Introduction: 2in1 Bench Pin With Vise

Picture of 2in1 Bench Pin With Vise

My relatively new hobby is to make small parts or decorations for my classical guitar and make jewels for my wife. So the jewelers saw became an essential tool. But I don't have a bench pin, so I needed one. Cheap to buy one, but I wanted to make my own.

There are many types and designs out in the wild:

This is my favorite one as inspiration:

Before the making the Christmas gift to my wife (3D Layered Veneer Earrings I realy needed a proper tool to achieve the goal.

I uploaded a raw SketchUp model of it.

Step 1: Materials, Tools

Picture of Materials, Tools

There were a leftover piece from beech door sill. Look at this piece of wood! Do You see a banch pin out of it? I did.


Step 2: Basic Shaping

Picture of Basic Shaping

With a flap disc on the angle grinder I made the slope and flattened it on sandpaper. Lined out the design and started to sawing. When finished I fined the surfaces and rounded the edges on the back side. This gives a little more spece underneath to work with the saw or file. Clamp it and the bench pin is ready to use.

On an average project we are finished. But it's not an average project, it's our project. ;) Let's make it better!

Step 3: 2in1 Design, Clamp It With Vise

Picture of 2in1 Design, Clamp It With Vise

At this stage You need 2 clamps to secure it tightly. And You see Your vise with one wide base clamp. And here comes the idea of a 2in1 combined design, let's clamp the bench pin with the vise itself. Quickly draw the vise base outlines and start to make some more dust. Finaly You have an option to clamp the bench pin in one step. It was good time to make the gift earrings to my wife:

In a later step I will route a seat for the vise. But at this time a have no router.

Step 4: Mahogany Inlay

Picture of Mahogany Inlay

So I have no router at this time but have an ugly bite across the wood and some nice mahogany veneers. Make it nice!

Clamped the metal ruler as a guide and used multiple metalsawblades held together to make a groove. Fined with file and fitted the inlay strip. After gluing sanded down to flat, polished and added a touch of citrone oil. I know, it's just a tool... but why not?

Meanwhile I finished my mini router base ( so it's time to finish the seat of the vise.

Step 5: Route the Seat for the Vise

Picture of Route the Seat for the Vise

To make it more stable I wanted to route a seat for the vise. Now with the mini router base it was easy.

The finished tool is easy to mount, good to use, and feels good to use. All goals achieved.

Entered to Leftovers contest, if You think it was a good way to use the leftover piece of sill, please vote for it! If You work with small pieces with jevelers saw You might need something similiar.


jongscx (author)2015-12-31

I love it, but my girlfriend says I already have too many vises...

maKACS (author)jongscx2015-12-31

Thanks and lol. :) Maybe it's time to use one of Your vise as a clamp of a bench pin? :)

DIY-Guy (author)2015-12-27

This is very pretty, and all those angle cuts and V notches make it so useful for jewelry!
The bench vise, it clamps to the table? I've not seen that before and I like the idea very much! Such a clamp vise would fit well in my jewelry toolbox and be very portable.

maKACS (author)DIY-Guy2015-12-27

I never thought it but yes, they are really useful. And later I will add a V groove to hold small tubes, pipes, rods.

I thinked the clamp vise itself is a pretty common type of tool. But I'm glad if You got new idea. :)

I've seen many-many bench pin designs when I researched about it, but this type of combination seems to be something original.

I'm thinking on further improvement with an additional plate something like this but as a detachable option.

EZ Hold Jewelers Saw Vise and Bench Pin

DIY-Guy (author)maKACS2015-12-28

Thank you for such an excellent reply!
Improvements such as a small
fitted metal plate, padded with rubber paint on one side for very tiny
delicate internal cutting and filing?

Cutting a slot at the
horizontal front face of the board (into the V notch area) would allow
insertion of a custom plate. A magnet or two could hold the plate at the
back of the bench-pin while being stored.

If I build one, I'll try to find this 'ible to show you what it looks like.

