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Innovative Workholding

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Endlessly innovative, woodworkers, shop repairmen, and machinists devise practical, robust solutions for holding workpieces and parts of all shapes and sizes. Here are a few devices of note.


Old school: Wooden shavehorse for a bodger.


Monster: Ball vise prototype(?) from welded parts mounted to simple, low bench.


A classic. Mount a large machinist vise on a heavy steel column and bolt it to the floor.


Specialist carving stool. Interesting version of wooden carving vise, this one mounted to a stool. See the foot-operated clamping mechanism?

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Modern clamp arm by Park Tool mounts to bench for daily bike maintenace and repair.


Barber chair lift for a carving bench-cabinet. Machinist-style mill vise provides rotation.


Fully realized blacksmith's vise. Cast iron and steel.


Parrot vise, though widely available today, is a far cry from its predecessor, the Gyro Vise.

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Knifemaker's vise.


Veritas pattern makers vise, set to 90 degrees, used in combination with a wooden handscrew clamp.


Shop made steel knifemaker's vise that clamps the blade so you can work the handle into shape.

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Antique gunmakers vise, a beefed up version of a jewelers vise. I'm guessing this is English or German.

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Bowmakers vise.

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Large capacity Bessey vise-grip double clamp.

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Floor-mounted adjustable lift for motorcycle repair(?).

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Small machinist vise mounted to ball vise base and benchtop affords full rotation and access to parts.


Student bench with four twin-screw Moxon vises with Benchcrafted hardware on a knock-down base similar to one shown in The Workbench Book by Scot Landis.


Fine furniture carving vise mounted in tail vise of a traditional European cabinetmaker's bench (i.e., Frank Klausz) and rises above the benchtop (i.e., Mark Soukup).


Commercially made clamp0on carving vise.


The Erlewine ShopStand is used by luthier's. Available from Stewart MacDonald.


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Foot-operated motorcycle lift-stand.


Carpet padded corner vise mounted to a shop made stand on bench. Used for work on oars, paddles, and other shafts.


Shop made(?) aluminum and wood carving vise mounted to benchtop.

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Adjustable chain vise on what appears to be pipe threader base controls round pipe well.


The much loved Gyro Vise with an extended beak.

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Guitar-holding fixture by StewMac.

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Large, removable jaws with German screw positioned high up for detailed carving. Padded jaws. Mounted in tail vise.

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Shave pony clamps by foot action, used while seated. Mounted in bench vise.


Roubo revisited. Blacksmith Peter Ross's take on the French-pattern holdfast. This form is massive. It was first depicted in one of woodworking's earliest books by Andre Roubo.

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Cleanly designed wood/plywood bike rack.


Minimalist design for low brow pleasures. Walnut scrap, bent nail, magnet. Ravenhill's bottle opener/cap catcher.

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