Hand Tools

Fixturing parts

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
Working in various shops what I see is that there are a myriad of ways to hold something. How seems to depend on what is available within reach of the bench, or a part of the bench, to hold it. Short of a picture of someone sawing dovetails on a drawer, knowing the details of the bench and its accessories would enable us to know how stuff was held, for the historians that are curious.

For example:

For years I used my relatively narrow jaw bench vise to hold a drawer side, with marginal rigidity. If I had a wider jawed vise I would have never built the Moxom vise. In my case having on hand two 3/8" bolts and some right sized scraps of maple, being able to turn two handles, and having nearby two F style clamps to hold the hastily built vise to the lip of my amply lipped bench made this new way of securing a drawer side attractive.

Others facing the need to secure a drawer side would have a different set of factors that would guide their decision. If I only worked with 1736 stuff I would likely hold a drawer side with what was available on a 1736 bench. Clearly what was best then may not be that way forever, everywhere. Anyone making stuff will soon find out what is best for them. When circumstances change how we do stuff may change.

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