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A bench hook is a workbench accessory used in woodworking. The purpose of the bench hook is to provide a stop which a piece of wood being worked can be placed against to hold it steady whilst cutting, planing, or chiseling that piece of wood. Bench hooks make your handsawing safer and more accurate. This simple hand-tool appliance (three sticks of wood) uses the force of the tool and gravity to hold your work as you saw. And it helps guide your tool so your cuts are right on the line. It also allows you to make cuts with ease that are terrifying on a power saw.
The bench hook is simply a short wooden board with a batten fixed top (the stop) and bottom (the hook) at opposite ends (see diagram to the right). Usually, the stop is shorter than the width of the bench hook's base and offset from one edge. This is so that when using the bench hook in cutting operations, the wood may be sawed all the way through without the stop interfering with the saw.
There is a bench hook for people who are left handed as well as right handed. In use, the bench hook is laid flat on the bench top with the hook hard up against the edge of the bench. The wood to be worked is held against the stop. No clamps or other mechanical fixing is required - the wood is held in place by the pressure exerted upon it by the tool being used.
- Bench dog A bench dog is used for holding a piece of wood up against the stop so it doesn't move.