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Project 2: Saw Vice

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billw

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So, whilst preparing the timber I needed for this particular project I discovered that one of the boards was twisted and therefore I commenced Project 3 to help me identify this particular problem. When getting back into woodworking I found that a lot of the tools in the garage were somewhat rusty and unloved, having been used for nothing more than the occasional DIY task many years in the past. I will point out these aren't my tools but my mothers' and she refuses to throw anything out which has been a godsend on this occasion.

Anyhow, I started off with this lot....

IMG_8546.jpg


They've all been lovingly, meaning cosmetically, restored (pics to follow, I don't think I have one of them all finished). but obviously are no use until they can cut stuff. So a saw vice was added to my project list because as a beginner I am concentrating on practising skills and figuring out techniques rather than making something that requires absolute precision.

I'm using my stock of walnut as usual, as well as an offcut block of Italian sycamore to make the grips for the vice.

IMG_8608.jpg


I opted for a fairly simple design, similar to the one on the right below, but without the rebate on the outside holder. I adjusted some of the dimensions too so that i could clamp it into the vice on my bench.

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Some very quick WIP photos....

1. The main boards for the vice cut out and planed

IMG_8651.jpg


2. The top rails cut out and shaped. Number 2 was done first, so as you can see I was slightly more patient with the other one and the result was far more clean - but still a long way from perfect!

IMG_8661.jpg


3. The boards were then fitted together and some chamfers added to remove the hard edges. Clearly my marking out was terrible given the gaps all over the place, I think this was due to rushing things a bit - impatience is something I have to learn to temper.

Somehow I have managed to not centre the uprights, so back to back the beams don't line up. I'll tidy this up later on as it's not the end of the world - I love about half an inch total length across the top.

IMG_8664.jpg


4. The good news is that for a vice at least the parts meet along the length - although the maple jaws have to be added yet.

IMG_8665.jpg


5. One of the outer stops fitted.

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And that's where we're at for the moment.

Next job is to cut, plane, and affix the maple jaws. Finally join both sides together with a block at the bottom. I'll do a full post-mortem once they're finished but I have certainly learned a fair bit so far!
 

billw

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So one of my latest lessons is "stop trying to do too much in one day because your work gets sloppy" and this I have learned the hard way. Everything is done apart from the finish, so let's have a catch up.

6. I cut the maple jaws last night. It was only this morning that I realised I'd cut them with different end grain directions, which is a strange error and not really important.

IMG_8671.jpg


7. That toothbrush is for cleaning rust off stuff, not for my teeth. Anyhow, I got these planed, and ready for fitting. I left them intentionally a little bit long so I could tidy them up once glued. Here's the first one being done, and the second in the background.

IMG_8674.jpg


8. It was at this point that problems really started to become apparent. Firstly my planing wasn't as straight as I had thought. Then I glued the maple bits on in the least helpful combination to help mask my planing skill shortfall. Then on a test fit in the vice it looked as if I'd put the two outer stops on at different heights - which I seemingly haven't so I don't know how that happened.

The final task was to attach the two halves together. I must have got through at least 4 attempts that ended up in the bin - wonky planing, wonky sawing, impatience, etc etc. The one that finally got used was taken to size by sanding using guide blocks because it was about the only way I could get the bloody thing flat enough on opposite sides.

This photo conveniently disguises the fact that the two sides are not in line with each other, there's about a half-inch difference but it really doesn't affect the functionality.

IMG_8676.jpg


9. Frustrations aside, here's a saw being held perfectly well in the end product. I haven't tidied up the ends at this point as is clearly shown by one side being longer than the other. I might tidy that up, I might not. I think leaving it to remind me what a terrible job I did might be a better option so I can go back and think "wow, I really was terrible"..... or "how have things never got better?"

IMG_8677.jpg


10. I did plane and sand down the top though, it looks quite nice now. Sadly I couldn't fit the whole length in to the photo.....OK the bit that's not photographed doesn't actually meet very cleanly but who's to know?

IMG_8679.jpg


Last step is to apply the finish. Obviously it *might* have been easier to apply the finish before gluing it up, however the inside of the jaws wouldn't get finished anyway as it seems odd trying to clamp something on an oily surface (lesson learned from bench hook) so I can probably get it done just fine.

I'll post the final photo in a couple of days when both coats of Osmo are dry.
 

MikeG.

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Well, that looks great. Much nicer looking than mine. I think you might end up taking a bigger chamfer off the top edges to allow easier access to the teeth, but that looks a decent useable bit of kit. Well done.

