1. I have found a bench hook useful to make some chisel work on small pieces, pushing the piece against the batten.
    Furthermore, if you intend to flat your bench top again… it might help to keep it flat while sawing.
    Not that I think a workbench should not show any scar; mine is made of recycled pine and has plenty of dents and, sawing in the vise (P. Sellers style) too many times ends in the bench top edge.
    I like your idea of a piece of MDF as a reference plate.

  2. Author

    I have a few different bench hooks here Sylvain, from a small one used to support the far end of long pieces, to one made just for cutting with the japanese saws to a properly beefy shooting board sort of arrangement; but none were of use here because you needed to hold a piece an inch wide vertically while cutting across its width to make the handle. You might cut two from the same piece and later rip it in half to seperate them; that extra width would give you something to clamp in the vice. Or just use a carvers vice like this one:

    The small jaws let you clamp smaller pieces well. But then I’d have to make it and then I’d have to find a place to keep it and it’s getting crowded in here 😀

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