01 Dec Lee Valley Replica Recessed Bench Stop
Inspired by the Millers Falls #56 Bench Hook, the Lee Valley Replica Recessed Bench Stop (item 15G1005, $59) is a simple retrofit to any bench that is at least 1″ thick. Mounting is as simple as drilling a 2″ diameter hole for the cup and a concentric 1″ diameter hole for the shaft. The stop is secured with three screws (included). Before Millers Falls released their model #56, an even earlier version of the bench stop was patented in 1910 by the Goodell-Pratt Company as the #196 bench hook. Millers Falls acquired Goodell-Pratt in 1932 and tweaked the bench hook design somewhat before releasing it as its own. Nearly 90 years later, it’s Lee Valley’s turn to release a reproduction of this classic workbench accessory. Like its predecessor, but unlike other mortised bench stops, this replica features a four-jaw head that rotates in fixed 90° increments to present the appropriate face while resisting rotation in use. The jaw with the 10 fine teeth bites into thin stock, while the jaw with the four coarse teeth bites into larger workpieces. The stop face provides a simple stop to hold stock without marring it. The V-slot centers and holds narrow stock. Each jaw is just shy of 1 1/4″ wide. Unlike the Millers Falls version, the post on this adaptation has a wedge-lock mechanism that anchors it firmly in position. Releasing the central locking screw pops the sprung head up from the stored position. Tightening the central locking screw engages a split nut inside the shaft to lock the shaft at the desired height (up to 3/4″ above the work surface). When a woodworker is done using the bench stop, it can be set so the head is flush with the workbench top. The head is A2 tool steel, with a steel shaft and a stainless-steel cup, and is made in Canada by Veritas Tools.