Now, we're going to have to have a little word about your marking out. I only use a marker pen when I'm doing something free-form in huge lumps of timber. For everything else it's a very sharp pencil or a knife. Chuck the Sharpie out of your workshop!! :)*

*Actually, they're really useful in a workshop, but NOT for marking out.
 

Bm101

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That's looking smart Bill.
Just posting the following pictures for interest. I attended a short BadAxe sharpening class at a woodwork show last summer. Their version was a little more brutal than your much nicer version. I don't suggest either version is more favourable just thought you would be interested to see it. Angle iron and cork.
The picture quality is terrible as the phone was on it's last legs at the time. Apologies.




You'd also have to alter the design of this to gain the height to make it more comfortable.
Cheers
Chris
 

sunnybob

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I know, I'm obsessive, but has nobody else counted those woodwork holes in the saw handle? :cry:
Burn it, before they destroy your lovely vice!
 

clogs

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Sunnybob,
a good spot.....
I have a few little old things with holey wooden handles......
I dunk em in the suds tank under my metal lathe for a week or so......
kills everything and I like the smell of the oil...... mmmm.....metal suds fluid...... hahaha...
 

billw

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There's woodworm holes in the bench, the saw, and a fret saw handle too! The woodworms themselves are thankfully long gone.
 

sunnybob

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You do realise that if you could actually kill woodworm that way, you could become a multimillionaire just by bottling and selling your suds? Because every "cure" I have ever seen has promised things like "should" "might" and "they are long gone".
They wouldnt be around past the next november 5th in my workshop :oops:
 

billw

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Finished! Now to sharpen those saws....although since all of them are 12/13TPI crosscut maybe I won’t need to do them all straight away....

587C1580-833C-41FE-A713-18622F752966.jpeg
 

AndyT

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Well done!

And I really like that new bench you knocked up while we weren't looking! ;)
 

MikeG.

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I thought you might like to see mine, Bill, by way of contrast. Made from some scraps of 4x2 and off cuts of pine from the scrap bin:







No moving parts, just a slit in the 4x2 legs which the coach screws close up.
 

adrspach

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I do not want to hijack your thread but wanted to ask how do you keep pressure on the jaws even the whole length. I could see at the BadAxe workshop their version how to deal with it by adding a clamp at each end which really is not what I would like to do with wooden vice.
Tried to make my own one from scraps of 1" birch ply and 1/2" oak with jaws lined with cock. For some reason even thought the jaws are only 30cm wide the ends do not clamp the saw securely. The faces of jaws are straight.
 

billw

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I do not want to hijack your thread but wanted to ask how do you keep pressure on the jaws even the whole length. I could see at the BadAxe workshop their version how to deal with it by adding a clamp at each end which really is not what I would like to do with wooden vice.
Tried to make my own one from scraps of 1" birch ply and 1/2" oak with jaws lined with cock. For some reason even thought the jaws are only 30cm wide the ends do not clamp the saw securely. The faces of jaws are straight.
Jaws lined with cock? That's an interesting concept.

There's some very minor play in one end, maybe for the first inch or so, but the rest of it is pretty solid. I guess the fact the uprights are about 1/3 of the total width gives it some assistance. I just figured that since I used an amalgamation of two designs from the internet that whoever did them must have a rough sense of it being up to the job.

Using a clamp did cross my mind but when I tested it out I found that it held well enough to do a job. It is perfect? nope, but then again neither are any of the saws I used it on.
 

adrspach

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Well spotted I did not line it with myself but cork which I thought would distribute the pressure more evenly as well as dampen vibrations.
 

MikeG.

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I do not want to hijack your thread but wanted to ask how do you keep pressure on the jaws even the whole length. I could see at the BadAxe workshop their version how to deal with it by adding a clamp at each end which really is not what I would like to do with wooden vice.
Tried to make my own one from scraps of 1" birch ply and 1/2" oak with jaws lined with cock. For some reason even thought the jaws are only 30cm wide the ends do not clamp the saw securely. The faces of jaws are straight.

I have "clamps" (carriage bolts) pulling the jaws together at 1/4 span, so already they're in the optimal position for force distribution, but the be sure, I have very slightly shaved a tad more off the faces of the jaws at the outer end than in the middle. I mean, a couple of really fine shavings, so that they touch in the middle ever-so-slightly in advance of touching at the ends if closed without a saw in place. This is the same principle as clamping cauls when gluing up wide tabletops etc.
 

adrspach

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My one do touch at the same time however when you add a bit of pressure that the saw does not slide out middle is tight and ends are loose. Adding pressure does not significantly help. I was even thinking to shave the cork thinner to make it concave in the middle that the ends would touch first.
 
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