The Physics of Woodworking-Wedges

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    D.J. King

    So I’m doing some thinking about the physics of woodworking and stumbled on the idea of the wedge and its important uses in woodworking. So far I’ve come up with the list below, which I’m sure is just the tip of the iceberg, and was wondering what ideas/uses the rest of the community could come up with. If you use wedges in your woodworking in a way other than what I’ve listed here, please reply and tell us how you do.

    • Chisels
    • Tusk tenons
    • Foxtail tenons
    • Wedged Tenons- tool handles
    • Holding a Nonparallel workpiece in a vice
    • Glue Up Clamping
    •Leveling/plumbing- Shimming door jambs, cabinets, etc
    • Felling Wedge
    • Log Splitting
    • Froe Work
    • Ax Work
    • Holding a saw kerf open
    • Shooting Board
    • Wooden planes and side escapement planes.
    • Riving Brake
    INCLINE PLANES (Not wedges, but wedge-like)
    • Tool guides (eg. A 45 degree guide for paring miters with plane or chisel)

    DJ King
    Hudson Valley, NY

    D.J. King

    Just thought of another: Planing wedge. I can think of 2 versions, 1) the type that is clamped to the bench top and allows you to plane/joint the edges of a workpiece 2) the kind mounted to the front edge of the workbench with the workpiece supported from below by an adjustable ledge.

    DJ King
    Hudson Valley, NY

    Matt McGrane

    Hey DJ, looks like you’ve put more thought into this than anyone else. Paul uses wedges in his workbench construction to lock the leg frames and aprons together. Not sure if you had that in your list.

    But I think you’re right – there are probably lots more uses that we’re not thinking about.

    Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016:


    A wedge to keep the door open.

    A big wedge of cake for vital energy.


    Southampton, UK

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