Saw Clamp

Saw Clamp WWMC

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It’s the small things that make our lives run smoothly, and making this saw clamp for saw sharpening guarantees vibration-free saw sharpening for life. What’s not to like about a utility piece you made yourself from scrap without turning a single machine on too? Make one of these and you’ll be telling your grandkids that you made it 50 years ago and that you’ve been using it throughout your woodworking life!

59 Comments

  1. Joseph SellersTeam Member on 29 April 2020 at 11:38 am

    Hey everyone,

    I just thought I would let you know that my dad filmed this video (and a few more upcoming videos) by himself in the studio and they were edited remotely by Natalie.

    Our team have spent the last month of so working nearly entirely from home which leaves the garage/studio free for my dad to use without increasing anybody’s risk from the virus.

    While we have quite a lot of stuff filmed ready for future release (for instance the current paid series was filmed before the lockdown) my dad wanted to create some specific projects that could be made from scraps of wood using simple tools in order to encourage you all to make things at home if you can.

    I think my dad and the rest of the team have done remarkably well to create something uniquely tailored to the current circumstances and we really hope you enjoy this and the other upcoming videos.

    • David R. on 29 April 2020 at 2:32 pm

      Dear Joseph,

      the effort Paul, you and the whole team puts in is remarkable and very appreciated. I just want to say Thank you! for everything.

      Best regards,
      David

    • Dean Schober on 29 April 2020 at 2:41 pm

      I appreciate the effort you all have put in to produce some content for us, while we’re waiting for, well I’m not quite sure what we’re waiting for.

      Once again Paul has shown how to make a nice tool. I’ve one that looks like a scrap of wood with a kerf in it but this has inspired me to make one that looks like a tool. Take care all

    • Julio T. on 29 April 2020 at 4:03 pm

      We will enjoy them, Joseph, you can be sure of that. Please, take care of yourself and tell your father that he must take care of himself too. Very, very thank you for your everything you do, specially Paul.

      Best regards. Take it easy and be well and healthy, please.

      Julio.

      • Richard Uhlinger on 5 May 2020 at 3:04 am

        Lovely to see a craftsman paying attention to a modest tool, but one that will see regular use. It reminds me of my Dad and the pride he took in working with his hands. Indeed, this is the ethic / aesthetic that we older folks should pass along to the younger generations!

        Cheers, Richard

    • David Alvarez on 29 April 2020 at 4:32 pm

      You say, “my dad filmed this video (and a few more upcoming videos) by himself in the studio and they were edited remotely by Natalie.” Wow, is there nothing your dad (and team) can’t do?! What David R. said above (along with innumerable others), in spades!

    • Robert Robinson on 30 April 2020 at 5:49 am

      Thank you Joseph, for sharing this with us. And thank you Paul and all for giving us useful shelter time and enjoyable diversion in the process. Glad to know you are all working safely to make these great instructional videos.

      Bob in Michigan.

    • Reuben Smith on 30 April 2020 at 9:53 am

      Thanks to you all for the effort you put in to all you do.
      The passion is clear to see and is inspiring to all.

      Looking forward to seeing more!

    • Ruben Garcia on 6 May 2020 at 3:17 am

      Thank you Joseph and please give your Dad a big Thank You as well! I have been wanting to make one of these for quite some time, now I have the time and inspiration!
      Cheers!

    • Lafayette Tenorio on 10 May 2020 at 5:41 am

      Thank you Paul for this video and teaching.

  2. Alastair Burke on 29 April 2020 at 1:52 pm

    Well done to the whole team and thank you for some happy distraction

  3. Bill Hall on 29 April 2020 at 2:03 pm

    This was great and well appreciated.

    In case Paul is looking for ideas, Would be nice to see Paul make or talk about one of those marking gauges with one sided bevel on the blade…..and even replacing the point on a regular marking gauge. Do you just use a regular nail or is it a hardened Steel point that used.

