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Thread: Clamp for sharpening backsaws in leg vise.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Fairbanks AK
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    Clamp for sharpening backsaws in leg vise.

    I was never happy with my first clamp. I had made a rip cut about 3/4 along the length of a piece of 1.5 x 1.5 hardwood, but the ripped kerf was wider than my back saw plates and it was always fussy to use.

    So I used the search button here, and then butchered some beer cans with kitchen shears, to make some shim stock at 1.5 x 3 inches and pretty thin.

    The third time proved to be the charm, I have thrown away several shims the last few days. The main thing I found is I can't press the curve out of them by leaving them clamped up. As soon as I take the clamps off the shims spring back to curved.

    My Lee Valley/ Veritas back saws are better tools than I am a tool user. I find three layers of RedHook ESB shims is pretty good for my saws, but there is a bunch of back saws out there of thickness unknown to me.

    I started with overlong pieces of pretty clear 1x2 furring strip, and planed both to s4s, then planed them clamped together for equal height. Then I stacked my three shims in between near one end, made some faint pencil marks to show where the shims started and finished, and clamped it all together tight enough to survive crashing on a distant planet. With everything square and good and right and true and heavenly light shining down on the alignment of all the parts I drilled screw holes, counter sunk, and drove the screws. Then I took the clamps off and did the shaping.

    With this shape I can clamp the entire plate of my carcass saw with full width clamp and not worry about damaging the handle. With the dovetail saw part of the plate is clamped by the thinner jaws of the clamp and the handle rides proud, but serviceable.

    20231111_173618.jpg20231111_173542.jpg20231111_173601.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    McKean, PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Winners View Post
    So I used the search button here, and then butchered some beer cans with kitchen shears, to make some shim stock at 1.5 x 3 inches and pretty thin.

    The third time proved to be the charm, I have thrown away several shims the last few days. The main thing I found is I can't press the curve out of them by leaving them clamped up. As soon as I take the clamps off the shims spring back to curved.
    It isn't clear which way you are cutting your strips from a beer can. Cut the top and bottom off a can. Then you will have a cylinder. Cut the cylinder from top to bottom. Then take the curved piece of aluminum and carefully curl it into a circle opposite the existing curve. Work it into a tighter circle than the diameter of the original can until it will lay flat. It may take several trails to get it flat.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 11-12-2023 at 10:02 AM.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA '71
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Looks like that'll do ya. Nice job. Mine is in two parts so no shims required but it is a bit more fussy to make.

    Tenons for alignment.
    Saw Vise (4).jpgSaw Vise (9).jpg

    More tenons hold the rig while adjusting the grip.
    Saw Vise (10).jpg
    "A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg".


    Samuel Butler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Fairbanks AK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    It may take several trails to get it flat.
    Thank Lee! MY first two tries at cutting spirals came out pretty good. I can see this getting better with practice. It seems to me each arm of the spiral becomes a relatively weak individual compared to the strong cohesive team before the spiral. Much less force to flatten this way.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    6,311
    You could always go store-bought. LV site says blade is 20 thou thick, plus 3 thou set per side

    plastic; 3 thou, 5" x 20", $4.26
    https://www.mcmaster.com/products/sh...tic-1/width~5/

    aluminum; 3 thou, 6" x 24", $8.18
    https://www.mcmaster.com/products/sh...al~aluminum-2/

    Dead-nuts accurate, lifetime supply for saw vice. many different color-coded thicknesses available.

    I use some of the alum as shims to offset outfeed side of router fence for jointing
    I feel a whole lot more like I do now than I did a little while ago.

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