Introduction: Carving Fixture

About: I have worked in industry for 25+ years and have learned a lot from a lot of good people. I hope to pass a few things along and continue to learn new things!

One thing I like to make myself is Hammer Handles. It is a bit of a chore to hold the wood to access the entire length. I would typically clamp it to a table or hold it in a vice. I wanted to figure out a way to securely hold it by the ends so I could work on the entire length. This Carving Fixture allows me to do just that!. This Instructable will guide you through the process of making the Carving Fixtuture.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

For this you will need:

A Pipe Vice

A piece of slotted angle iron. I used a 1.25" x 1.25" x 4' long piece

Some scrap angle iron or other material for feet

Cordless Drill

Drill Bits

6-32 tap



Step 2: Remove the Sliding Jaw

In order to hold the material by the ends. I wanted to put some sort of pin on each end of the clamp that would penetrate the wood slightly and help secure it in place. To do this on the pipe clamp end, remove the sliding jaw. Take a pliers and straighten out the keeper pin and then pull it out. The sliding jaw will come off.

Step 3: Drill and Tap Pin Mounting Hole

Drill a couple of tap holes in the sliding Jaw. I could only drill in about 1/4 deep on my clamp. I bottom tapped these holes for a 6-32 thread. We will thread the pointed holding pin into these holes. I put the holes in a couple of locations in order to move the pin to best accommodate the work piece.

Step 4: Make a Holding Pin

I took a 6-32 Allen Bolt and put a double nut on the very end. I used an allen bolt because they are harder than a standard machine screw. Holding it in a vice, I jammed these nuts together and tightened them so the flats lined up. I then chucked it up in my cordless drill. Using the bench grinder and drill (Both of them turning) I ground a sharp point. I wanted the finished length of the pin to be around 1/2"

Step 5: Finish the Sliding Jaw

Screw the Holding Pin into the sliding jaw. I used a pair of vice grips to tighten it. There is now has a sharp point to hold the work piece.

I cut a new keeper pin out of a nail since the old one was worn. Put the clamp back together, insert the new keeper pin and bend it in place so the movable jaw will not come out.

Step 6: Weld the Pipe Vice to the Slotted Angle

Mount the movable clamp end of the pipe vice on a 12" piece of pipe. Close the vice as far as it will go and clamp it to the back side of the angle iron. Use clamps to hold it in place. I TIG welded it in several locations using brass filler rod. You could probably drill through and bolt if you do not have a welder.

Step 7: Make Feet

I has some 1 1/2" angle iron scraps about 6" long I used for feet. I scribed a line down the center and and laid out a notch 1/2" deep into the angle iron. Using a hacksaw, I cut out the notch in both angle irons.

Step 8: Weld in the Feet

I cradled the slotted angle iron into the notches on the angle iron feet. Again I used the TIG Welder to weld the feet in place. If you do not have a welder you may be able to drill through and mount the slotted angle to some wooden feet or blocks.

Step 9: Mount Backstop

The backstop is made out of a scrap piece of Oak. It is 1 1/2 wide, about 2" tall and 1 1/2 inches deep. The dimensions are not that critical. It needs to fit into the angle iron and be very solid. I marked the block as it was sitting on the slotted angle. I drilled out pilot holes for my screws. I had some stubby 1/4" diameter screws 3/4" long I used to attach the backstop to the slotted angle. The backstop can be mounted in any position along the length of the slotted angle depending on the length of the work piece.

Step 10: Finish Backstop

You can make several backstops depending on the work you are holding.

In order for the backstop to grip the piece securely, I install a long deck screw. I drill a 1/8 pilot hole through the block so it will engage the center of the stock that I am holding. Then run in the deck screw until it pokes out the other end about 1/4". This will be the "tailstock to keep the work in place.

Step 11: Finished!

I attach my clamp to a sawhorse using C Clamps. I allow one end to overhang so I can easily access my work. I use the draw knife quite a bit and this works out well. One thing I may add in the future are some holes in the angle iron feet so I can screw it to the sawhorse. The clamps can sometimes get in the way of things.

This works well for me and holds my hammer handles securely while I am carving them. Thanks for checking this out.