Sometimes I must kick myself in the rear, to do things a little more efficiently. Easy, efficient workholding holds the secret to many of the little things we do in the shop.
A little background is in order. Today I was making a small crate, to ship this prayer bench to a client in the next few days:
I was using the crate-making technique I learned from Peter Galbert’s wonderful blog, Chair Notes. In his Aloha blog entry, Peter described how he uses pine 1X3s to make the Ls for the crate corners; he then uses 275-lb test double-sided cardboard to make the walls.
What convinced me about Pete’s crate-building was a second blog entry he made a few days later – read One for the Books. As his client in Hawaii was driving home, wind blew the crated chairs from the truck. The chairs survived the ordeal unharmed; great creates! Now I really was interested. I contacted him for further details; Peter was very patient with me as he walked through the details of the crate-making process – thanks, Pete!
Fast-forward to today.
I started the old-fashioned way, using pocket hole joinery on the 1 X 3s from the Home Center to make the first of the corner Ls as a test:
Some of the boards were a little warped; holding them properly became hard as I tried to keep the edges aligned. Light bulb in head: Use the Leigh hold-down clamps I described some time ago, in an earlier workholding made easy entry:
By the time I got around to making the second L for another corner, it became much faster to get the pocket hole jig on and off the workbench:
I normally would have used regular clamps to try to hold stuff on the bench. But having nice, easy workholding capability sure makes things much easier!