I know I have said this before, but the only new woodworking products that get me excited are those that solve a real woodworking problem. So, while it might be “gee-whiz” cool to add a laser to dust collector, does it really make any sense?
Rockler’s Pipe Clamp Bench Blocks, on the other hand, make so much sense that I can hardly stand it. Simple in concept, the blocks are a means to hold your pipe clamps in position while you glue and clamp up assemblies. (As Ian Kirby says, the glue-up stage is one of the only “non-reversible” steps in woodworking. Screw up here, and you are back to square one!) These blocks become those third and fourth hands that you need so often, especially if you are like most woodworkers and work alone in your shop. Running up stairs or back into the house to interrupt your ever-lovin’ to “give you a hand” is not the best use of anyone’s time. (Plus, it can result in a closer examination of shop additions than you might really want … “Is that a new tool?” What do you mean by … new?)
These bench blocks work with any 3/4″ pipe clamps and can be used freestanding or can be attached to a work surface. Each block can hold a pair of clamps at exactly 90° to one another — a real blessing for clamping up cabinet door frames. And they really do “hold” the clamps. There are gripping devices molded into the plastic blocks that hold the pipes securely so you can stay focused on other aspects of the process.
As I said, these pipe clamp bench blocks are so practical that once you see them, they practically need no explanation. More than likely they’ll quickly become the sorts of tools you reach for without thinking … they’ll simply become part of the process. Priced at $24.99 for a set of four blocks, they are available at rockler.com and at all of the various Rockler sales channels.