End view.
]]]]. . . ]]]

======= Double line is horizontal cut as far as the V notch depth.
]]]]. . . ]]]]

... . ^
Empty space
is V notch.

maKACS made it! (author)DIY-Guy2015-12-29

Meanwhile I made an additional plate out of laminated floor with all the holes and V notches cutted out. It's not proper to use, to thick (6mm) and have weak points. So a metal plate would be better for this too. If I find a suitable metal piece I'll cut it and take a try with.

And here is Your idea with the slide in metal plate. I modeled it too, attached the image, You can check if I understood it right. I'm affraid this way the whole structure weakens, but the lower side definitely. Think of it, the end view is 5mm thin, with a 2mm metal plate it gives a 1.5mm wood on the bottom side. So I think I prefer additional plate onto the top surface.

DIY-Guy (author)maKACS2015-12-30

That is beautiful modeling you've created there!
I think the sloped front (wedge) is the weak spot for the slot/plate idea.
My simple V notch jig (bench pin is a new term for me) back in college was not a wedge shape. Does the wedge slope give a benefit when working with small parts in any way? If so, then keep it sloped. If not, maybe a uniform thickness (front to back) would support a slot and plate.

Additionally, if the bench pin has no room to store the plate out of the way and toward the back with a magnet... maybe the plate could slide left and right through the slot? Like the old slide projector mechanisms? Left and/or right? The plate could of course just be removed while working, and reinserted for fine work. Or stored more compactly in the slot when everything is put away in the tool box.

This is beautiful work and I think you've really got something here.
Mind if I keep brainstorming the idea with you maKCS?

maKACS (author)DIY-Guy2015-12-30

I do not know specifically, but I think the wedge, the thinner sides gives more space to variate the angle of a file to work with inside the V edges and through the workpiece. And additionally the bottoms of the edges are rounded on my bench pin. (I didn't modeled it, but visible on the photos.)

I think theres is a more important question about the inserted metal plate. It must be fixed, fastened somehow. It must not alowed to wobble. After that the storage of it can be figured out.

Brainstorming together? Oh, yes, of course. :) I see Instructables as a big, brilliant brainstorming full of clever peoples. :)

DIY-Guy (author)maKACS2015-12-30

One of my first thoughts about the slot was to use it as a holder for
cutting small pieces of flat metal for jewelry, to hold the blank while cutting out the pieces from it. But as a custom shaped support plate for very fine detail work, the possibilities are endless!

The clamp style bench pin shown in your provided link looks like a giant clothespin and may be a good idea, though it looks more difficult to manufacture.

You make a very good point that the stability of the custom plate is a necessary feature. If the custom plate is only for very tiny detail work; the V, or other shaped notch will be very small. And as such there is enough width at the open end of the wooden V notch that fingers may be used to grip the plate and the jewelry work piece together. Though I don't like having fingers jammed down inside the deep part of the notch, we already use our hands very close to the work area when cutting and filing small pieces. So maybe that point is a given.

In regards to stabilizing a custom shape metal support plate, the slot offers easier manufacturing (ie a swipe on the table saw or band saw). Being a through cut (right to left) it needs a stop or some type of grip or catch to prevent sliding. Perhaps something as simple as either (1) shims, or (2) dowel pin mounting holes at the back of the bench pin drilled through the thickest part.

Drawbacks to either of these methods include potential for losing the pins/shims. Drawbacks to a stopped end cut method include complexity of manufacture. Additionally, quick removal of the custom shaped metal support plate is very desirable because fiddling with parts and reconfiguration slows down the creative work process.

One solution to many of these needs is to change the depth of the edge slot to a shallow half-depth cut instead of a full distance deep cut. The full length of the main wooden V cannot be accessed easily by fingers and filing tools in the narrow area at the back, not when a metal plate is jammed into the slot. Maybe a shorter slot cut will provide gripping surface for fingers to hold the custom plate during sawing and filing operations.

maKACS (author)DIY-Guy2015-12-30
One of my first thoughts about the slot was to use it as a holder for cutting small pieces of flat metal for jewelry, to hold the blank while cutting out the pieces from it. But as a custom shaped support plate for very fine detail work, the possibilities are endless!

