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The Saw Vise #1: Finally! Makin' Some Sawdust

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Blog entry by Tomcat1066 posted 2363 days ago 5255 reads 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of The Saw Vise series Part 2: Finished! »

I finally got sick of waiting until I actually had a shop to start making some stuff. Yesterday, I broke down and bought a workmate, some hardware, some pine, and a bit of red oak. Why? Easy. I’m building a saw vise. Being a hand tool kind of guy, I knew I would need this either now or later. Since my saws are all fairly dull, and I’ve ordered some files, handles and saw sets from Tools for Working Wood, I figured now was as good a time as ever.

The basic plan for this is from one on the Norse Woodsmith website. There are a few modifications, but I can discuss that in greater detail after it’s built. I will say a few electrons were sacrificed for the greater good. Since my hand saws are all pretty dull, and I need the vise to make them un-dull (is that even a word?), I don’t feel bad about it. Besides…these may be among the last electrons to die at my hands!

So far though, there are a few important lessons I have learned so far.

1. My circular saw sucks. I know Black & Decker isn’t known for being the workhorse brand for woodworkers or anything, but when it can’t rip 4/4 pine? Something is seriously wrong. Luckily, I was able to plane away the nasty marks left from me having to attack it at a different angle.

2. The Workmate ain’t so bad after all. Don’t get me wrong, there was a couple of issues, but it worked, was cheap, and I folded it up and put it in the back of my Jeep Grand Cherokee which I couldn’t do with a Roubo bench, that’s for sure. I can see the appeal of these things. Even after my primary bench is completed, this bad boy can still get plenty of use. I’m actually surprised so far. I wouldn’t want to plane large boards on it right now, but all in all, a solid investment for the time being.

3. Planes ROCK! I have a cheapie block plane I bought at Tractor Supply Company. That thing was actually pretty darn impressive. There were shavings produced that light was visible through. Not to bad for a $15 plane, now is it? Just imagine what I could have done with a Lie-Nielsen!

4. Hand tools ROCK! Yeah, big shock that I feel this way, but it’s true. When I’m able to talk to my 6 year old son about what I’m doing, and why I’m doing it a certain way, what more can you want? Not only that, but then I can let my son try his hand at planing and watch him as he sees light through a shaving HE made!

5. Run power tools more just to keep neighbors away. My next door neighbor and her granddaughter (who’s a year or so younger than my son) just walked over while I’m operating a big, loud, whirling blade of death™ and, as soon as I was done, decided to strike up a conversation. That threw me behind. All I got done was the cutting of the legs, and I put a chamfer on the sides of the legs. Still, tomorrow should be pretty straight forward with cutting the jaws, then assembly and testing. I’m really looking forward to completing this project…my first!

I don’t have pics of the process today, but Jennifer said she’d take pics of me and Robby working tomorrow, and I’ll be sure to share them with you all when they’re finished. Truth be told, I had a blast. And, while planing the chamfers, Jennifer even got in on the action and tried her hand at it. That would never have happened with power tools.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with power tools. Both power tools and hand tools serve their owners well. Me though? I’ll still to hand tools. I loved making my hobby into family time, even if just for a moment.

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!



10 comments so far

View gizmodyne's profile

gizmodyne

1763 posts in 2694 days


#1 posted 2363 days ago

I love the workmate too. One of the greatest inventions ever in my opinion.

Cue Lumberjocks Photo Chant: We need pictures!. We need pictures!.... (repeat)...

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke." www.flickr.com/photos/gizmodyne

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 2400 days


#2 posted 2363 days ago

Don’t worry! There WILL be pics tomorrow, I promise :D

And you’re right, they’re great a great little product. I can easily see using this thing for any of 100 different projects around the house or the shop!

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2426 days


#3 posted 2363 days ago

Woo hoo. I am glad that you finally decided to put the blade to the wood. And apparently so were your neighbors since they were curious about what you were doing. I am happy to see that you shared your time with them but, basically, sharing is what this site is about so you were just being a LumberJock.

I really want to see those pictures.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 2400 days


#4 posted 2363 days ago

Yeah, I’d have rather the neighbors stayed over at their place, but oh well ;)

Who knew how great today was going to be. I finally won a dovetail saw over at eBay! FINALLY!

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 2601 days


#5 posted 2363 days ago

I noticed that you were ther high bidder on that saw today! That was a sweet little saw. I was glad you were able to get that one. (I’ve been looking at saws recently and have purchased a few too)...Fortunately, I don’t think that we’ve bid on any of the same ones!

Good to hear that you’re getting a vise in order. What sizes of files did you order from Tools for Working Wood? I’ll have to check out the saw set they sell – mine has a 4-12TPI range… wondering if they have them with a higher TPI count…

Nice work! Looking forward to pics tomorrow!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Eric's profile

Eric

873 posts in 2388 days


#6 posted 2363 days ago

That’s great. I actually made a saw sharpening vise during my “Hand Tool Sharpening and Basics” class at Woodcraft, but I left it in the States. It was an even simpler design than this one, and I’d be curious to know if it would work as well.

-- Eric at http://adventuresinwoodworking.com

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 2400 days


#7 posted 2363 days ago

Dorje,

Yeah, I’ve been trying to get a nice little 10” Disston for a while now. I had even about given up on Disston and started looking at other makers, then POOF! I was able to score that one.

If your eBay account name is the same as here, then nope…I don’t think we’ve bid on the same ones. Apparently, my name carries some weight on eBay, because every time I bid, the price wants to jump 50% ;)

As for the files, I got the 4” and 6” double extra slim. As for their saw sets, they have a set that covers pretty much any saw range I can think of, and for a very reasonable price I felt. Check it out here

Tools for Working Wood has to be one of the best resources for hand tool users out there IMHO.

Eric,
You got pics of your vise? I’d love to see it :)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 2601 days


#8 posted 2362 days ago

Thanks for the link! I have the 4-12TPI one and used it, set at 12, on that 13TPI saw that I sharpened recently. The set was a bit too much, but honing the sides of the teeth brought it down…

I’ll be looking out for your vise today!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 2400 days


#9 posted 2362 days ago

Glad I could help Dorje. Mine are supposed to be here Tuesday, so I should be able to let you know how they are then :)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Zuki's profile

Zuki

1404 posts in 2681 days


#10 posted 2362 days ago

Excellent TC. I was wondering when you were going to make dust\shavings\etc :-).

As Giz said . . . we need pics.

Cheers

-- BLOG - http://www.colorfulcanary.com/search/label/Zuki

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