Workbench Slave (aka Deadman) a la Tage Frid

Tage Frid-style Workbench Slave

Deadman serving to to carry an extended piece of wooden.

A stout “deadman” or “bench slave” is one among easiest jigs you
can construct, and it may be a useful addition to any
workbench with a tail vise. You clamp this fixture, which is
primarily a heavy block of wooden that rests on the ground, into
your tail vise and set a pin into an applicable gap to
assist the tip of lengthy items of wooden you wish to work on the
bench at an applicable peak.

Made from a single piece of wood

Produced from a single piece of wooden.

I made mine from some scrap laborious maple left over from constructing
my workbench. I milled the clean to 35.5″ lengthy x Three″ broad by
1-Three/Four″ thick and planed off any mill marks. I additionally rounded off
all the perimeters. A block airplane or 1/eight″ roundover bit in a router
will get that job executed.

Use dividers to walk off the hole locations

Use dividers to stroll off the opening areas.

I needed 11 evenly spaced holes to match what Frid had, and
used a pair of dividers to stroll off the holes. The primary gap
is Three″ down from the highest of the clean, and every gap beneath that
is spaced at Three″ on middle from the earlier gap. This leaves
the underside gap a bit nearer to the underside of the clean, so
if I ever wish to assist a really brief piece I can flip the
deadman round and use that alternate spacing.

Laying out the pin holes with a pair of dividers

Laying out the pin holes with a pair of dividers.

Subsequent up I used a 7/eight″ Forstner bit in my drill press together with
a clamped-on fence behind the workpiece to drill 2-Three/Four″-deep
holes. This depth maximizes how a lot dowel pin is within the holes
and leaves 1/Four″ of wooden to cease the pin from going all the best way
via and falling out underneath the bench. It’s additionally concerning the
restrict of how deep I may go along with the bit I had.

Use a drill press and fence to drill the pin holes

Use a drill press and fence to drill the pin holes.

Why use a 7/eight″ poplar dowel? Three/Four″ or 1″ would additionally work, however
7/eight″ was the biggest and straightest hardwood dowel inventory my
native house middle had available. Be sure you chamfer the ends
of every pin.

Make the pins as long or short as you like

Make the pins as lengthy or brief as you want.

I lower one pin to Four-Three/Four″ lengthy and one to 7″ lengthy, which supplies me
choices. I can use the shorter pin, which solely stands proud 2″
for slim boards and lowers the danger I’ll hit it with my
thigh, and the longer pin works nicely for bigger items.

Be sure that your bench slave is about 1/eight″ shorter than the
distance from the ground to the highest of the bench – this fashion it
doesn’t get in the best way in case you go away it within the tail vise for
prolonged intervals of time. When not in use and once you want
your tail vise again, it additionally shops simply underneath the bench,
resting diagonally on the stretchers. I put a pin in every finish
of the bench slave, confronted down in storage, as a result of that 
helps preserve this accent from vibrating off the stretchers
whereas I’m doing heavy work on the bench, corresponding to mortising.

Make your deadman ~1/8" shorter than your bench top height

Make your deadman  1/eight″ shorter than your benchtop

I completed this bench acessory with tung oil and a coat of wax.
A easy bench slave like this will get a little bit of a nasty status,
as people typically ooh and ahh over the built-in sliding deadman
discovered on some more-complex benches. However I actually just like the
simple simplicity of this design and its total

Bill Rainford jointing a board

Invoice Rainford jointing a board

If you happen to’d wish to study extra jigs, fixtures and
equipment for this workbench, please additionally try my


Editor’s notice: Need to construct Invoice’s Tage Frid-inspired bench?
Try the February 2017 challenge of Well-liked Woodworking
, obtainable now
in print
or as a
PDF download

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