Check out the right leg of the workbench in this 1826 plate that Jeff Burks dug up from “Les Amusemens de la Campagne” (Vol. 3) by M.A. Paulin Desormeaux. Take a look at Fig. B there. It’s a small cleat used for edge-jointing.
Here’s Jeff’s translated text:
Fig 1. of the plate represents the workbench. A is the head of a screw clamping a strong board against the front leg forming a vise; when you want to work on a board, you take it from one end in this vise, and the other end is placed on the small cleat B same figure. And if need be is maintained with the help of a holdfast placed in hole C.
I’ve not seen a cleat exactly like this one before. But I have seen cleats that retract below the workbench’s top or are removable. Woodworker Yoav Liberman has a metal removable one on his bench that is made from some bed hardware I believe.
Here is an historical example, but it’s located up by the face vise.
Oh, and check out the cool fireworks displays you can build below. Danger on a stick.
— Christopher Schwarz