Saw Sharpening Vise

My Summer Saw Stravaganza! began with a lovely saw bench pair, and will continue with this saw vice.  It is used to clamp a saw very near its teeth during sharpening.  The design is similar to a number of others out there, but with dimensions that matched the scraps I had around.


The long pieces will contact the saw.  I wanted them proud of the side plates to allow for more clearance for sharpening files, and depth for big saws.  To align them during clamping I used my rabbet plane to make a shallow alignment recess.

Once both halves were glued up I took a rough plane and did some shaping.  The bottom cleat was relieved at the top so I could get a taller saw in, and to make sure it pivots at the bottom.  The top got a lot of rounding and relief to help the files have clearance.  Lastly, the inside of the top jaws was sloped to make sure that the clamp engages at the very top, right below where the teeth will be.


I love hand tools for doing stuff like this.  This is a rough jig and doesn’t require everything to look perfect.  I can grab a plane and shave a little here and a little there.  To help support saw teeth close to the handle I had to cut a number of notches out of the one side.  It was mostly setup for by biggest rip saw, but should help accommodate all my saws.

I am happy with the results.  This could operate as is, but I have seen people nail a strip of leather across the bottom to help act as a hinge.  I used really light leather, so it doesn’t help much, but it should improve alignment while clamping.  Before the leather went on I hit it with a coating of boiled linseed oil.  Up next I will take some of my saws and attempt to refurbish them.


2 thoughts on “Saw Sharpening Vise

    • Thanks, it was pretty short and sweet. I think it only took me 2-3 hours total with an overnight wait for the glue. The real test will come in a week or two when I start trying to sharpen.

      Liked by 1 person

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