After writing last month about the “doe’s foot” appliance in A.-J. Roubo’s plate 14, I decided to make a couple of these devices that resembled the ones shown in the plate.
For the last couple years, I’ve been using a doe’s foot that is about 1/4” x 2” x 24”. Roubo’s looks shorter and wider. So today I made two doe’s feet that were 3/8” x 5” x 14” and tried them out on the bench.
The big advantage of the ones shown in Roubo is that their increased size makes it easier for them to be positioned anywhere on the bench. Because they are wider, a holdfast is much more likely to find them.
Its shorter length makes it easier to secure the doe’s foot without hitting the shop wall – assuming your bench is up against a wall.
Because I am a woodworker, I couldn’t help trying to improve the doe’s foot a bit. While it works fine as-is, I added stick-on sandpaper (#150-grit) to the underside of one of the appliances and tried the two side-by-side to compare, naked vs. grippy.
The one with the sandpaper was almost impossible to slide laterally. The one without sandpaper was secure enough, but I could rotate it with the pad of the holdfast serving as the centerpoint. So I like the addition of the sandpaper.
— Christopher Schwarz
Plate 14 and 384 more plates are all shown in our forthcoming “l’Art du Menuisier: The Book of Plates.” You can still order this book with free domestic shipping until Nov. 19, 2014. The book ships on Nov. 19.