  4. P McC on 29 April 2020 at 2:37 pm

    Paul,
    My great grandfather was a timber frame carpenter. I have, and use, his saw clamp. It is 27 inches long and made of two pieces of wood joined by a large wood screw three-quarter inch from the end. The tops are beveled as you beveled yours. And the open and is pared down to accommodate the saw handle. It was originally painted blue as was his tool chest. The chest and saw clamp were both painted black by my grandfather, a Ford model T and model A mechanic. When I inherited the chest it contained a mix of Ford tools and woodworking tools, including the saw clamp.

  5. rowdym on 29 April 2020 at 3:11 pm

    Very well done, thank you Paul!

  6. Kragh Hertel on 29 April 2020 at 3:33 pm

    Paul, you mentioned making this saw clamp as large as 16″ for a larger tenon saw. Would this tool extend to panel saws (say, 24-26″), or would a different design be better suited to the purpose of panel saw sharpening?

    To you and Joseph: Thanks for the notion of “making do” with available stock and supplies during our quarantining and isolation. I find myself looking around the shop and at my cutoffs thinking “what can I do with this”, and videos like this are great inspiration.

    As ever, many thanks for great ideas, and for sharing your technique!

    • Paul SellersTeam Member on 29 April 2020 at 6:26 pm

      Actually, you can simply transfer this clamp to the other end of handsaws so it will do up to 24″ and I don’t go any longer anyway.

  7. Kevin Flemming on 29 April 2020 at 4:06 pm

    I have the same question as Kragh, with one addition. I would like to sharpen panel saws as well as my joinery saws, but I also have very little depth in my vise, as the screw and guide bars are not nearly as deep as yours. I don’t think I can get much more than my gents saw in there. Perhaps that’s a good reason to upgrade my vise…

  8. Doug Dipper on 29 April 2020 at 6:09 pm

    Hi Paul and your team of talented people.

    I would like to thank you all for everything that you do.

    Here in Canada people are looking for things to do. I have home for 3 weeks and I love it. Every day I get to go down in the basement and do lots of hand tool woodworking. I could happily stay home for ever. I am building the workbench. I have built saw clamps with rare earth magnets in it. It’s 23” long and fits in my one vise just fine. I hand to finish glueing the well board and I have to redo one of the bench legs, as I was chopping the mortise in there was a large hollow that wasn’t visible on the outside. I don’t mind it’s more practice so I can get better.

    Keep you and your family safe during this event. Hopefully soon we can get more content.

    Take care everyone, Doug.

  9. Don Trust on 29 April 2020 at 6:14 pm

    Nice. Always seems so easy to come up with these simple tools when you watch Paul do it.

    Oh, and you know I’ve been watching Paul for a while. Now everything that isn’t a smooth surface I refer to as “the fuzzy bits”. LOL!

  10. Blacklabretriever on 29 April 2020 at 9:31 pm

    Sir,

    Why did you use a back saw vs a panel saw?

  11. BryanL on 29 April 2020 at 9:39 pm

    As per usual, a great and inspiring video with superb instruction. I was, however, a bit disappointed to discover we weren’t going camping; I was so looking forward to it 🙁 (email subject line) LOL!

    Pray all is well with you and yours!

  12. Drew Whitehead on 29 April 2020 at 11:33 pm

    Love that, thank you.

  13. Al on 30 April 2020 at 12:31 am

    Great video! I really love small projects like this.

    Also, the sound quality was great! I struggle a bit sometimes with the dialogue on some videos, but this one was perfectly clear. Great job as presenter, camera man, sound engineer, key grip and every other role!

    Stay healthy!

  14. Steve Petka on 30 April 2020 at 6:16 am

    Thank you Paul! I need this and the practice! Will make one this weekend. I have a question though. Which furniture wax did you use without gloves? It seems any i find locally have solvents that give my skin a bad reaction. Thanks!

  15. Paul SellersTeam Member on 30 April 2020 at 6:38 am

    I have always used the beeswax sold by the British organisation, The National Trust.

    • Steve Petka on 30 April 2020 at 6:56 am

      Great thank you! I should have picked some up when I visited Lacock Abbey last year i think they had it in the shop. Good to know! The chain stores here seem to have more chemicals than wax.

