With Woodworkers Safety Day just two days away, it’s important to remember some of the basic rules… A few of the most important include keeping your hands away form the spinny, whirly things and holding work securely while you work on it. Some days, it seems as if you need an extra bullet proof hand…
Well, one of the most important tools that can work that way is a vise. When it’s bolted to a sturdy workbench, you can get some serious, accurate work done. But, what happens when you need to do the work away from that bench? I mean, it would be backbreaking work to drag your bench to a drill press every time you needed to bore accurate holes. Wouldn’t it be great to bring the vise to where you need it?
Well, that’s what a portable vise can do for you. And, my friends at Bora Tools are very happy to release their large woodworking vise to the public. This handy little tool can help make your woodworking a lot more safe. It features a very wide base with holes to bolt to a surface. A padded grip handle to tighten the jaws – with a quick-release button on it – allows you to get a snug grip on your work for sanding, drilling, routing or whatever…
Many people use mechanic’s drill press vises to hold their work for some of these purposes. The only problem is those hard steel jaws are designed to hold metal and can easily dent wood. The Bora vise is designed with cushioned jaws that won’t mar the work.
In the past, I have used some type of jury rigged setup to hold work for my drill press. Or, even more stupidly, I would just hold it with one hand and work the press with the other hand. And, yes, I have had the work spin out on me. To demonstrate how much better this arrangement is, I decided to bore a 1/4″ wide mortise into a very small scrap of wood. The first thing I had to do was to secure the little scrap into the vise.
Then, I chucked a 1/4″ forstner bit into the drill press and started chain drilling the mortise. I bored the outside holes the drilled out the middles. The work was pleasant, and at all times I had the work under total control. Before long, I had the whole shebang bored out, and all I had to do was cut a wee little tenon to fit inside.
As long as I keep this handy tool somewhere I can see it, I’m sure I’ll be using it a whole bunch more. Great stuff!