Saturday, August 27, 2011

Living Without an End Vise

My workbench is sort of a multipurpose table that I use for lots of different things. As a result, it doesn't have many of the features of a real woodworking bench.

For example, there are no dog holes, partly because there are drawers immediately below the top that would interfere with dogs and holdfasts, and partly because I really don't want to be dropping little parts through holes in the work surface when I've got the vacuum cleaner torn to bits for repair. Likewise, there is no end vise on my bench, because about half the reasons to have an end vise go away if there aren't any dog holes nearby.

"So," you ask, "what manner of ridiculous kludge do you use when you want to plane or scrape the surface of a long board?"

On the end of the bench where a real woodworker would have a real end vise, I arrange a thinnish board against end of the workpiece, a small wedge to push the thinnish board in the direction of the workpiece, and another board clamped to the bench to give the wedge something to bear against.

Then on the other end of the workpiece where a real woodworker would have a dog hole, I just clamp another thinnish board to the bench that the workpiece can butt up against. With all this in place, a quick tap of the wedge will secure the workpiece for almost any operation, and a quick tap in the other direction will release it.

Convenient? Not especially. Effective? Surprisingly.


Ian W said...

I have been writing about clamps in my blog,
May I quote your end vise posting and tell my followers about your blog, please?
Ian Waltenbery

Rob said...

I have a planeing stop at the end of my bench and dog holes and I plan on adapting the concept. Clever idea.

Post a Comment