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Toothing Planes for Vises and Bench Tops

Mike and I have been making and installing a few more vises on our Nicholson benches lately. As we’ve been fitting and adjusting them, I’ve been reminded of one the most significant revelations in my exploration of hand-tool woodworking: the power of toothed surfaces. In my view, one of the most overlooked features of workholding is a grippy surface. Think about it: if you’re trying to hold a board as securely as possible, why would you try to use a silky smooth vise to do so? A rough texture makes a major difference in holding power. Here’s where the toothing plane comes in. A toothing plane is a scraping plane that has an iron filed with tiny teeth. It’s useful...

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