to where you are cutting.
Use any flat wood you like for the base – Ply or MDF is just useful as doesn’t warp and because it’s cheap – you will be cutting into it as you use the hook and eventually wear it out. I used a bit of scrap MDF and Tasmanian Oak for this one. Size is up to you, but as a guide the base on this is about the size of a piece of A4 paper.
It’s pretty simple – the long piece gets attached to one side of the board. I glued it with PVA and clamped it, but screws or nails work just as well.
Then the short piece gets glued to the other side – make sure you also put it on the opposite end. The reason this crosspiece is shorter is the board supports the wood being cut and helps to stop tear out.
Once both sides are dry, use a scraper to clean up any excess glue
To finish, I used a corner tool to break all the sharp edges and then gave it a bit of a sand.
Here it is finished. They really are useful. Even if you are an absolute beginner this project should be achievable, so have a go.