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.