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.

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Old school: Wooden shavehorse for a bodger.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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Knifemaker's vise.

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

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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.

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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.

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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).

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Commercially made clamp0on carving vise.

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

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Foot-operated motorcycle lift-stand.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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