Shop Trick - Notched Batten for Withholding a.k.a No Tail Vise, No Problem (Watch Vid for Its Use)

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Project by ChuckM posted 427 days ago 1717 views 19 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Richard, owner of the English Woodworker blog (, generously shared a withholding trick he learned from his grandfather for securing a workpiece on the workbench without the use of a tail vise.

I’ve made two such battens, using scraps of different thicknesses to cater for thin and thick workpieces. For the thinner batten, I chose to adhere a sandpaper to the back. To make this kind of batten, you’ll need:

A scrap, a layout tool and pencil, a saw, and 10 minutes or less. In this case, cutting it by hand is as fast as doing it on a bandsaw.

PS If you don’t have a holdfast, you can use it with a clamp.

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

6 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


112010 posts in 2202 days

#1 posted 427 days ago

Interesting idea thanks for sharing it.

-- Custom furniture

View MShort's profile


1725 posts in 2043 days

#2 posted 427 days ago

Thanks Chuck. I enjoyed the video link on how to use the batten.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View Oldtool's profile


1775 posts in 816 days

#3 posted 427 days ago

Fantastic device! I could have used one of these years ago been struggling with hand flattening boards on my bench. I’ve got to try this, thanks for showing.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View TerryDowning's profile


1004 posts in 743 days

#4 posted 427 days ago

Now I’ll have to rethink putting a tail vice in my planned bench.

-- - Terry

View Dinger's profile (online now)


123 posts in 887 days

#5 posted 426 days ago

Awesome! I can use this method til I build my bench! Maybe then I’ll skip the wagon vise entirely. Is there a reason you put the arc in your version or is it just aesthetics?

-- "Begin every endeaver with the end ever in mind."

View ChuckM's profile


497 posts in 2292 days

#6 posted 426 days ago

Hi Dinger,

The arc is just part of the scrap. To remove it would have made the batten a little too narrow and it’s therefore left as is. Chuck

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

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