Sunday, October 12, 2014

How to make a japanese saw vise

I hope that puts me directly into a google first hit. I even used american spelling. Shame on me.

I cannot convey with words how much easier is to file with a japanese saw vice. Everything is perfectly put, and you work with the whole body. It's crazy shit.

Anyway, straightforward tutorial:

Make  a drawing

Get some wood. 

140x75mm, no idea how many inches.  Cut two pieces of length L, joint and glue them.

Japanese clamps help but are not mandatory.  Green tea was used as well.

Plane one side. just to show off the grain and your charnley forest honing stone. Think of making a table instead.

Cut in half. That's L/2. About 30cm if you are picky.  You end up with something squarish. Try that your largest saw fits there. Mine does.

Plane the end grain and think about making an end grain marquetry table instead of a saw vice.

Once everything is square and nice, transfer the drawing from Fig. 1 onto the wood. Cut away with the saw and finish with a block plane.

I saw many different variations on the web concerning the inside. I just took off a bit in one side and that works fine for the moment, but I may cut away the other side too to reduce the weight of it. You need the cut to put the saw from the bottom.

Now, since I don't have any screws, bolts or wire, bring your Moxon vise or the like. This one comes from Opa's workshop.

Finish the top to a nice curvy shape. Man, I bet that with LSD this vice would look MENTAL.

And tell me about serendipity. The angle that the Moxon vice does when put in the middle of the vice is just right.  Now bring your saw and your file and let the fun begin.

That's it. A nice sunday project.

I don't remember what I said about sharpening without a vice, I am completely sold. Wood gives you such a damped clamping action, it is genius. I guess also the orientation of the grain has to do with it, You want the grain to run up-down and not sideways.

In german they have a saying, the right tool is half of the job. In this case, I'd say is  80%. It is seriously easy to keep the file straight and at the proper angle when you are in the position that the vice asks for.

So, whatever you may think of sharpening japanese style, you cannot do it properly without a japanese saw vice. Make yourself a favour and build one for you.

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