Hand saw sharpening #2: Fileklemme / European saw vise - quick and clean.

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Blog entry by mafe posted 10-04-2016 08:21 PM 3966 reads 4 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Saw file holder - Jointer / Edger Part 2 of Hand saw sharpening series Part 3: Saw vise box version - quick and clean »

Fileklemme / European saw vise
quick and clean

Having a Scandinavian work bench, I thought it would be right to have a fileklemme / the type of saw vise that was traditionally used in Denmark.

Today this clamp are mostly used for holding small objects, while working at the bench, since most people don’t sharpen saws these days.

I visited a friend and in the corner of his art studio this old fileklemme gave me the final push.

I decided to use plywood for stability and strength also it will be able to give a little flex.
This and some cut off’s from a 2×2,5 and a parasol frame…
No measures just a feeling and the size of my bench.

White glue and a few screws.

Inside and outside.
The inside holds the jaws and the spacers in the bottom.
The outside a strip that will hold it in position, even when the vice is open.

Had some hinges that could finally come to use.
Here mounted in the bottom, while making a little extra gap between the spacers.

I cut the top of in a angle, like this it will be more useful for saw sharpening.
Also added some antiskid to make the hold better in the jaws.

Used leather as hinge for the bigger vise.

Added a spring, to make the jaws open up by them self.
Like this you get a hand free.

Just a bolt going through and a wing nut on the other side..


Fileklemme in the bench.

The smaller one here, perhaps I made it a wee to high, there are some flex in the plywood.
If this becomes a problem the bolt can be moved up a little or the jaws moved down.

But it is in a wonderful hight and this is good for the back.

That’s it for now, made them in April last year and have used them quite a lot, they come in handy in many situations, really like a extra hand.

Hope this can inspirer others to hold on to something they like.

The best of my thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

11 comments so far

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 3957 days

#1 posted 10-04-2016 08:51 PM

I had not seen one of these before, but it makes good sense. It reminds me of a stitching vise for leatherwork. I’ll have to print this as a reminder for future additions when I get my shop properly set up.
Thanks Mads.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5214 days

#2 posted 10-04-2016 08:55 PM

Very good information…


Thank you..

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

4670 posts in 2439 days

#3 posted 10-04-2016 09:09 PM

I like the spring. Gives me an idea.

-- Don K, (Holland, Michigan)

View Jerry's profile


3488 posts in 2810 days

#4 posted 10-04-2016 09:49 PM

Nice one Mads, thanks a bunch for sharing this with us!

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View Grumpymike's profile


2483 posts in 3477 days

#5 posted 10-04-2016 10:06 PM

Your timing is spot on there Mads … I made a similar “clamp” for saw filing about two weeks ago, but I made it to long and it is not stable enough … I never knew that these things had a real name.

I watched Peter (Paul?) Sellers video on saw sharpening and wanted to learn how … So I’m an aspiring saw filer.
I will be copying your design … Thanks for the post

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View lew's profile


13385 posts in 4917 days

#6 posted 10-05-2016 01:34 AM

I can see how using this clamping device can raise the work to a comfortable level- so you don’t have to bend over so much.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2946 posts in 2225 days

#7 posted 10-05-2016 07:48 AM

Yay, Mads.

-- Mark

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26455 posts in 4267 days

#8 posted 10-05-2016 11:15 AM

Nice handy vise for a lot of things with the deep throat.


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3966 days

#9 posted 10-05-2016 12:18 PM

I also like the spring idea

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Schwieb's profile


1917 posts in 4623 days

#10 posted 10-07-2016 11:00 AM

nice Mads

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View mafe's profile


13204 posts in 4251 days

#11 posted 10-07-2016 11:55 AM

Have to admit, I don’t do much saw sharpening, the fact that I have a table saw and a band saw makes the wear on the saws minimal. ;-) Naughty me…

Schwieb, thanks.
Roger, lazy man finds solutions.
Jim, perhaps I should have made the side bars moveable so I could have changed the clamping pressure…
Mark, hell yeahhhh.
Lew, and for me that is important, due to my neck troubles.
Grumpymike, wonderful, always wonderful when the posts actually come to use.
Jerry, thank you back.
Combo, big smile here.
Druid, they can be used for that purpose also, even in the bench.

Thanks for the comments,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

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