Reading old woodworking books like Aldren Watson’s Hand Tools, it’s amazing to me how often a handscrew is recommended for solving work-holding problems.. I use them all the time, and here’s one handy way to use that classic clamping device.
I was trying to cut up some small scraps of figured hardwood to make refrigerator magnets, and I was having no success clamping them in a regular bench vise for either sawing or planing. (The scraps are all briar wood left over from making tobacco pipes.) In desperation, I reached for one of my smaller handscrews.
With the piece secured in the handscrew, I clamped the handscrew into my bench vise and used a panel saw to resaw it. The handscrew held it very tightly while holding the workpiece at a comfortable height for sawing.
One of my daughters wanted to come see what I was doing. She’s happy about the prospect of having pretty wooden magnets for the refrigerator.
Once I had sawed the workpiece to the right thickness, I took the handscrew out of the vise but left the workpiece in the handscrew. Then I set the whole thing up against my planing stop and planed the surface smooth.
Yes, those are different workpieces in the photos; I did this with several pieces. It worked extremely well.
The magnets have been securing the kids’ artwork to the refrigerator for quite some time now.
(Note for You Curious Types: the timestamp on the pictures is accurate. I just now got around to blogging about this.)