Welcome! Forums General Woodworking Discussions Left handed woodworking!


Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Author
  • #120119
    Chris Bunney

    Hi all.

    I notice from watching Paul’s (and other woodworkers) videos that they have their vice on the left-hand side of the bench and usually work by standing to the right of it and planing towards the end of the bench. I am left handed, but have my vice set up the same way (on the left). This means I tend to stand at the end of the bench and plane towards the middle. Is that poor technique?

    I worry about picking up bad habits and wonder if I should switch the vice to the other end if the bench. Do people consider it to make any difference? Or does it not really matter?

    I’m still on the lookout for a left-handed No4 Stanley 🙂


    Chris - Exeter, UK


    I’m a leftie, and my own bench has the vice on the right hand side. When I worked in Paul’s workshop all his vices were on the left (for right handed people) and I found this didn’t affect the way I worked.

    What I did notice was the way I stored my tools. My tendency is to store the tools I’m using to the left of my vice, where they’re easily in reach by my dominant left hand. Working on a right handed bench means all your tools get in the way of the vice, so you tend to spend more time than you should moving things around.

    So, for ease of use, I’d put my vice on the right. But it won’t make any difference to the way you work wood.

    Chris Bunney

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your reply!

    I never thought about where I put my tools – it does make sense to have them in reach of your dominant hand (all mine are on my right!) Interesting insight!

    I might try moving the vice just to see how it feels!


    Chris - Exeter, UK

    Peter George

    I’m also a southpaw and have my vise on the right of the bench.

    Whenever I’m making jigs, buying tools etc. I always stop and think about how this will work for me left handed. I have an old Stanley No. 78 rabbet plane that was very awkward for me to use. Luckily, Veritas makes a left handed rabbet plane and plow plane which work much better for me.

    My shooting board and sticking board are basically mirror images of the ones I used as examples.

    When I build my Tom Fidgen saw bench, I built it mirror image as well even though I wasn’t sure it would make a difference.

    Peter in
    Biggar SK
    "New York is big, but this is Biggar"

    Chris Bunney

    Hi peter. I also find the no. 78 a little awkward. Its one of the few tools that isn’t symmetrical. I should have done the same as you regarding the shooting guard: it wasn’t until after I built mine that I realised I would have to use it with the plane in my right hand! Its not so bad though as it helps to make me more ambidextrous (on the shooting board at least!)

    Chris - Exeter, UK


    This is good timing. I just built a left handed shooting board after laying it all out right handed first then luckily realising before the first cut.
    I have yet to build a bench yet but the space I have to put it does not lend itself to have the vice on the right but I had not thought about where I keep my tools on the bench. I might have to give this a little more though and move things around a bit.

    I have a no 50 but have not used it much yet so I think I just coped with reaching over it with my right hand. Did not think about that till now though so it will likely bother me next time I use it.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.