Saw Vise

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Project by Ben posted 10-29-2012 03:41 AM 3583 views 15 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been making a few saws lately and I got tired of Jury Rigging something to hold them while i cut and sharpen the teeth. So here is my saw vise. Very simple. Its just four red oak scrap boards with lap joints. The hinge is a strap hinge i bought at my local hardware store, and the screw I made from 1 inch dowel stock with a wooden tap and die box. I finished it with Boiled Linseed Oil (BLO). The BLO doesn’t seem to affect the grip in any way. I also planed a hollow in the middle of the jaws so the edges would grab first and then the middle. This assured I would have even clamping pressure along the entire length. I just realized its going to need some rabbets on the bottom of the jaws to accomodate my smaller back saws.

As always, comments and questions are definitely wanted.

-- Do something nice for somebody

10 comments so far

View yrob's profile


340 posts in 4069 days

#1 posted 10-29-2012 04:11 AM

Very nice design. I have an old antique metal saw vise but your wooden one is really nice looking. Not to mention you can make custom ones for saws of different sizes.

-- Yves

View bonobo's profile


297 posts in 2473 days

#2 posted 10-29-2012 04:37 AM

That looks great. Very simple and refined with the chamfers. I’ve found that glueing a strip of leather about 1” wide aross the top part of the jaw really does a lot for gripping ability.

-- “The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” ― Mark Twain

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

1091 posts in 3589 days

#3 posted 10-29-2012 11:48 AM

I like the wooden screw.

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View RaggedKerf's profile


425 posts in 2537 days

#4 posted 10-29-2012 12:00 PM

very nice! Great work.

-- Steve

View Ben's profile


273 posts in 4130 days

#5 posted 10-29-2012 09:27 PM

Thanks for all the comments. The leather is a great idea. I must admit part of my idea came from looking at examples from other lumberjocks. specifically yours bonobo.

-- Do something nice for somebody

View Ben's profile


273 posts in 4130 days

#6 posted 10-29-2012 09:33 PM

The wooden screw idea actually came from the moxon twin screw.

-- Do something nice for somebody

View Brad's profile


1140 posts in 3156 days

#7 posted 02-01-2013 04:37 AM

Ben, do you have to readjust the saw in the vise to sharpen the parts hanging over the edges?

What I’d like to do is make the jaws long enough to sharpen one of my 26” handsaws without having to move it. However, I’m wondering if your screw mechanism applies enough pressure to hold the saw in the longer jaws.


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

View Ben's profile


273 posts in 4130 days

#8 posted 02-01-2013 05:04 AM

The size of my saw vise was dictated by the boards I had on hand. That being said, it takes me no more than a couple seconds to readjust the position of the blade. The screw has plenty of hold on it. As long as you put a big spring joint between the boards old imagine you wouldn’t have any trouble making it bigger. One which was suggested that I have tired yet is to put a piece of leather on the tip of the jaws to help the the hold at the tip. My jaws don’t have quite enough relief at the bottom and the tops tend to open when rally clamped down. Suffice it to say it needs some adjusting. I just haven’t had any saws to sharpen lately so I haven’t done it. Let me know if you make one so I can check it out.

-- Do something nice for somebody

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3758 posts in 2668 days

#9 posted 02-01-2013 10:22 PM

@Ben—I like your simple and practical design for the saw vise. It’s probably obvious, but how is the vise held to the table?

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Ben's profile


273 posts in 4130 days

#10 posted 02-01-2013 10:33 PM

The blue holdfast there at the bottom of the vise on the side of the bench.

-- Do something nice for somebody

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