Introduction: Simple Wedge Planing Stop

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I really love pallet wood! :-)

This is yet another simple project - but very handy. There is a small video showing this in moving action and how I built it too.

For me its a real time saver. After I did this project I actually was quite annoyed why I had not done this planing stop a long time ago. Now I use it almost in every project. The clamping force is surprisingly good. The time to lock or unlock a piece is hard to match.

Aaaaand its super simple and functional. :-)

I take no credit in this design - at all! I have seen it in old books, on great YouTube channels and on different webpages. Sometimes it is named wedge clamp, edge support or "birds mouth" planing stops too. I guess a lot depens on what you use them for in the end. The principle is the same.

I cut a notch on the other side to match a "bench dog" I have on my work table. You dont need that. You can use an ordinary clamp to fasten this to your work table.


This is a sort of wooden clamp, that could hold a wooden workpiece for planing (or for other uses, even glue ups). You fasten your work piece by simple tapping the wedge in place and the planing stop itself is either stopped by a bench dog, clamp or a screw. This is used mostly for woodworking and hand planing.

What I used for this project

  • A piece (board) of pallet wood - about 30 cm long, 13 cm wide and about 2 cm thick.
  • Pencil, ruler and square
  • Palmsander, sandpaper and a round rasp
  • Drill with 12mm wooden drill bit
  • A bandsaw and a mitre saw (but for this small project an ordinary handsaw would suffice)

Step 1: The Layout

I start with a pallet wood board. It can almost be any size, but this is almost 2 cm thick, about 13 cm wide and roughly about 30 cm long.

The exact size doesnt matter. The wedge size, has to be large enough to actually hold another piece of wood, but not too large so the board splits or breaks.

In one of the pictures you can see red lines that shows the shape of the wedge. It's straight on one side and only angled on the other side. This is for the work piece to have as much surface contact (friction) as possible.

Step 2: Cutting It to Length and Making a Relief Hole

I will discuss this hole in my next step. If you are in a hurry, you can probably skip this step and not make any hole at all. In other wood constructions I can sometimes make a relief hole to change the angle for the force in the wood, making it a bit more flexible and harder to split along the grain.

I did this wedge clamp to hold smaller pieces of wood for edge planing, so I cut it down a bit in length too. For that I used my mitre saw.

Step 3: Cutting Out the Wedge and Notch for the Workbench

I cut out the wedge using my bandsaw. But this is really two easy straight cuts, so you can just as well use a hand saw. I cut one line parallel with the board and the other one in an angle.

I offset the cut so the hole I drilled from start is bigger than the when the cut meets. You can absolutly do this without the hole. I figure its harder for the wood to split if there is a relief hole. But I have no facts backing my theory up here. :-)

Step 4: Sanding

I used a round rasp/file to knock of the relief hole and my make shift disc sander. I also used a palm sander and some hand sanding.

This tool/jig require very little sanding so I just cleaned it up a little from splinters and burr, so it was nice to handle and also not damage the work piece.

Step 5: All Done! Testing It Out!

The small wedge is tapped with a small hammer or a mallet. You really dont need to hit it hard at all. It will push on to the side of the workpiece and lock it self as long as you put force in the same alignment as the wedge is going. I was actually surprised of the clamping power and the speed of releasing or fastening a work piece.

It really makes my planing much easier. Once again - I take no credit of this design. I have seen it in very old books and photos, as well as many great youtube videos.

This is a real time saver for me!

Thanks again for reading this instructable - I had fun making it. Please leave a comment or follow me here - it will fuel me to create more instructables in the future.

If you want to see the wedge in action or how it was built in moving pictures - there is a small movie here! Thanks again!