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JOEL Joel's Blog

Saw Vise Project - Part 1


At the last WIA in Berea 2008 I was asked if we planned to come out with a saw vise. I said of course, but we still needed to figure out how to come up with a great vise that was inexpensive enough to be a viable alternative for the occasional sharpener (most people).
Saw Vise Project  -  Part 1 4After lots of development time - that I'll tell you about next time, I had thought that our new saw vise was going to be popular because it was priced a lot less than the better antiques and good old ones are really hard to find, and it worked great. But we were really surprised when the person on our staff who files our saws actually preferred our first prototype to a top notch antique. That's right! There are a couple of features that make the new Gramercy saw vise an improvement over the antiques (aside from obvious stuff like no rust, instant availability, affordable, and etc.) and this we hope will compel the folks who already have saw vises to switch.

A bunch of years ago I picked up a saw vise at a flea market and used it for sharpening my saws. It was light duty, it had a clamp and a pivot and it sort of worked. When we started sharpening saws at Gramercy tools it was the saw vise we used. but it was pretty obvious that the pivot made it vibrate. I have since sold it.

Saw Vise Project  -  Part 1 5Then I got a Disston #3D which by comparison was built like a tank. But it still vibrated around the pivot - which shortens file life and makes everything take longer, and we had to fiddle with it to get it to clamp properly on a blade because being an antique it was worn out. Also being cast the flats at the top of the jaw made filing slope on saw gullets hard to do without raising the saw in the vise - adding vibration.

Saw Vise Project  -  Part 1 6Then we got a Wentworth No. 2 (patented 1879)- this was awesome. No pivot, it bolted onto a bench - rock solid, and the cam mechanism had loads of travel. This was nirvana, and it had 14" jaws which made it big enough for all our backsaws. But the jaws were still cast and filing slope was a problem.

Then we came back from Berea, and got to work.

The solution in my next blog entry and a way to pre-order at a introductory price ....
Join the conversation
08/25/2009 Michael
Joel, that's fantastic! I've been looking for some time for a good saw vice and picked up an old sargent. I've just never been happy with it.

So far I've loved everything I've purchased from you so I can't wait to get my order in.

You made my day.
08/26/2009 Chuck Nickerson
In my browser, some of the blog text is obscured by the third photo. The big question (for me) is how long are the jaws? How many times will I need to reposition my 28" rip saw? Also, how can I make a rider for the jaws to hold interchangeable guidelines to help with fleam? I'm hoping for great things.
Sorry about the formatting issue - not sure why that is happening.

I'll have more details and a photo up next week.

the new vise has 14" jaws
so for a 28" rip saw only one shift will be needed.

We haven't had much luck with vise mounted guides but for a fleam guide I an recommend drilling a hole in a scrap of wood at the fleam angle and sticking a file in the hole. So if the scrap is parallel to the saw - the fleam angle on the file is right. - real simple - real easy - I think expands on this type of guide at length.
09/01/2009 Dominic Greco
Wow! this is GREAT news!!! I've been looking for a D3 for a while now and had given up hope of finding one at a less than astronomical price. Now you're saying that your version has features that improve on the old design? Cool!!
09/02/2009 George Beck

I was "one of those guys" who asked about the saw vise in Berea. I can't wait to
get one of yours. Keep me posted.


P.S. The dovetail saw is a joy and has become my go to saw.
09/03/2009 Bruce
Please let me know when I can order one at the introductory price. I have been looking for a good used one and then happened on your blog during a google search -can't wait.

Thanks for developing a much needed tool for the hand tool users among us.
09/04/2009 Dennis
Take me to part two.
09/13/2009 Jeremy
Tum tee tum tee tum....

<Looks at his watch>

Tum tee tum tee tum....

You're killing us Joel! I have 3 saws I need to sharpen and until this post I was going to make a wooden saw vise. The suspense is killing me!
09/22/2009 Don
Please add me to your list of folks wanting, needing, desiring, craving a first rate saw vise!!!
Okay, Okay already.
We will start taking order tomorrow sometime (sept 23)
there will be a pre-order price, and introductory price, and then a regular price.
I'll try to finish up the catalog stuff I need to do tonight.
Comments are closed.
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