To hold the blank itself with the slot? Sounds really interesting and good idea. This way it is something similiar like the spring loaded type above, but with a different approach.

About the manufacture difficulty I don't really worry about to some level. But You are right, it's better when it's easier to make.

I think it's a good conclusion to sorten the plate and the slot for it.

If the slot height and the plate thickness are matches, maybe there is no reason to worry about vertical wobbling. But horizontally it can move sideways. Forward moving is impossible because of the slot end, backward can be held with finger, not to mention the force direction of the saw or file.

Hm, the slot can be closed on the sides. Think of manufacturing, after the cut through sideways with table/band saw, fitting pieces can be glued back to the sides.

Modelled it. The red indicates the glued back wood pieces. Closes the sides and gives back some strength to the structure. The yellow part is the metal plate itself. I made it translucent to see better whats going on here. :) These parts can be made easily, the metal plate is a simple rectangle, and You can make multiple plates with different notch designs.

DIY-Guy (author)maKACS2015-12-30

And I left the "fill in the sides" for you to figure out, and you did. :)
What's that self-serving saying about "Great minds think alike?"
Have you thought about offering your drawing/modelling services on Fiverr dot Com? This is product quality work you've created.

maKACS (author)DIY-Guy2015-12-31

High five. :)

It's a passion for me, I don't think it's in professional level that can be really salable. As I see Fiverr it's much more suitable for students to practice at high level and in real life situations for some money. Thanks for the hint, I'll suggest it to my godson. :)

maKACS (author)DIY-Guy2015-12-29

Wohoo, that magnet idea works well without embeddig, simple on the vise itself. Thx!

maKACS (author)DIY-Guy2015-12-29

Btw, the magnet is a really good idea, not only for hold any additional plate, but also for fine needle files during filing. It can be embedded to the side and/or to the top over the inlay.

jakesplacebc (author)2015-12-28

Would love to see a video of it in action. ?

maKACS (author)jakesplacebc2015-12-29

Now I uploaded the SketchUp model of it, and made a short 3D video animation. You can see it in the intro section.

maKACS (author)jakesplacebc2015-12-28

Maybe later I will shot one, but You can see many similiar usage on Youtube: Youtube search for jewellers saw

Duggietbuyer (author)2015-12-28

great idea for using up scraps. Could lead to other ideas

maKACS (author)Duggietbuyer2015-12-28

Thanks Duggietbuyer and I agree. Just look at my recent 3 projects.

First I made the mini router base out of leftover laminated floor. After that I was able to finish this bench pin I started earlier out of leftover door sill with the mini router. And then I made the veneer earrings on the bench pin. The veneers was leftovers in a woodworker workshop after retirement.

It's funny to use materials in not intended way.

Yonatan24 (author)2015-12-28

I've never heard of a "Bench Pin", I looked at the links that you gave, But I still didn't understand exactly what it's used for. What do you use it for?

maKACS (author)Yonatan242015-12-28

It gives support for fret/jewelers sawing tiny pieces of materials, usually to cut intricate details on metal, wood, plastic. It's an essential tool for jewellers, modellers, makers.

You can see it in action after 7:27: Step-by-Step Guide to Sawing for Handmade Jewelry.

With a little practice and a huge amount of patience You can make things like 3D layered veneer earrings or

owl shaped guitar soundhole cover, etc etc.

The edge of a table on its own isn't the best, it's easier to achieve nice work on a proper tool, and for this job it's a bench pin.

Pyrowuzzup (author)2015-12-27

Nice build. IT would be great to see some of the things you've made on it.

maKACS (author)Pyrowuzzup2015-12-27

Thx Pyrowuzzup!

Here You can see the first one made on this bench pin: 3D layered veneer earrings „Venearings".

And I plan to make the second version of my owl shaped guitar soundhole cover. Will be easier with this proper tool. :)

About This Instructable




Bio: Tiny projects from wood and bone with minimal tools. I like to use handtools for better controll and to feel the workpiece. This way I ... More »
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