1. This is a great video. I’ve worked for years now on less than ideal work surfaces and had to be very creative in how to get a board to stick to the benchtop, whether that was a hollow core door on sawhorses or a laminated top without a proper vise. You can make anything work (at least workingly well) with a little creativity and persistence (and patience).

  2. Paul,
    Thank you. Very informative as usual. While this is off the topic of clamping, I don’t know where else to ask this question: In all your shop videos you use a bench with a very dark colored top. I’ve always believed that a light colored top is preferable. In your bench-build videos you don’t offer any advice about staining the bench, so it would seem you don’t advocate doing so. Is there any reason why this bench is dark?
    Thanks, again.
    Terry Gray

    1. Hi Terrance,

      I think I heard Paul say he stains the top to make things more clear for the viewer. He uses a lot of pine and oak which is lighter. And it’s easier for the camera man. Please correct me if I’m wrong Mister Sellers.

  3. I’ve looked at Hilka UK site and a couple of other outlets – I can’t find them, perhaps they are no longer available. I can find similar types of clamp but not made of aluminium.
    However, excellent video (as usual) with so much useful information. Never had the business of the vice jaws set away from the edge of the workbench explained to me before. We waste a lot of time and effort re-inventing the wheel nowadays don’t we?

  4. Paul,

    Would love to see a video on how you would turn a wooden slab into furniture – something I have always wanted to do but never really seen any tutorials on the subject. These slabs are usually pretty expensive so some guidance would be much really useful.


  5. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you use hand screws in your shop. I use them often in combination with the bench vise to apply pressure in 2 (or more) dimensions. I feel like I have more control over the clamping pressure with wood on wood. Maybe not your cuppa tea.

  6. i use this system ,i did do to dogs and hold fasts for a time but reverted back .i would advocate a good quality vise however as the mechanisms on the cheap ones can cause problems. i do like to plane long wide boards straight on the bench against a stop .excellent advice Paul

  7. I’ve used the clamping techniques for a while as I’ve seen Paul do this in many of the project videos. It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread in my opinion. I haven’t run into any situation where I couldn’t secure my work using this method.

  8. Thanks Paul for another great tip. The above techniques are just important to a more experienced woodworker as they are to a beginner. There have been a number of times in the past when I could have used these techniques rather then the bench dog system I currently have. Once again you have shown us why these are Master Classes.

  9. Hi Paul, thanks for this post on clamps, I use the dog method however I have to keep clearing the bench of tools and shavings a little frustrating to say the least.
    I think I will be adopting the clamp method from now on, also I can see its potential when shooting up mouldings,
    Regards Larry.

  10. Good one Paul. It will be useful where space is restricted. It can also be used if you have no vice at all. Surprising what you can do with a few clamps. I wondered why you put the piece of wood inside the tube. Then the penny dropped. Repeated clamping could collapse the square section tube. It also stops the clamp from bending. Thanks I have learned something today.

  11. You can’t imagine how timely this video was. I’ve seen you do several of these techniques in other videos, but this was a great reminder. I’ve been cutting some rebates in some small box parts with my Stanley 78 (another timely couple of posts there) and struggling with holdfasts. I get by with holdfasts a lot, but you need to get one holdfast on both ends of a long piece to avoid swivelling. With these small parts, this was impossible and I was getting really frustrated. Ah yes, the old clamp in the vise trick. It worked wonders. Just what I needed.

  12. Your ‘Clamp in Vice’ method relies on the clearance behind the rear vice jaw to work.
    By insetting the vice flush with the front apron, the woodworker is robbed of this versatile clamping option.

  13. Hello
    When I was under tuition, probably in my second year, because the first year was spent brewing up, hanging sashes, fitting casement stays, with a little bit of dry run thrown in just to keep me interested, Bob taught me to clamp the clamp and wood the plane – clamp the plane in the vise and apply wood to plane, and yes the quick release Parkes or Record vises were offset on the apron…
    And another classic… ‘If you can’t hide it, emphasise it’… tips like that never leave you.
    Great to see this; happy days.

  14. Thanks so much for the practical, commonsense guidance. I’d really be lost and fumbling without around and miserable without your advice, examples and tutelage. I’ve just started my workbench, vise is on the way and have tracking number. I was thinking about methods of securing pieces for work today. How amazingly resourceful your sites and videos are. I can’t thank you enough, really.

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