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Handsaw Sharpening & Traditional Tools with Mike Hagemyer

  New Bench for Saw Sharpening and more, part 1 by Mike Hagemyer 1 of 5  

A while back I designed and built a new vise clamp for sharpening saws. It is intended specifically to mount in a standard wood working vise.


I like it so much that for most full size saws, it has replaced my Disston 3D vises. The only problem is, winter is coming on again here in Michigan and I donít have a wood working vise in my basement utility room, where I actually do most of my saw sharpening.

The Disston vise clamps to a table which wonít easily support the woodworking vise I plan to use. There is only one good solution, build a new bench.

Below is the old Columbian vise I want to use, shown in as found condition. It is a little dirty and rusty right now but after cleanup and paint will suffice just fine.

The new bench design needs to accommodate this vise. Also, the vise needs to fit in the specific spot on a new bench. The bench must be portable and fit the basement stairs. The overall dimensions are dictated at five feet by two and half with a height of 30 inches to matches the other table and desk in the room. All I need is some suitable material to build it.

I was able to find some pretty good clean Douglas Fir 4 x 4 stock, which is of course actually 3 Ĺ by 3 Ĺ. I bought 5, 10 footers which should suffice with a little left over. The 4 x 4 construction may be a little overkill considering the primary use for the bench but it will be fairly inexpensive and bring many of my favorite tools into play.

The top of the bench should end up about 3 ľ thick and 13 Ĺ wide after surfacing. Below is the material with two of the posts sawn in half using a Disston No. 7 - 7 point crosscut.

I have arranged the four pieces to get the edge grain up and as many imperfections as possible down. Hopefully that will reduce the work required to get the top to look good. I will use the No. 4 plane and the No. 7 to true up the inside surfaces for gluing.

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