    • Kevin MacKaveney on 30 April 2020 at 9:51 am

      Hi Paul
      We parked our car last night, only to be concerned by a strange sound coming from the A/C after some fiddling with the controls and getting nowhere we heard your dulcet tones? The strange sound was you planing the saw clamp playing on my phone which was in my pocket!
      Thanks for the video and all your other excellent teaching.
      Keep well
      Kevin

  16. Paul SellersTeam Member on 30 April 2020 at 8:52 am

    They sell it online too.

  17. Andrew Sinclair on 30 April 2020 at 10:32 am

    I made one of these two or three years ago from an earlier PS video, as one of my very first projects, from pine. But the kerf came out too thick as I used a panel saw that wasn’t sawing straight (later reset and working well). So a very timely reminder to make another, and from hardwood this time, which I’m sure will help with vibration relative to the pine.

    Thank you for all that you do, Paul, Joseph, and the team. It’s fantastic that you continue to deliver free content at this trying time. When I think back over all the projects I have made from WWMC, and all the techniques and tricks I have acquired along the way, it really amazes me what a complete and unique tuition you provide!

  18. Florian on 30 April 2020 at 10:10 pm

    Hi Paul and team, you are an amazing group of people! Thanks for everything.

  19. Gary Mercer on 30 April 2020 at 11:47 pm

    Shows that Paul can be the Head Cook and Bottle Washer. Came out great! You are too critical. I enjoyed it and already made one.

  20. averik on 1 May 2020 at 12:33 am

    Thank you, you are showing how to do it in a very nice way and with lots of care. As you always do.

  21. Steve McGonigle on 1 May 2020 at 12:39 am

    An oasis of calm in a crazy world, boy do I love the sound of a sharp plane.

  22. Richard 1941 on 1 May 2020 at 1:28 am

    Fine video, terrible audio. Need a mike close to Paul Sellers to avoid the room echo.

  23. Andrew Sinclair on 1 May 2020 at 4:12 am

    Made one last night, great small project! Obviously important the stock is parallel-sided for the gauge lines to remain 1mm apart.

    One minor and one major glitch for me. The drill bit skated out of the awl divot due to the hardness of the wood, or maybe the bluntness of the bit. I used an 1/8” pilot hole on the other side and no problem, worth the extra time I suggest.

    The major glitch was that the sawing from both sides caused a parallel kerf about 2mm off the main kerf on the back side. Make sure your saws are well fettled people! This was a newly bought but very old Crownshaw saw, which I hadn’t used or fettled much. Anyhow, I discovered it had an uneven set after the fact – a bit of hammering down one side and a couple of light passes with a stone down both sides and it’s now good … but I need to make another saw clamp! Good learning experience on the importance of fettling tools well, and before using on projects 🙂

    • Steve Petka on 8 May 2020 at 2:02 pm

      I used to get frustrated with the drill bits too until I bought a decent set of brad-point drill bits. Even the larger bit’s brad point will fit into a small awl hole. The ones I purchased are from Fisch but there are others out there. Good luck!

      • Andrew Sinclair on 9 May 2020 at 5:43 am

        Great point Steve, thanks! The silly thing is I actually have brad points but am not in the habit of using them for some inexplicable reason.

        Anyhow, I made another version and it came out perfectly. I actually sawed 95% of it from one side the second time, just checking the back kerf every few inches.

  24. wadepatton on 3 May 2020 at 3:23 pm

    Suggestion: Perhaps put the measurement conversions into a “subtitles” setting such that we can turn them OFF if we don’t need or want them. All of your videos are good, but the conversion are a continual annoyance/distraction for me, as I don’t need them (fluent in both systems) and I have troubles tuning out distractions. Watching Paul’s videos with unnecessary numbers flying all over the place is similar to watching a film with subtitles that you don’t need. I get frustrated and resize the screen to try to hide them at times, or FFWD the whole video just trying to find the spots I might learn from. The metric conversions becoming more flashy have really destroyed most of the joy I used to find watching Paul Sellers’ videos.

    I do realize I’m a minority, and that most folks can “just tune out” anything. This is not the case with some “wiring systems”. I truly expect nothing to change, but had to say something when I realized that you might have access to “subtitles” type encoding, such that the flashing numbers could be omitted by those who choose to do so.

