Tips & Tricks Issue 84: A Helpful Lift from I-Beams Risers

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This article is from Issue 84 of Woodcraft Magazine.

It often helps to raise a workpiece up off the bench, especially when you need clamp access underneath. Although you can sometimes just use thick boards as risers, I’ve found that I-beams work much better because you can clamp them to the benchtop, then secure the workpiece to the top beam flange. This works perfectly, for example, when you need to clamp routing guides to a panel for dadoing or cutting tenons for a breadboard end, as shown in the drawing. Even simple edge profiling is more easily done on a secured workpiece, and raising the work means you don’t have to crouch at the bench. My risers span the width of my workbench to allow easy clamping anywhere along its length. Made of plywood, they raise a workpiece about 7 inches off the bench, which works fine for most operations. I screwed and glued the pieces together, counterboring the screws to prevent possible damage to workpieces.

—Paul Anthony, senior editor


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