One of the
challenges of keeping one’s saws sharp is having a
consistent method to hold it in place for filing.
Early hardware manufactures recognized this and bombarded the
public with fancy devises to make this job easier. Most saw
vises look somewhat similar but have different methods of
Of course keep it simple was the name of the game. A pair of
jaws and some sort of cam lever or screw devise to close them
and maintain clamping force. Disston was one of
the major suppliers for saw vises but many others also got in on
This example doesn’t have a visible manufacture’s name but does
have a patent date. I suppose it could have been a hardware
store model. It has a cam action lever to open and close the
jaws and clamps to the bench with a hand screw.
Below is the same vise. Notice the bar across the back side. I
have to believe that it was intended for use with a filing guide
system of some sort. It was not found with the vise. Another
feature of this vise is the angle adjustment feature. It is a
ball socket that uses a hand screw to loosen and tighten it.
Here is another example that has no manufacturer’s ID. It uses
simple thumb screws for clamping and position adjustment. I have
to think this comes from the same era.