Pair of Bench Horses

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Project by Jim Rowe posted 07-05-2012 02:25 PM 6818 views 15 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been following Mafe’s Blog on the creation of his Japanese Workshop ( as I am interested in the tools and approach to construction that they embody. I don’t have the option to work indoors, like Mafe. My workshop is in the garage where I have a bench with a tool well along the back edge. Having followed Mafe’s approach on saw horses I thought it would be interesting to make a pair of them using traditional techniques but instead of using them for working on the floor I made them to fit across my bench surface anchored at the front and in the tool well by their cross members. I also renamed them “Bench Horses”. I added some holes to take two dowels to provide a support when sawing. The item being sawn is placed in front of the dowel as the Japanese saw cuts on the pull stroke.
Picture 1 shows the Horses waiting for a bench
Picture 2 shows them saddled across my bench
Picture 3 shows the arrangement when sawing wood.

I think this might be a useful addition to the traditional bench hook, especially when large pieces of timber and Japanese pull saws are being used.


-- It always looks better when it's finished!

10 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8572 posts in 4415 days

#1 posted 07-05-2012 02:36 PM

very cool adaptation!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3633 days

#2 posted 07-05-2012 02:43 PM

It’s very interesting, Jim. It’s not something that I know much about but Mads has raised my curiosity about it and now you. What you’ve done here looks good.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View mafe's profile


12592 posts in 3856 days

#3 posted 07-05-2012 05:16 PM

They are super cool.
I love the stops you added, this makes them even more versitile.
Yes they will work perfectly on the bench also.
I will ad a link to your post from my blog.
Thanks for the words and for sharing this.
This is the direct link to the horses on my blog:
Best of my thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Brit's profile


8076 posts in 3609 days

#4 posted 07-06-2012 07:05 AM

Very nice Jim. I would think they would work better than a bench hook for use with Japanese saws.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1114 posts in 3079 days

#5 posted 07-06-2012 10:09 AM

Thanks for the link Mads. I think they might also work on a workmate Andy!

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4101 days

#6 posted 07-06-2012 06:23 PM

Looks great and surely works well. Extra clearance is always good to help prevent damage to your bench top.

I use my bench hook with my Japanese saws, but I reverse it with the stop in the tool tray instead of on the bench front so the workpiece is on the back of the hook to resist the pulling motion of the saw.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Johnnyblot's profile


319 posts in 3043 days

#7 posted 03-24-2013 10:36 AM

Hi Jim

Can you remember the much smaller version of one of these on David Charlesworth’s bench? He uses it to rest his Japanese chisels on. He told me he got the idea from the saw horses by Toshio Odate, in his book Japanese Woodworking Tools. Very smart.


-- Gossamer shavings just floating around the back yard….-Bandit

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1114 posts in 3079 days

#8 posted 03-24-2013 11:40 AM

Hi John
My bench is based on David’s design and those saw horses fit it quite nicely.

I don’t recall seeing them when I was at David’s place, it was a few years ago. I find them quite useful.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View Johnnyblot's profile


319 posts in 3043 days

#9 posted 03-24-2013 07:07 PM

Hi Jim.
Lovely bench. We may have both used the same one.
I sketched and measured up this bench and have it on my “to do” list, which seems to get longer due to people like yourself. Lol

Well done that man!


-- Gossamer shavings just floating around the back yard….-Bandit

View louroy's profile


6 posts in 2297 days

#10 posted 12-29-2016 07:01 PM

I think the way you’ve got them sized to your workbench is fantastic! I made a set for placement on the floor years ago, but will soon be making a new pair sized for my bench.


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