Time to replace my pesky saw vise

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Project by Brad posted 04-17-2016 07:47 PM 2165 views 7 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My first shop-built vise was great. Or so I thought. But after a few years of sharpening saws, its deficiencies became annoyances.

See how my 28” Disston protrudes to the left? That translates into moving the saw two times for each sharpening. (This puppy is filed rip. For a XC configuration I’d have to move it four times.) That meant a process of clamping, unclamping, clamping, unclamping, clamping and unclamping. What a pain. Still, I never seemed to get around to building a better one.

Then one day, I plopped down $6.00 for a 26”, 9 tpi Simmonds handsaw in need of some serious jointing. So facing a heap of sharpening, I decided to build a vise adapted to my needs.

Here’s a model that caught my eye. My apologies to the Lumberjock who built it because I can’t find the pic again to attribute it to them.

The Renaissance Woodworker built a similar vise in this video.

From his build I tweaked my design to be 29” wide, include 2” metal hinges on the bottom, and add suede leather to line the jaws.

After many uses, I’ve come to love the performance I get from this vise. It accommodates all the saws in my till—from the 28” monsters to a dovetail saw—for clamp it once sharpening (rip, and twice for XC.) I just seat the saw vise in my bench’s face vise, put in the saw and clamp it all down. The leather-lined jaws serve both to boost the gripping power of the vise as well as to dampen vibration.

© 2016, Brad Chittim, all rights reserved.


-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

5 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26774 posts in 4343 days

#1 posted 04-17-2016 08:10 PM

That is really slick. Holding pressure just where you need it.

Nice going…..............Jim

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

20175 posts in 3805 days

#2 posted 04-17-2016 08:32 PM

Nice job. A proper vise sure make sharpening saw a bit more tolerable.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View mafe's profile


13330 posts in 4327 days

#3 posted 04-17-2016 09:28 PM

Super nice build and yes the clamp unclamp is a pain, so I understand your motivation.

We build, we learn, then we build again, that’s the joy.
Best thoughts,

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

View Brit's profile


8435 posts in 4080 days

#4 posted 04-18-2016 05:03 AM

Much better Brad. That should give you many years of service.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View BurlyBob's profile


9322 posts in 3503 days

#5 posted 04-19-2016 03:44 PM

Thanks Brad, I’ve considered a saw vise in the past. Yours seems like a great solution. I hope you don’t mind if I copy yours.

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