The Four Piece “Vise”

It’s been pretty quiet on the Wood Lab blog lately (sorry), but not so quiet in the shop itself. I’ve been working on a Puja (meditation) table for a friend of mine the last few months. Part of this project involves sliding dovetails for the side leg pieces to be joined into the table top. I have a clamping straightedge that I used as a guide to route out the dovetails on the underneath side of the table top, where I then realized after the fact, the clamping parts left some marks on the side of the table top. These marks were enough that I would have been forever trying to remove if I were to sand them…

A good note to insert at this point: I don’t have a good woodworking bench, nor a decent woodworking vise. This was one of those “shortcomings” that I was determined to not let thwart me.

The solution? The “Four Piece Vise” (That’s what I call it anyway): Two wood screw type clams, and two bar style clamps…

Basically clamp your work piece in the wood screw clamps, then clamp those to your bench top. Now that I had the table top secure, what to use to remove those marks since I don’t (yet) own a #4 or #4 1/2 smoother?

If you don’t have what you’d ideally like, try to use what you do have… in this case, my Lie-Nielsen block plane served well.

With a little wax on the sole, and skewing the blade just a bit to handle some interesting grain, I was able to clean up that edge without much trouble.

2 thoughts on “The Four Piece “Vise”

  1. Jim,

    If you were to clamp the handscrews so the back jaw was flush with the edge of the bench, you could clamps the panel at whichever height was comfortable.


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