Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 5, Issue 2
   November 2010
   Shop-Built Saw Vise

Stock Preparation
I used hickory because of its strength and resilience, and because it's readily available where I live. I surfaced the stock to the proper thickness and then cut the pieces to the correct size. I used a table saw to rip the stock to the correct width and then crosscut it to length using my backsaw and a
shooting board.

Stock preparation
The hickory stock shown during the preparation stage

Cutting the Joinery
Before forming the jaw profiles, I cut two 1-1/2" dados in the back of the jaws and then the half laps on the legs. Doing so enabled me to do a dry fit to uncover any problems early in the process. If the jaws were cut to their final shape, it would make it difficult to hold them while cutting the other joinery.

  Dado cutting
  Cutting the dados in the back of the jaws
I formed the sides of the dados using my small tenon saw and removed the waste with a chisel and a shoulder plane. I refined the depth using a router plane. After cutting the dados, I used the table saw to cut the 45° bevel on the outer surface of each jaw.

Using my router plane and shoulder plane, I ensured the half-lap faces on the legs were parallel to the outer surface of the leg. I tested the fit and made sure the legs were perpendicular to the jaws before I laid out the stretcher-panel mortises. The dados on the jaws were a bit too shallow, so I deepened them by 1/4". I extended the cut for the sides and then deepened it using a router plane. While doing so, I discovered the chamfer at the top of the legs was proud of the surface of the jaws. A couple of passes with a low-angle block plane solved that problem.
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