What strategies are there for clamping long boards to a workbench for hand planing their long edges? My bench doesn't have a leg vice but does have a tail vice and bench dogs. However, the bench dogs are thin and rectangular so it doesn't feel too secure.

Paul sellers suggests his own system (26 mins in) here

The bench is an earlier version of this one. My dogs are rectangular and I only have 2. There is a dog hole in the tail vice but none in the face vice.

My bench is approx 5 1/2' x 3’ and the board I was trying to plane was about the same length as the bench.

  • 1
    What lengths are we talking about? Specify bench and boards please.
    – Kromster
    Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 10:46
  • Can you include a photo of your bench? What kind of tail vise do you have? Is there any face vise at all? You say you have dogs, do you have a holdfast or some other way to clamp down onto the bench surface? Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 16:05
  • I've added a few more details. I don’t have a holdfast but have quite a few different clamps - G, F and quick clamps.
    – codecowboy
    Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 18:32
  • Sorry I'm left unsure so I need to check, do you not have any type of front-mounted vice on your earlier version of the Axminster bench? Also, how open are you to modifying your bench by screwing things to it or boring holes in it?
    – Graphus
    Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 12:11

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately, it doesn't look like your bench has any provision for a deadman. This would allow you to clamp one end of the board in the face vise and support the other end with the deadman.

enter image description here

I think you could make a passable one by bolting some T-track to the underside of your bench top, putting some hex-head lag bolts (to fit the T-track) in the end of a board, and drilling some holes for dowels into it. This would be my preferred strategy in the long run.

Another strategy I'd suggest if you just want to get going today is to clamp a handscrew clamp to either end of the board (making sure they're flush with the opposite edge) and then clamp the handscrew clamps to the bench in whatever manner you're used to.

enter image description here

  • Thanks. I think the deadman is going to be overkill for now as it will obscure the shelf but definitely something for the future
    – codecowboy
    Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 3:29
  • I also don’t own any screw clamps and am trying not to buy more stuff but thanks for your answer
    – codecowboy
    Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 8:58
  • 1
    @codecowboy Seriously? You don't have any handscrew clamps? They're super cheap and super useful. They're like a basic staple of woodworking... Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 16:46
  • I started woodworking last year. Thanks for the tip.
    – codecowboy
    Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 17:49
  • @codecowboy Also, they've been around forever and basically haven't changed, so if you've got any swap meets or used tool dealers in your area you might be able to find some dirt cheap. Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 17:56

This edge planing clamp can be used if you have a face vice

edge planing clamp

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