This is my wooden bench hook – I have been thinking of replacing it for a couple of years now, but just haven’t bothered yet. Maybe soon…
How it got this way is simple, I use it when I make the pins that secure the mortise & tenon joints in my furniture.
First I split the stock from scraps of dead-straight dry oak. Any crook & they get discarded. It is critical that the stock be near-perfect because I want it to be strong enough to snake through the off-set holes in the joint.
After splitting out a bunch of pieces, I shave them with the largest chisel I have – a 2” framing chisel. I find this to be the simplest tool for this job. The weight of it helps; when I have done this work with lighter weight chisels, I find I was pushing too hard…of course, it’s important to grab the pin stock up higher than the cutting edge.
My pins start out about 5” long. Shave them square, and then taper them. Finally, shave them into an octagonal cross-section.
Sometimes, as in this period stool, the tips are pointed. Sometimes not, as in a wainscot chair I saw recently.