Michael Fortune’s unconventional vises
His work is anything but traditional, so it’s no surprise that he also uses unconventional workholding tools.
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The patternmaker’s vise
I’m absolutely certain I could not make my furniture without a pattern-maker’s vise. Because you can rotate the vise, you have access to three different sides of varying sizes. When you’re working on unusual shapes, you can simply move the jaws anywhere you want. The jaws will even go out of parallel. There are few shapes that you can’t hold with this vise.
The gunstock vise
The gunstock vise can attach to the workbench through a dog hole, or in my case, through a couple of 5/8-in.-dia. holes I have drilled near the corner of the bench. This gives me the ability to “walk” my vise around the corner. The jaws are held in place with a large bolt on either side. I generally keep one bolt loose, which allows the jaw to swivel so I can hold curved or tapered pieces.…