|Project by bonobo||posted 10-17-2012 10:38 PM||4774 views||30 times favorited||9 comments|
I’ve been learning to sharpening my handsaws by holding them between a couple of scraps in my bench face vise but found that it was uncomfortably low and didn’t hold the blades tightly enough . When I saw an old-style wooden saw vise on Paul Sellers’ blog, I decided to copy it. While mine isn’t a thing of beauty, it works so well that I wanted to post it here in case anybody else has been considering making one.
I put it together from an old, scavenged stair tread and other scraps. I hope the construction sketch is self-explanatory but I’ll just add a few tips:
-the mortises in the jaws are dovetail shaped and the tenons are held with glued wedges on the sides. I laminated a couple pieces around the tenons, rather than chiselling the mortises out.
-if it were to do it again, I’d make it closer to the sketch by not rounding the hinges (I’d just leave enough space to accommodate the corners)
-assemble the hinge and use a brad point bit to drill from each side towards the center. Use some kind of straight-edge to act as a visual reference.
-make sure to keep the grain oriented correctly on the jaw components, so that you can do your final shaping without tear-out
-make sure the ends of the jaws are touching with a sliver of light visible in the middle (enough for a business card). A couple of strips of leather glued to the jaws is essential.
-the carriage bolt head will fit nicely if you use a narrow file to square the back side of the hole.
-final shaping was done with a jack plane, coping saw, wood rasp and sandpaper.
-for leverage considerations, make sure the distance from the wingnut to the jaws’ edge is significantly less than the wingnut/hinge distance (while keeping it low enough to accommodate your deepest saw blade)
-the wingnut assembly will work smoother if you file down the sharp tops of the threads, smooth the bottom of the wingnut and add a dab of grease.
-a dark finish stain seems to help visibility
I was shocked by how much force the 5/8” wingnut was able to exert and can literally swing the whole ball of wax around by the saw handle. There’s very little vibration and the saw blade is now at a very comfortable height. The combination of cap nuts and lock washers mean that the finger-joint hinge has absolutely no play, which makes it really easy to make fine adjustment to the position of the saw.
Paul in Toronto
-- “The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” ― Mark Twain