Make Any Surface a Workbench


While not as gorgeous as blacksmith-made hardware, the Whipple’s Carpenter Combination Bench Hook is an immensely clever way of creating a temporary workbench.

Patented in 1900 by Rollin P. Whipple, the sheet steel device screws to a surface to create a crochet on the front edge of the bench and an adjustable planing stop on the top surface.


Jeff Burks dug this advertisement up from The American Carpenter and Builder that was published in October 1911. The patent (below) shows the device constructed in a slightly different way, with an angled steel brace that holds boards for “taking off corners.”


I can’t tell you how many times I wish I had one of these in my luggage when working places without a proper (or even improper) bench.

— Christopher Schwarz


About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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8 Responses to Make Any Surface a Workbench

  1. Ryan McNabb says:

    And then you walk into that hook with your hip…

    • Ruben "Rube" Villanueva says:

      The hook does not look to big from the picture. I’ve walked into the bench hook on the English knock down bench. That was more from not paying attention and running to my son who fell off his bike.

    • Or you gouge your hand on a planing stop. Or cut yourself with a chisel. Or hit your hand with a hammer.

      It ain’t NERF.

      • Ruben "Rube" Villanueva says:

        Does NERF make a workbench now? That would be so cool cause you can just shoot darts at them when people bug you while you are trying to get stuff done.

        If they don’t, get them as a sponsor and add the NERF bench to the next revision of the Workbench book.

  2. ehisey says:

    To bad they are not made anymore. I have a bench on which it would be rather useful.

  3. You could also make – or buy – something along these lines
    …of course it takes up more space in the suitcase, does not sport a plane stop. Entirely a different animal , yet still meant to bring the craft outside the shop. I can not say how well it performs, as I have yet to try it, but I see challenges for supporting longer stock.

  4. I love the plane stop part of it. I only hope the elevating screw was an artist’s misrepresentation. It’s so high you’d probably hit it with the plane

  5. Hi

    I could probably make these if there is any interest

    Keith Ahlstrom

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