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Thread: Holding Without A Vise

  1. #1
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    Holding Without A Vise

    This was on "The Woodwright's Shop" and looked like a useful addition to my bench dogs and other bench furniture. They were in an old book for young mechanics from around the early 1900s.

    Roy Underhill was demonstrating different methods of holding work without a vise.

    Not sure what this is called, my name for it is the 'Board Claw.'

    This shows the interlocking fingers:

    Board Claw end view.jpg

    This is a top view:

    Board Claw top view.jpg

    The dowels are not glued in place, at least not at this time. In the version shown on the program Roy Underhill attached them to a board with screws.

    This one is about 9" long and opens to hold a piece a bit larger than 2".

    Pressure against the fingers pushes the cams in to the work, thus holding it secure.

    It can also close down to hold something almost as thin as paper.

    Thin Piece.jpg

    Holding uneven pieces is not a problem:

    Uneven Piece.jpg

    On the program they were built from 8/4 stock. Mine are made from 4/4 since that was the scrap on hand.

    My vises do not face any likelihood of being abandoned at this point. This is a neat way to hold a stock for edge joining on top of the bench. It can be used with curved work or repeating a lot of pieces instead of opening and closing it in a vise.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 11-03-2014 at 7:14 PM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  2. #2
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    Hi Jim,

    I am not getting new Woodwright episodes on my pbs channel. Is this from a recent episode?

    I made my last bench with a LOT of dog holes. That would probably be a good addition to my bench.

  3. #3
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    You can make an emergency vise with 2 wooden jawed handscrews(or 1 and a large C clamp).

    Lay one handscrew down on the dges of your table or bench. Clamp it to the top with the other clamp. Then,you can use the horizontal one as a vise. I have used this method before years ago.

  4. #4
    Jim,

    Very nice. While I expect I will always have a QR face vise and use it for many functions I keep running across other ways of holding work that work very well and many times better than vises in particular tail vises. This appears to be one that could be very useful.

    Thanks for the heads up.

    ken

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post

    I keep running across other ways of holding work that work very well and many times better than vises in particular tail vises. This appears to be one that could be very useful.

    Thanks for the heads up.

    ken
    My thought is using this on a portable bench. A few times at the farmers market it occurred to me some work could be done between customers.

    My plan is to make a bench that can be quickly converted between carving and other tasks.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 11-04-2014 at 12:28 PM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
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    Interesting. It looks like you used Pine. Do you have any thoughts on making it out of Ash or other more durable wood? ALso, I recall that show - he had a small, thin one and then one other monster sized one.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Barry View Post
    Interesting. It looks like you used Pine. Do you have any thoughts on making it out of Ash or other more durable wood? ALso, I recall that show - he had a small, thin one and then one other monster sized one.
    Actually Pat, this one is made of Ash. I made one of some scrap Cedar just to make sure the shape was correct. That turned out to be unnecessary.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Not sure what this is called, my name for it is the 'Board Claw.'
    I also saw this episode recently and IIRC, it's called a birdsmouth. ETA: scratch that. I think that was the notched board. Still, a very neat gadget.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Rettenmeier View Post
    I am not getting new Woodwright episodes on my pbs channel. Is this from a recent episode?
    I watched it within the last week or two. Evidently, you can watch it on the PBS web site. Search for "Viseless Devices".
    Last edited by Brett Luna; 11-04-2014 at 4:12 PM.
    Brett
    Peters Creek, Alaska

    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  9. #9
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    Actually there is a play on the wording and the episode is named "Viceless Devices."

    http://video.pbs.org/video/2365309201/

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  10. #10
    What I know as a bird's mouth is a notched board that has a keel that goes in the vise. I showed this last week in my Popular Woodworking University webinar, "Beyond The Vise, Workholding For Hand Tools". One focus was dealing with viseless situations: my Roy Underhill portable bench, improvised setups (like when I taught a continuing education hand tool class in a new high school that had no industrial arts facilities, so I used the tables in the art room), and situations where the vise isn't the right tool.
    Steve, mostly hand tools. Click on my name above and click on "Visit Homepage" to see my woodworking blog.

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