The Bench Pin. A really vital piece of equipment if you want to be
able to file or saw, because you need to have an “extension” off the
workbench to enable one’s hands to get around the object you’re
working on, and allow space for the filing, sawing, and related
processes. With a sturdy bench pin in place, at the correct heighth,
you can put the maximum force with your hands and arms, have the
work close to the face without bending over too far, and your hand
tools have room to work effectively. As you sit at your workbench,
your feet on the floor, you form a tripod, a very strong support for
the work being done against the bench pin.
My ideal is a securely mounted bench pin, which can be removed, but
when mounted, doesn’t move. I like to swap out my bench pins,
depending on whether I’m doing piercework, stonesetting, filing, etc.
I always need to modify a bench pin before it works well for me. I
have to shape the back end to fit tight into the mounting bracket,
saw a tapered slot ( for sawing) or saw a curve in the front to
accommodate a ring clamp. For some reason, the wooden bench pins that
come with the mounting bracket never fit, and I have to make wooden
shims, saw off part of the bench pin, or work on it with my belt
sander to get the correct fit.
The mounting bracket comes with wimpy short screws, which won’t hold
the bench pin and bracket solidly enough for my purposes. I have to
drill out an re-countersink the mounting holes in the bracket, to fit
two #10 2 1/2 in. flat-head wood screws. Now when those are screwed
into my workbench, they will make it sturdy!
My whole point here is about the need to modify tools to do what we
want them to. Very few tools work “out of the box” the way we want
them to. Never be afraid to imagine how the tool you have could work
better for you. Make your tools better, sturdier, more “ergonomic”,