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I stopped by the Bad Axe Tool Works website to browse its handcrafted saws. The saws are truly beautiful works of art for the shop-inclined.
Also for sale at the site was a bench hook, something no workbench should be without. I call it a third hand. The Bad Axe bench hook was also a thing of beauty, and if you have an extra $49.95, I encourage you to visit the website and order one. If not, you can build one for yourself if you have a saw, some screws and a couple of board feet of hardwood. It may not be as pretty, but it will do the job.
A bench hook at its simple best is a piece of board with a block of wood attached at either end but on opposing sides. Set the board down flat with one end hanging over the edge of the workbench and the other end facing up. You now have a third hand for any saw work you might have to do. Set the piece to be cut against the upturned end and hold it with one hand while you cut with the other. Once you have used a bench hook, you won’t want to be without it. It works as well for using a hacksaw on a piece of pipe as it does backsaw on a board.
If you buy a Bad Axe bench hook, you get one that is pre cut like a miter box with a 90-degree cut and two 45-degree angles. Of course, you could do that yourself as well. Before attaching the end block intended to face up, slip it in a miter box and carefully make the guide cuts through it. Screw it in place, and your third hand just became a miter box too.