    I hope someone would look into this. Thank you.

    Note I did not watch all of this video because of the extreme simplicity of the design featured, and because the dancing numbers of no benefit but distraction (which is aggravating-in my mind only of course). wp

    • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 4 May 2020 at 4:01 pm

      Hi,

      Thank you for your feedback regarding the measurements, I will be sure to pass this on.

      Kind Regards,
      Izzy

  25. jrasnack on 3 May 2020 at 5:00 pm

    I really like this pace and quality of this video. As a guy who has followed you from the early days, this reminds me of your earlier work. The feel is a lot less polished, less rushed, and more like I am in the shop with you. While I may be in the minority, I prefer this style to the more polished, faster paced videos which you seem to have moved to.

  26. Eric Lundholm on 4 May 2020 at 6:17 pm

    I think I will start out with 1×3 or 4 stock and lay out and plane the wood first, then cut and plane to depth and cut the middle. seems to me it will save the problems with trying to put the wood in the vice at an angle.

  27. George Newlands on 5 May 2020 at 12:41 am

    Hi Paul,
    I’ve made a few of these since seeing your older videos. Such a simple, yet very effective tool. My saws are now all “fit for task” and a joy to use, thanks to your tutorials.
    Thanks again for making the coronavirus lockdown that little bit more bearable. Keep up the good work.

  28. Vivian Parker on 5 May 2020 at 4:57 pm

    Thank you so much for this. I am so looking forward to making this, both for the sawing practice and the useful end product! Stay healthy, everyone!

  29. Simon Pincus on 6 May 2020 at 11:35 am

    I love this simple design. It works well for my smaller saws but I have two tenon saws that are too wide to fit above the bars of my vice. How does Paul tend to handle this situation?

    thanks

  30. Jim Allen on 6 May 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Hi Simon, I solve this problem with the leg vise on my bench. It has about seven inches of clearance to the center screw. I also made a saw clamp like one that Paul showed on his blog several years back. It really works well. Perhaps Paul will make a video one day on making it. A fine draftsman and member of Masterclasses, Greg Merrit, one time posted a nice drawing of one with dimensions. If you can’t find it you might send him a message requesting how to find it. Good luck, Jim

    • Simon Pincus on 7 May 2020 at 3:07 am

      Thanks Jim. I don’t have a leg vice on my bench unfortunately.

      I found the Greg Merritt design and will likely have a go at that one – thanks for referring me to it. I really like the elegance and simplicity of the one Paul shows here though I’d actually prefer a clamp that lifts the saw up a bit above the vice as that’s more comfortable for me to use which is why I like Greg’s design.

      Honestly anything would be better than the two random pieces of scrap that happen to be closest to me when I need to sharpen which is what I tend to use right now!

  31. Noel Rodrigue on 6 May 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I loved the video. One suggestion: add another hole towards the top, to feed in a bit of leather or string to use as a holding device against the tool board for when the thing is not in use. One question, would this fit ‘all’ saw plates, given that Paul says that he’s using this saw because it will give the correct saw kerf width (or words to that effect) .

    • Andrew Sinclair on 9 May 2020 at 5:53 am

      Think it will fit all your saws, yes. There’s a bit of spring in the wood so I can easily clamp it onto my thinner dovetail saws.

      I haven’t tried it on my handsaws as I use two pine sticks joined by a screw and washer for those, as Paul has shown elsewhere.

      Just checked: I lose the last 1.5” of kerf when using this on my largest Disston. So for a 26” saw you might want to go for a 15” kerf (13” + 2”). Or use a fatter tenon saw plate to cut the kerf, mine does have a very fine plate.

  32. terryb on 6 May 2020 at 10:54 pm

    Hi Paul,

    did you use steel wool to apply the finish?

    Thank you
    Hendrik

    • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 7 May 2020 at 4:20 pm

      Hi,

      Paul says:
      I used steel wool to apply the wax after I had applied the shellac.

      Kind Regards,
      Izzy

  33. Peter Jacobs on 7 May 2020 at 11:00 am

    Peter Jacobs Adelaide South Australia
    I made one of these a few years ago out of scrap you have inspired me too make a tool out of it

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